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What do you think of Shock Therapy? Watch

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    Personally, i am against Shock Theray (giving patients an electric shock to the brain, to treat/cure a mental illness) mainly for the fact that no one is actually certain of how it works, just that it does.

    So, therefore no one knows what long term damaging effects it could have, apart from many other side effects such as long term memory loss, other seizures and many others.

    I was just wondering what everyone else thought about this issue? Are you for or against it?

    Jess
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    (Original post by jessieg14)
    Personally, i am against Shock Theray (giving patients an electric shock to the brain, to treat/cure a mental illness) mainly for the fact that no one is actually certain of how it works, just that it does.

    So, therefore no one knows what long term damaging effects it could have, apart from many other side effects such as long term memory loss, other seizures and many others.

    I was just wondering what everyone else thought about this issue? Are you for or against it?

    Jess
    Against! I've known a couple of elderly people, who had electric shock therapy when they were younger for depression and it's just caused them problems. In my opinion, there's many different treatments to try for depression, and that shouldn't be one of them.
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    I agree! there are so many people who have been treated with this which has resulted in bad outcomes; some people still havent regained their memory 3 years after treatment, despite many doctors claiming that memory loss will be minor and only last for a few days! I know that ECT is no longer as barbaric and dangerous as it used to be (for example in 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest' ) but nevertheless why put an already unstable person under such a controversial treatment that may increase their chances of suicide, when there are other just as effective treatments available!
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    (Original post by jessieg14)
    I agree! there are so many people who have been treated with this which has resulted in bad outcomes; some people still havent regained their memory 3 years after treatment, despite many doctors claiming that memory loss will be minor and only last for a few days! I know that ECT is no longer as barbaric and dangerous as it used to be (for example in 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest' ) but nevertheless why put an already unstable person under such a controversial treatment that may increase their chances of suicide, when there are other just as effective treatments available!
    Totally agree, a woman I knew was having serious problems with memory, and she had it 10 years ago! I think it's totally unfair to put people through that
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    (Original post by jessieg14)
    Personally, i am against Shock Theray (giving patients an electric shock to the brain, to treat/cure a mental illness) mainly for the fact that no one is actually certain of how it works, just that it does.
    That's a pretty poor reason to oppose it, given that we don't know how for example antidepressants work either.
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    (Original post by USRaphael)
    That's a pretty poor reason to oppose it, given that we don't know how for example antidepressants work either.
    I think the point jessieg14 was making is that they are very uncertain about negative side effects with regard to the shock therapy. And that it's unfair to take that risk for other people, not knowing what their reaction to the treatment.

    On the other hand, they have a better idea of how anti-depressants work, how each drug is different, the kinds of side effects people might experience etc etc. They are a much safer and better known treatment for depression.
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    (Original post by SpottedZebra)
    And that it's unfair to take that risk for other people, not knowing what their reaction to the treatment.
    You get told about all of this and the risks before you sign on the dotted line, it's extremely rare for people to be forced to have it and generally those who do have severe problems who without it have very little chance of living anywhere near a normal life.

    It's only used as a last resort in patients who don't respond to medication and therapy, most medications have the risk of long term side effects that do not get found out until decades later. If that is a reason for not using it then you better take everything but pretty much penicillin, paracetamol, ibuprofen and morphine out of hospitals.
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    (Original post by Idle)
    You get told about all of this and the risks before you sign on the dotted line, it's extremely rare for people to be forced to have it and generally those who do have severe problems who without it have very little chance of living anywhere near a normal life.

    It's only used as a last resort in patients who don't respond to medication and therapy, most medications have the risk of long term side effects that do not get found out until decades later. If that is a reason for not using it then you better take everything but penicillin, paracetamol, ibuprofen and morphine out of hospitals.
    I disagree, when people are sectioned, any treatment that a psychiatrist deems the patient should have is given. Many people who are sectioned are given shock therapy in this way.

    Also even if the patient agrees to it, they have to have had extremely severe depression for a very long time in order to be offered it. Are they really in the right mind to make that sort of decision? Surely with that level of depression you aren't able to think straight, and would do anything someone says will make it stop?
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    (Original post by SpottedZebra)
    I disagree, when people are sectioned, any treatment that a psychiatrist deems the patient should have is given. Many people who are sectioned are given shock therapy in this way.

