Shock Therapy – how it can help reboot your life

Shock Therapy is a form of an aversion therapy, a psychiatric treatment  in which seizures are electrically induced in anaesthetized patients for therapeutic effect (Wiki).  It was usually used for patients with severe depression problems.  Having one doesn’t mean that your suffering with mental illness but it was long associated with patients in mental institutions.

The use of ECT or electroconvulsive therapy as it was called has already been debated for a long time ago, many believe that using this treatment is barbaric and a torture for human being.  The concept of electricity passing on your brain is very frightening and seeing someone having a seizure is totally  heartbreaking.

I remember the time that i visited a patient in one of our local institution and another patient suddenly goes wild and his family could not console him.  He was crying out loud and the doctor and nurses give him a shock therapy, seizure was the next thing that happened and he was now calmed and ready to sleep. I could not bear the sight of seeing those people, crying and helpless but learning from one of the doctors that this kind of treatment was used not just to calm them but for them to be back on their own self again.

I don’t know how long will it last or if this guy has been able to cope up with his problem.  He was very young but in his eyes, i see a life that was lost in time. There, i understand that love can somehow give you happiness and can even cause you so much suffering and because he could not cope with the heartbreak, he become someone who lost the will to live.

But the use of ECT has been very popular in the states, these treatment was used for those who are suffering with severe depression, Schizophrenia or even truancy.  Many people suffering from depression who have tried antidepressant but failed to treat their depression resorted in this kind of treatment and manifested and reported that they have found significant result for them to even prevent suicide attempt.

Many people and agency condemned this kind of treatment and people who have experienced this documented that memory loss was one of the actual worst side effect one can suffer.  Common side effects like headaches, confusion and nausea, soreness can be felt overtime or for days but can be relieved with medications.  But still, others find ECT to be a short term result and the long term problems associating the use of shock therapy is still alarming, especially the cognitive problems that one may encounter during their lifetime and can cause permanent brain damage.  Facts shows that some felt this kind of treatment is devastating and truly traumatic but some manifested that it was a blessing because they were able to live a normal life again.

Movies like “one flew over the cuckoos nest” of Jack Nicholson shown in 1975 shows how medical practitioners used shock therapy to torture patients.  Mad Men and Homeland ( both a  television series)  deals with ECT. Even with the famous movie, Shutter Island, one scene shows how mentally ill patient undergone shock therapy.

Whether this kind of treatment can be a relief or eventually can bring forth worst problems, the actual procedure is somehow traumatic for me.  I believe that medical practitioner know what they were doing, but seeing this procedure with your own eyes can somehow gives you the feeling that you are the one suffering the seizures.

Famous hollywood actors and actresses like Carrie Fisher, Vivien Leigh, Yves Saint Laurent, Judy Garland and even the famous american novelist, Ernest Hemingway had undergone shock treatment to battle their severe depression and openly talked about how it help or worsen their lives.

I have suffered depression and anxiety in my life and there were days that i was lost and thought of giving up  my life but it never occurred to me even once to try this treatment (maybe for the same reason that i have seen how it works .  Maybe, i am also afraid that after i wake up i will forget who I was and the people around me.

If it was you, would you try this shock therapy?

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