I was looking at the stamps in my passport and noticed that I went to Japan about two months before the first ECT treatment. That must have been nice, though I have no recollection of that trip.
Yes, there is some memory loss with electroconvulsive therapy, but that degree of memory loss varies among people. From my own experience, I only suffered minor memory losses, none of which negatively affected my life……well, except when I lost my ability to speak Japanese for a few weeks (but it came back!). Since starting maintenance ECT, the two major things I had forgotten immediately after treatment were: 1) that my cat was in the hospital and 2) where I went to graduate school (thank goodness the nurse reminded me about both of those before I left for home). But otherwise, it’s only been random, laughable stuff that I couldn’t recall.
I can’t speak for everyone, since everybody’s case is different (apparently, Carrie Fisher lost four-months of memory). But if you’re considering or about to have ECT, don’t panic! This is a part of ECT, but it’s often a small part of the whole process.
Here are some ‘just-in-case’ tips:
- Write down your passwords to important accounts (e.g. e-mail, bank account, voicemail, etc.)
- Keep “what to do today” or “what I did today” list (so you can refer back in case you want to know what you did the previous days)
- Prior to the treatment, tell someone to remind you about certain things after the treatment. You often just need someone to recall things for you once.
Please feel free to ask me any questions or leave any other tips.