For seventeen years of my life I have battled disabling depression and before that drug addiction and during the worst of my depressions alcohol addiction. I have been told that I am a fighter and as I look back I recognize those signs. Now, at the year of my 75th birthday I wake up in the morning feeling hopeful. The despair is gone and I have resumed an extraordinary fulfilling life. It is a joy to share my message of hope with others who struggle daily with depression.
Let me begin by stating this testimony would not even be possible without ECT and I dedicate this testimony to my cousin, who read in Boston Magazine the top psychiatrists in Boston, gave the name to my advocate and sister, who was determined to get to the bottom of me getting well and called the psychiatrist to get me the best treatment at McLean Hospital, my dedicated son, and last but not least my amazing husband whose love and steadfast support without which this would never be possible...
My wife, Paula, went through a horrible bout of depression after being placed on the wrong medications. Initially, my daughter sought help for my wife. I sat in with Paula on the sessions that she had with a nurse practitioner. My wife pleaded with the nurse practitioner, telling her that she could not function and that she was not herself. She said, “I am a vibrant woman who loves life, but now everthing's changed.” Paula's an active ballet dancer with a zest for life. She enjoys every day.
It was a nightmare except that it wasn’t a dream. It was six months of increasing depression for my wife who ate, drank and slept less and less, going from 135 to 96 pounds. A psychiatric drug cocktail in early April 2010 brought on serotonin syndrome that severely damaged her health. In subsequent psychiatric treatment other psychiatric drugs were given her that were largely useless, harmful, or addictive.
It was May of 2010, flowers were blooming and everyone was happy for the nice weather to have finally come. Unfortunately I was not one of those people. I was in a very dark, sad, alone feeling place and life was going by but I was getting to the point of just existing but not living my life they way it use to be.
I first witnessed the enormous healing power of ECT when I was a college student and mental health worker at a community hospital in the 1970’s. I was assigned to assist an elderly woman with catatonia (a form of depression), who I will call Mrs. Murphy, who had been brought into the hospital by ambulance because of her extremely fragile condition. She hadn’t talked or eaten in several days. Family and friends worried that she would die unless her depression was brought under control. I looked into her sad eyes and wondered how she could possibly survive.
This is not my fault, nor is it your fault. I inherited a genetic disposition for bi-polar disorder which shows itself in many of my family members and took my father’s life. When you understand your illness, seek proper help, and are monitored by a psychiatrist who prescribes necessary medications, you can have a balanced and meaningful life.
I first started taking an anti-depressant several years ago to deal with the stress and anxiety of coping with cancer. The Celexa that was prescribed worked for me in adjusting to treatment and helped me to live a more normal life. When I recovered, I still had challenges in balancing the requirements of my work. I found that a regular regimen of Qi Gong, exercise at the gym, seeing a therapist regularly, and Celexa kept me healthy and reasonably balanced.
I left her in the psychiatric ward for the first time, walked outside, and howled into the night. In the months before, her anti-depressant medication had failed. She tried a few others, working with a psychiatrist, and they also failed to arrest her depression. Indeed, one of the medications deepened her depression and increased her suicidal thinking.
I had my first severe depression when I was 33 studying for my Masters Degree in Educational Psychology. I was in and out of the psychiatric hospital for about four months. During this time I also had intense physical pain and had to be in rehabilitation for my pain condition. In addition to being the psychiatric hospital I had to be in an inpatient hospital for my fibromyalgia because the pain was bad. I really was scared and didn’t know if this condition would get better. After trying many medications they finally used ECT.
It is unexplainable how great it felt to see this website because I didn't know what to expect of shock treatments but having this website at my fingertips to answer questions that no one else or no other website did was amazing. This website was sent by God. I was hopeless, fearful and lost but your website had testimonials from people who had been where I was at that moment and had gotten better with the use of ECT.