    Also even if the patient agrees to it, they have to have had extremely severe depression for a very long time in order to be offered it. Are they really in the right mind to make that sort of decision? Surely with that level of depression you aren't able to think straight, and would do anything someone says will make it stop?
    Around 2,000 a year who are sectioned are given it without consent in England and Wales a year. That is around 5 a day in the entire country. If i had a heart attack and they had to give me treatment which would cause me side effects I would much rather that and live to be better with ongoing side effects than have them sit and watch because "he might not like the side effects."

    People are judged on if they can make competent decisions by trained professionals. If you go and ask for shock therapy after being on one or two anti-depressants you will get told no.

    As someone who has suffered severe depression, if I had tried multiple classes of anti-depressant and pretty much all the conventional treatments and still felt extremely depressed I would willingly give it a go on the basis I would rather have the chance of a happier life with side effects which might make me upset now and again rather than feel depressed pretty much constantly.
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    (Original post by Idle)
    Around 2,000 a year who are sectioned are given it without consent in England and Wales a year. That is around 5 a day in the entire country. If i had a heart attack and they had to give me treatment which would cause me side effects I would much rather that and live to be better with ongoing side effects than have them sit and watch because "he might not like the side effects."

    People are judged on if they can make competent decisions by trained professionals. If you go and ask for shock therapy after being on one or two anti-depressants you will get told no.

    As someone who has suffered severe depression, if I had tried multiple classes of anti-depressant and pretty much all the conventional treatments and still felt extremely depressed I would willingly give it a go on the basis I would rather have the chance of a happier life with side effects which might make me upset now and again rather than feel depressed pretty much constantly.
    2000 people a year is quite a lot of people. I agree with what you are saying about a heart attack, but with depression there are so many other treatments available and it's not like that is the one option. I know other options have to have been tried, but that still doesn't make it a good treatment option.

    I see what you are saying, but I still think that people suffering from depression severe enough to warrant shock therapy, will not be thinking clearly enough to be able to weigh up the advantages and risks in a balanced way. Having personal experience of depression and later caring for someone with depression, I think it's an extremely wrong way of treating someone.
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    I would agree that there are many other treatments available for conditions such as depression, but extensive research has found that ECT is actually surprisingly effective at treating depression, and if you read NICE guidelines you will see that it is only recommended as a last resort. At the point at which a patient receives ECT, they have already tried all different types of drugs, CBT and talking therapies/counseling techniques that are available to them. ECT is rarely used for anxiety disorders or in cases where fully informed consent cannot be obtained, and is far more humane than how it used to be!

    About our lack of understanding about ECT, I know it has already been said that we do not really understand how any biological treatments (drugs) work (our factual understanding of paracetamol is hugely limited!), but this reflects how much we actually know about the brain! And no aggressive therapy is without its unpleasant side effects - I'm not condoning them especially in cases where they are present for extensive periods of time, but there are other treatments for other more pathological issues that have similar issues with unexpected and unpleasant side effects (for a weak example, chemotherapy for cancer).

    Overall, if it is a therapy that works and as long as it is used responsibly and as a last resort as suggesting by NICE, then I think that it is an acceptable technique for treating certain mental health disorders, but not all. Obviously you also have to factor in individual differences as well - each patient will also be on drugs and will be at a certain point with CBT/counseling and you have to remember that no treatment plan is the same for any two people with the same disorder.
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    (Original post by SpottedZebra)
    2000 people a year is quite a lot of people. I agree with what you are saying about a heart attack, but with depression there are so many other treatments available and it's not like that is the one option. I know other options have to have been tried, but that still doesn't make it a good treatment option.

    I see what you are saying, but I still think that people suffering from depression severe enough to warrant shock therapy, will not be thinking clearly enough to be able to weigh up the advantages and risks in a balanced way. Having personal experience of depression and later caring for someone with depression, I think it's an extremely wrong way of treating someone.
    Generally it's given after all the other treatments have been tried. you don't walk into your GP and get an appointment card for shock therapy. Since it's been approved by NICE, by people with degrees and decades of experience, then I just their judgement that it's positives are worth the potential negatives.

