a  little about….

the ECT chronicles: jumpstarting a life with a little spark to the head

‘A Little Spark’ refers to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a form of treatment which I started having in January 2009–the same time I started this journal. This journal is a personal account of getting ECT and living with a mental illness, as well as a compilation of mental-health related news of interest. I hope it serves as a resource to those interested in ECT and mental health in general. On top of those things, I’m sure I’ll be bringing up stuff like the NFL (I’m a football fan) and other random topics….

I believe I’ve been dealing with depression for a very long time. I was given my first prescription for antidepressants in early 2002 (I suppose it was for depression; the doctor practically handed them to me). In mid 2004, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II, rapid cycling, which was a diagnosis that came when I was hospitalized after my second suicide attempt. After a few hospitalizations and countless medication changes, my doctor and I came to a conclusion that I should try electroconvulsive therapy.  After close to three years of ECT, I chose to stop the ECT.  My treatment now involves a wonderful psychotherapist, as well as a new psychiatrist who is eager to help me with my health, but isn’t as eager to make pills and electricity the solution to all ills in life.

I’m now 33.

I do have a cat.  His name is Simon, named partly after Mr. Paul Simon. I enjoy clean lines (love Piet Mondrian), but am really bad at cleaning house.

Feel free to leave me a comment or catch me on twitter: @ECTchronicles

and in the meantime, feel free to subscribe to my blog at: https://alittlespark.wordpress.com/rss



9 Comments to “About”

  1. Hi sparky,
    thank you for the comment on my blog. I do check your blog from time to time too so I guess putting a link to your blog was in order. You’re now stuck on my blogroll :-) Thanx for reading my blog

  2. I was a little nervous when I found your blog. ECT destroyed my life, so I have a hard time looking at it objectively. I know it has helped others, but that wasn’t my experience.
    I recently weaned off all medications and now manage my BPD cognitively. I try to use the illness as a path to greater consciousness. Hard work, but rewarding.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. We need all perspectives.

  3. Dear Sandy Sue, thank you for finding my blog, and thanks for sharing your experience. I didn’t create the blog to be pro- or anti-ECT. I just wanted to chronicle my experiences as it happened. So, I hope I didn’t come across as some fervent supporter of ECT or anything, because that’s not what I’m trying to do.

    I hope you continue to do well, and please let me know how things are going!

    Thanks so much for your comment. I really do appreciate it.

  4. I have just found you & am quite pleased. I am BP1 w/extreme rapid cycling, attachment disorder, ocd & ptsd. I am also a chronic insomniac & have sleep apnea. Guess I was “blessed:. :) I wasn’t officially diagnosed until i was 33 & i am now 44. I am lithium resistant & have extreme reactions to meds, so my options are fairly limited. I stink @ talk therapy b/c I can never allow myself 2 truly be honest. I even tell the therapist during our initial sessions that I’m manipulative & incapable of trust but they never seem to be able to bring me thru it. I’ve never considered ECT until I came across this. Your descriptions of your moods, daily experiences, etc. very much sounded familiar. I have no spt system & cope w/everything on my own as best I can-which isn’t great. The thing that has always scared me about ECT is the memory loss. I already have such a sketchy memory from meds & fibro fog that I fear becoming a drooling couch potato. sorry for such a long babble but this is truly the 1st arena that i’ve found that openly addresses this non-clinically. thx for listening.

  5. The UK government has recently introduced e-petitions online.
    Please sign this ‘Abolish ECT’ e-petition and relegate this barbaric ‘treatment’ to the history pages along with lobotomy. We need 100,000 signatures to get it debated in parliament.
    To sign an e-petition, you must be either:
    • a citizen of the UK
    • a resident in the UK (you normally live in the UK)
    It only takes a minute! Please pass this on.
    Thank you for your help.

  6. Thank you for this blog. I have been depressed just about my whole life (I’m 39), but I was not officially diagnosed until 1994(ish). Until a few years ago, prozac and then paxil seemed to work ok. But their effects started to fade and now I am on my 12th combo of drugs in two and half years – Lamictal, Paxil, and Trazadone. The Lamictal was recently upped after I started falling into a deep depression again. I expect this will likely happen again in about 6 months and, since I’m running out of medication options, I am considering ECT. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  7. I really like your blog and writing style. I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2005. I am from Pakistan. I developed depressive symptoms during my illness. I had 6 ECTs. I am of the view that it worked for me. I had not the idea what it meant at that time. It depends upon person to person. Nice effort. Keep it up.

  8. thank you so, so much for this blog. I’m starting my second course of ECT tomorrow with talk of maintenance ECT after, so to have found this blog is such a blessing, & you’ve inspired me to keep something similar
    to look back upon. best wishes in your journey. x

  9. stripytightsandfairywings. Read this. http://www.ectresources.org/
    Peter Breggin latest info.

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