And If I Go Insane...

"And if I go insane
Please don't stick your wires in my brain"
Pink Floyd

Electroconvulsive Therapy

"Because as many as 50 percent of the people who respond well to a course of ECT relapse within 6 months of the treatment, a maintenance treatment of antidepressants or lithium is advisable."
Demitri Papolos, "Overcoming Depression, 3rd edition."
Excerpt on ECT from an earlier edition.


I had six treatments of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) during my first depression at age 17. It brought relief from depression but only temporarily. Within only a few weeks I was back in the Pit. It is not an experience I wish to repeat.

However, some individuals with depression do not respond to treatment with anti-depressants. ECT can be very effective in such cases. In more recent times, ECT treatment has been developed so that the electrical stimulation is applied only to the nondominant hemisphere of the brain, avoiding the speech and memory centers of the dominant side, considerably reducing the confusion that can result. ECT results in temporary loss of memory regarding events around the time of treatment but there is no evidence that ECT permanently impairs memory. ECT has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of mania.—Adapted from A Mood Apart by Peter C. Whybrow.

I'm sorry, you can't go home until you're better.