    Sometimes in the medical world they have to do things without consent be it because someone is unconscious/in a coma or because of their state of mind. I'm pretty sure the requirements are two psychiatrists to sign off agreeing when someone is sectioned, if 2 people with decades of training and practice think that is the patients best hope then I can't see what is wrong.
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    I agree what your saying that patients sign on the dotted the line, but this is not always the case, the doctor may deem the patient not in a stable enough mindset to make this decision themselvs so the doctor will either hand that decision to a patients relative or will take this on themselves, i understand that there must be two professionals to agree, and they will have had years of training/degrees, but what if by conincidence both doctors are strongly in favour of ECT, they are both going to agree to treat by ECT, they are entitled to their own personal opinions, regardless of their job. And what if the patient is strongly against ECT, they are going to wake up (or not at all in some cases) finding themselves in just as bad if not worse minset as before, due to severe memory loss, before they may have lost their sanity but they still had clear memories of how they used to be, their childhood, their families. Now they may be sane again but have no recollections of their life, how to live, to do anything!

    With reference to your point about not knowing how antidepressants work either, this is partially wrong as we know what chemicals are released where by different antidepressants. We dont however know what effects/impacts ECT could have on the brain or body.
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    (Original post by jessieg14)
    I agree what your saying that patients sign on the dotted the line, but this is not always the case, the doctor may deem the patient not in a stable enough mindset to make this decision themselvs so the doctor will either hand that decision to a patients relative or will take this on themselves, i understand that there must be two professionals to agree, and they will have had years of training/degrees, but what if by conincidence both doctors are strongly in favour of ECT, they are both going to agree to treat by ECT, they are entitled to their own personal opinions, regardless of their job. And what if the patient is strongly against ECT, they are going to wake up (or not at all in some cases) finding themselves in just as bad if not worse minset as before, due to severe memory loss, before they may have lost their sanity but they still had clear memories of how they used to be, their childhood, their families. Now they may be sane again but have no recollections of their life, how to live, to do anything!

    With reference to your point about not knowing how antidepressants work either, this is partially wrong as we know what chemicals are released where by different antidepressants. We dont however know what effects/impacts ECT could have on the brain or body.
    If certain doctors are approving far more patients for shock therapy than others they are going to get questioned about why they are doing it. I don't think you can ban a treatment on the off chance 2 doctors will have an odd love of shock therapy.

    Not wake up at all? You do realise 6 times more people die in the US from lightning strikes than do from EST? All medical treatments have risk, you can die from serotonin syndrome which is an extreme reaction to AD's, do we ban them too?

    Far more deaths would have occurred I am sure if the 2,000 a year, many who are extremely suicidal did not have the treatment and some when more would go on to kill themselves than if they didn't have shocks.

    As for the memory loss, within 6 months for the majority their memory returns to pretty much normal. I agree it's not the nicest treatment in the world but what would you suggest is done with patients who are acutely suicidal and not responding to medication?
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    (Original post by Idle)
    If certain doctors are approving far more patients for shock therapy than others they are going to get questioned about why they are doing it. I don't think you can ban a treatment on the off chance 2 doctors will have an odd love of shock therapy.

    Not wake up at all? You do realise 6 times more people die in the US from lightning strikes than do from EST? All medical treatments have risk, you can die from serotonin syndrome which is an extreme reaction to AD's, do we ban them too?

    Far more deaths would have occurred I am sure if the 2,000 a year, many who are extremely suicidal did not have the treatment and some when more would go on to kill themselves than if they didn't have shocks.

    As for the memory loss, within 6 months for the majority their memory returns to pretty much normal. I agree it's not the nicest treatment in the world but what would you suggest is done with patients who are acutely suicidal and not responding to medication?
    Yes, maybe and maybe these doctors will get questioned, but 99% of the time these doctors will be able to get themselves out of it,one way or another. And i dont think it should be totally banned, just alot more heavily regulated.

    Agreed, not waking up at all, is very rare, but does that mean we should ignore it. whether it is 1 in 1000 or 1 in 10, that 1 was somebody's mother, father, nanna, son etc. They had a life, a home, a family. If reducing the number of ECT treatments saves that life then lets do it.
    Yes all medical treatments have risks, everything has a risk, but the majority of these things have been chosen, personally by the individual. In the case of ECT, the individual is going to be mentally instable (thats why theyre in this situation) so are they really in the right mind to make the decision to take that risk, or someone else will make this decision for them. But people make mistakes and make the wrong choices, i understand that. But peoples lives are too important to make these mistakes on.

