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oliver

oliver: Life after ECT

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oliver

After 25 years of SSRI's then SNRI's then attempted suicide then Californian rocket fuel, and finally ECT

( that worked amazingly well) I have been normal and stable for 3 months, and depression is a distant thought

that I am fast forgetting. The psychiatrist (only seen once to check if its ok to drive) says I should stay on the 

Californian rocket fuel (45mg mirtazapine + 225mg venlafaxine + 7.5mg olanzapine) for 6-12 months to make

sure I don't relapse. But the doctors at the ECT treatment hospital were very matter-of-fact, and said that if I start

to relapse I can go back for a top-up!   Quite a few people do, as I met some there while having treatment. I have

had virtually no side effects from the ECT, so is it right that I have to continue taking these drugs when I feel so great!

OR am I deluding myself, and after the Re-boot, the Californian rocket fuel is actually keeping me sane?

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mammaP

Hi Oliver, welcome to SA. Your history looks similar to mine, many years of drugs and ECT!   Did you get off any off the drugs and have to go back on them?   Most of us here were told we needed drugs for a chemical imbalance in the brain when we had a 'relapse' . It has now been proven that this is not true but was made up by the drug companies to sell their drugs. 

When a drug is stopped or tapered too fast it results in withdrawal which is almost always blamed on mental illness.   

How long have you been taking the CRF combo?  Did you stop it for the ECT? 

It is never wise to stop drugs without very careful tapering, even when you are feeling great, doing so will inevitably lead to withdrawal which can be even worse than the condition that led to taking them. However, it  is good to start tapering when feeling stable, it is a long process and many people want to be off quite quickly but again that leads to withdrawal and going back on so it is well worth the time and patience to take it slowly and be off them for good.  

 

  We ask all our members to put their drug and tapering history on their signature. The link will take you directly to the signature box in settings. Just fill it in and click save. We need drugs and doses, with approximate start.stop dates. For the older ones just the drugs .  We need more accurate details for the last 2 years and particularly the last year. This will help us to advise whether to start tapering now or wait a while to be sure you are properly stabilised. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/settings/signature/   

 

Here are some topics that you will find interesting. 

Tapering California Rocket fuel

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/11689-about-going-off-mirtazapine-plus-venlafaxine-effexor-aka-california-rocket-fuel/

 

Withdrawal or relapse?

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14870-withdrawal-or-relapse-or-something-else/

 

Chemical imbalance myth

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/4291-again-chemical-imbalance-is-a-myth-stop-the-lies-please/

 

 

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nz11

Oliver how are you doing.

I would love to hear from you.

Any thoughts about tapering.

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oliver

Latest update:

A few weeks after my last post (late October 2017) I started to relapse.....I think it's because I started to worry about Christmas......yes I know, but I like to be organised!  By the way, I always worry about Christmas, always have... Anyway my family cancelled ALL present giving, ALL vouchers,  ALL cash- to by what you really want...... Well they were right, it gave me breathing time and did I need it!

Anyway I made an appointment and saw the psychiatrist 2 weeks later and said that I felt that I needed a top up. Well the spaces were limited, so I ended up waiting  another 3 weeks. The last week I spent in bed....trying to stay safe (from myself).

Twice a week until Christmas gave me 9 zaps, finishing on 20th December. I was 90% normal again.

I then had 1 zap a week for 5 weeks, which brings me up to now. (100%) The hospital said that if I want, I can have a maintenance zap every 2/3/4 weeks depending how I feel, so this is the plan.

It is ironic that I went downhill so fast before Christmas, and had to wait  5 weeks to start the ECT, whereas they now have extra funding and have doubled the number of people they can see!

In the meantime my psychiatrist has been advised by the Lead  psychiatrist at the hospital that I "could" come off Mirtazapine and switch to Lithium. .....Not sure about this as it involves regular blood tests to establish the correct dose, and then maintain it. I have a meeting next week, but am not going down that path at the moment.

The CBT treatment that I was told would help has not happened because of administration stuff! Well with the NHS under-funded would I expect anything different?

