Rebooting the Brain with Electroconvulsive Therapy

In this video, author and depression counselor Douglas Bloch discusses the pros and cons of the use of ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) for severe and refractory depression.

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Music: Satouma de Kakurenbo courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

Video credits to Douglas Bloch YouTube channel

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    Rebooting the Brain with Electroconvulsive Therapy

    Comments 23

    1. Thanks for this video. ECT is so misunderstood, and has such a negative stigma associated with it. I've had 21 treatments so far, and for the first time in my life, I know what it feels like to WANT to live.

    2. I've heard it is like an electrical lobotomy. Like medications though, it is affective for some and not others. I have severe depression and have considered it but I'm still a bit afraid of it.

    3. I have tried other supplements like St' Johns Wort, which is only suitable for mild to moderate depression, at the moment I am trying Iodine, the first night I slept well, I always try these on myself, and I have not had any bad side- effects, and they are cheaper than the drugs Big Pharma charges. I gained several stone when I went on certain anti-depressants, and my anxiety increased. I have not had any prescription drugs for several years. But I do experience symptoms when under stress, i.e. disrupted sleep, low-mood etc. I do not tell my GP as I no longer need them, I can deal with them myself.

    4. I am a women from sweden have panickattaks and anxyeti Evert morning and Every Day, pain in my body and in my head.i slep every naith but in The morning is The same so tre becus i dont fel like sleping. I cant cop enymor.

    5. I am a 42 year old bipolar patient who has long time severe treatment resistant depression with psychotic features and constant suicidal thoughts. I have also become very ill because of my depression and lack of care for myself with congestive heart failure, lupus and diabetes. Last month I had to be hospitalized for suicide and underwent 6 ECT treatments. The treatments were painless for me- I didn't even get a headache and each time after the third treatment I got better and better. The 6th and final treatment was the best. I had felt better than I had since I was little! I suffered from artists block for years before the ECT but after the treatments I had a renewed zest for art! The side effects that I got from the ECT that were a bit troublesome were memory loss- especially upon awakening after the ECT, and my ADHD symptoms seemed to have gotten a little worse. ECT has truely saved my life and given me a fresh start.

    6. Suffering from sexual intrusive thoughts from 2 years 😖😖 should I opt for ect as I am having sexual ocd My thoughts are killing me day by day

    7. I dont understand, in this video you declare that you have never had ECT, yet you did a whole video about your own ECT experience? please could someone clarify?

    8. thats really true you wake up like nothing happens ,theres nothing to be afraid ,is not like a horror movie nothing about that .

    9. it amazes me how people can let another person diagnose them with a mental disorder when the human brain is one of the most complex and baffling organ we have in our bodys. To understand how the brain fully funtions and works will always be a mystery. in my eyes and opinion there are many people who get caught in the spiderwebs of the psychiatric business. the only way to truly over come any personal mental issues . (In which case we all have) is to be your own psychologists and figure out the best way for you to overcome them. Minus the costly meds and shock therapy! thats just my opinion on the whole situation.

    10. Could you comment on Dr. John Breedings video on ECT @psyche truth ? And the Damages Ect does

    11. Is ECT effective for crippling anxiety and psychotic symptoms that don't respond to medications?

    12. I want to go tru ECT again. Is there truth that we cant have it yearly. Possible memory loss?

    13. Thank you so much for posting your video. I have severe major depression, which I have struggled with for over a decade. I want to go ahead with ECT, but I am worried that if I have shock therapy for the first time and feel a lot better after 1 shock, that I will be forced to get 8-10 shocks just because that is how many they usually give. I want to be able to stop after one if I want to stop after one. Do you know a hospital where the staff actually listen to the patient and they don't force you into having a set number just because that is how many they like to do?

    14. Douglas, thank you for sharing your perspectives around ECT. I'm at a crossroads with treatment for MDD. While I've never been catatonic the last three years have been pure hell for me and my psychiatrist, while not saying that we've tried all medications, is asking me to again consider ECT.

      I am unable to work, spend nearly the entire day, every day in bed sleeping, and am losing hope that medications will pull me out of this paralyzingly abyss. I live a life consisting of waiting to see if the fog will lift tomorrow hoping maybe life will have color and meaning again and I can rebuild my life that at 51 is financially in shambles as a result of my health.

      Your observation regarding side effects from treatment and the alternative may have finally convinced me that my concerns over memory loss should no longer stop me from accepting this treatment. Afterall, I know what quality of life I'm stuck with if I do nothing.

      Thanks again. I'm closer than ever to accepting ECT.

    15. +Douglas Bloch Thank you for discussing this important, if controversial subject.

    16. Another good video, Douglas. I am a recovering addict and recovering depressive who was a member of one of your earliest depression groups, and found them quite helpful. I've also been a recipient of ECT, as you may recall. However, my "shock treatments" were way back in 1972, when the 'current' was much higher, as I understand. As such, they did give me significant memory loss — large gaps in my memory which actually exist to this day. Similar to your mother's story, I had been practically catatonic during the daytime, then filled with terrorizing thoughts at night to a point where I couldn't sleep, or would wear myself out from anxiety to the point of exhaustion. 

      As you state in your video, ECT was a last resort for me. Antidepressants and talk therapy hadn't worked, although this was before the advent of SSRI's, the modern day anti-depressant. I had a series of 7 shock treatments over a 17 day period, and was slated for 3 more. However, a severe panic attack prompted me to call my parents and have them get me out of the facility I was residing in (it was a lock-down psych ward at Holladay Park Hospital in Portland, which has since shut down).

      Anyway, I'm not sure what the difference in "voltage" is between 1972 and now, but I hope they've lowered it, as your video suggests, and as I've heard they have.

      As I like to share, the ECT I had back then did nothing for my depression, but I can now jump-start your car.

      A little shock therapy humor, if you will.

      Take care, my friend, and thank you for your instructive and articulate videos.

      Gary 🙂

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