    In relation to memory loss, yes many patients will have regained full memory 6 months after treatment but what about the patients that havent? An investigation was conducted in which 52% of participents had not regained full memory function 3 years after treatment, that is over half!! As i said earlier, ECT shouldnt be banned completely but much tighter restrictions put in place, and in the case of people who are acutly suicidal and medications have had no effect, ECT should be given, but with extreme caution, with multiple procedures and investigations in place. Theres a book 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest' (Its a good read if your interested ) which addresses ECT, and i realise in this century it is nowhere near as barbaric as portrayed here, but some things still hold true, for example no patient comes out the same as they went in. As said by the Nurse; 'A device that might be said to do the work of the sleeping pill, the electric chair, and the torture rack. It’s a clever little procedure, simple, quick, nearly painless it happens so fast, but no one ever wants another one. Ever'
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    (Original post by jessieg14)
    Yes, maybe and maybe these doctors will get questioned, but 99% of the time these doctors will be able to get themselves out of it,one way or another. And i dont think it should be totally banned, just alot more heavily regulated.

    Agreed, not waking up at all, is very rare, but does that mean we should ignore it. whether it is 1 in 1000 or 1 in 10, that 1 was somebody's mother, father, nanna, son etc. They had a life, a home, a family. If reducing the number of ECT treatments saves that life then lets do it.
    Yes all medical treatments have risks, everything has a risk, but the majority of these things have been chosen, personally by the individual. In the case of ECT, the individual is going to be mentally instable (thats why theyre in this situation) so are they really in the right mind to make the decision to take that risk, or someone else will make this decision for them. But people make mistakes and make the wrong choices, i understand that. But peoples lives are too important to make these mistakes on.
    Well we better scrap the NHS then and not have doctors because mistakes are human nature and there will always be a certain number of medical mistake. You can sign an agreement while in a reasonable state of mind stating if you ever become worse you do not wish to have ECT and it's a legally binding agreement.

    If someone dies it's extremely sad but far more people die having hip replacements and other surgery which isn't actually to save their life, it's to try give someone a better quality of life and sometimes a tiny risk of death is worth it to try end the physical or mental pain someone is in.

    In relation to memory loss, yes many patients will have regained full memory 6 months after treatment but what about the patients that havent? An investigation was conducted in which 52% of participents had not regained full memory function 3 years after treatment, that is over half!! As i said earlier, ECT shouldnt be banned completely but much tighter restrictions put in place, and in the case of people who are acutly suicidal and medications have had no effect, ECT should be given, but with extreme caution, with multiple procedures and investigations in place. Theres a book 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest' (Its a good read if your interested ) which addresses ECT, and i realise in this century it is nowhere near as barbaric as portrayed here, but some things still hold true, for example no patient comes out the same as they went in. As said by the Nurse; 'A device that might be said to do the work of the sleeping pill, the electric chair, and the torture rack. It’s a clever little procedure, simple, quick, nearly painless it happens so fast, but no one ever wants another one. Ever'
    People do actually ask for it again if their issues get worse again.

    But i'm not sure what regulations you would want put in place, it's already only used in extreme circumstances requiring more than one professional to sign off, those who can make a decision themselves are informed of the likelihood of side effects and what they are and you have follow up appointments after.
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    If I was a doctor I would be approving it left, right and centre - watching it in the movies throughout the years has inspired me to think it is definitely a worthwhile treatment.
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    (Original post by jessieg14)

    I was just wondering what everyone else thought about this issue? Are you for or against it?
    ECT is not given lightly. If patient is unwilling or unable to consent there is already a safety net in place in form of a second opinion doctor. Many of the patients who recieve ECT, particularly elderly, are at the point when their depression is acuately life threatening. There are bed bound, refusing food and drink and any medication. I don't think it would be in their best intrest to be left in that state for a long periods of time as endless checks and safeguards are worked through.

    It is important to remember that severe psychotic depression couses a lot of suffering to patients and thair families. Day after day is spent beliving that all their loved ones are dead, themselves are rotting inside and they have brought it all on themselves through unimaginable sins they have commited. At this point they do not have any quality of life and they are suffering. Is it justified to have people in this state becouse the treatment that we have aviable may have side effects?

    Severe depression itself has negative impact on cognition and increases risks of many other problems such as cardiac events further down the line. You need to compare risks of ECT with morbidity and mortality of severe depression and also side effects of alternative treatments such as psychotropic medication.

    I would never jump to prescribe ECT lightly but I don't think it is right to delay or deny it to patients who need it.
 
 
 
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