if not a magic bullet, then what is it?

The summer’s not yet over, but I’m already looking back at it. I think about the hypomanic episode I had and bouts of depression following it.  In fact, those moments of depression never seem to be that far away. Everyday I take medication in effort to keep all those things at bay, and see a therapist weekly. And, oh yes, the ‘little spark,’ too. Electroconvulsive therapy is still on the roster.

I’m not sure this is what I expected. It’s been over two years since my first series of ECT treatments, and I’m still just maintaining, not necessarily thriving. People talk about ECT being a life saver and the ‘magic bullet,’ but as time goes by, I’m not sure if that’s how I would view the experience anymore. Yes, I’m still alive, and that’s (I guess) a good thing, but—-Where would I be  had I not had those shock treatments? Would I be dead, or in a much worse shape than I am in now? Or would I have eventually found my way to this emotional point that I am currently at? I’m still taking mostly the same cocktail of meds. What criteria determines if, and to what degree, I’m doing better?

Perhaps I’m making some logical error in contemplating this whole thing. After all, constant suicidal thoughts did pretty much go away after all the ‘little sparks.’ And wasn’t that the point? Didn’t the treatments accomplish their goal? I may be asking a question that can’t really be answered. I could just as easily ask “what if I had never started taking meds,” but I don’t seem to be doing that. Instead, I keep coming back to whether ECT was the right treatment to have—and still be having.

I seem to give some people the perception that I am obviously an avid endorser of ECT because I have a journal/blog that talks about the subject. But I don’t think that’s what my purpose is in writing on this topic. While I admit that I’m not anti-ECT, I am constantly conflicted about getting this treatment. But maybe I should also be just as conflicted by the medication.


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