I am being persuaded by my spouse to do this:  Natural Depression Treatment program by Mark Tyrrell Co-founder Uncommon Knowledge.....Basically a self help...sort your thoughts out and get rid of depression for good....or at least if it works, keep it well under control for good. I am only up to session 3 out of 17, so a way to go yet. I found it on the internet, and it takes some time and concentration, but perhaps that's what I need....a bit of self time every day....It seems like an hour a day might be needed. (that's not much really, as I could have been dead for 9 months). It sort of brings it into focus when I say that!

So, I have to get up to speed again on the best way to balance the thoughts in my brain against the chemicals, but at least I know that should I need a top-up zap, they work for me.

Just a thought:

Why does it seem so difficult for me to focus on getting myself cured of my depression without drugs, when some people on this Earth want to be trained (old word-'brainwashed') into blowing themselves up?

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nz11

Oliver thanks for taking the time to do an update .

Do you think you'd like some help with tapering at this stage.

It would be great if you were to do a drug sig. 

Sorry you are still struggling. 

Don't let any of these doctors cold turkey you off any of these drugs they will all need to be slowly tapered in order to keep a reign on withdrawal symptoms which are often mistaken by doctors as 'd-pr-ss--n'

 

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Downbutnotout
8 hours ago, oliver said:

Latest update:

A few weeks after my last post (late October 2017) I started to relapse.....I think it's because I started to worry about Christmas......yes I know, but I like to be organised!  By the way, I always worry about Christmas, always have... Anyway my family cancelled ALL present giving, ALL vouchers,  ALL cash- to by what you really want...... Well they were right, it gave me breathing time and did I need it!

Anyway I made an appointment and saw the psychiatrist 2 weeks later and said that I felt that I needed a top up. Well the spaces were limited, so I ended up waiting  another 3 weeks. The last week I spent in bed....trying to stay safe (from myself).

Twice a week until Christmas gave me 9 zaps, finishing on 20th December. I was 90% normal again.

I then had 1 zap a week for 5 weeks, which brings me up to now. (100%) The hospital said that if I want, I can have a maintenance zap every 2/3/4 weeks depending how I feel, so this is the plan.

It is ironic that I went downhill so fast before Christmas, and had to wait  5 weeks to start the ECT, whereas they now have extra funding and have doubled the number of people they can see!

In the meantime my psychiatrist has been advised by the Lead  psychiatrist at the hospital that I "could" come off Mirtazapine and switch to Lithium. .....Not sure about this as it involves regular blood tests to establish the correct dose, and then maintain it. I have a meeting next week, but am not going down that path at the moment.

The CBT treatment that I was told would help has not happened because of administration stuff! Well with the NHS under-funded would I expect anything different?

I am being persuaded by my spouse to do this:  Natural Depression Treatment program by Mark Tyrrell Co-founder Uncommon Knowledge.....Basically a self help...sort your thoughts out and get rid of depression for good....or at least if it works, keep it well under control for good. I am only up to session 3 out of 17, so a way to go yet. I found it on the internet, and it takes some time and concentration, but perhaps that's what I need....a bit of self time every day....It seems like an hour a day might be needed. (that's not much really, as I could have been dead for 9 months). It sort of brings it into focus when I say that!

So, I have to get up to speed again on the best way to balance the thoughts in my brain against the chemicals, but at least I know that should I need a top-up zap, they work for me.

Just a thought:

Why does it seem so difficult for me to focus on getting myself cured of my depression without drugs, when some people on this Earth want to be trained (old word-'brainwashed') into blowing themselves up?

Ect works for you? Everyone else is so negative about it. 

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nz11
12 hours ago, oliver said:

now have extra funding and have doubled the number of people they can see!

Sounds like more and more people are being given  ECT. 

 

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oliver

Latest update 30th April 2018

I had zaps at once a fortnight for a couple of times, then a couple at three week intervals, and now at one month. ( I feel ok and perhaps five weeks might be fine, but it seems that every alteration should be done at a very gradual pace.)

Meanwhile I did not change from Mirtazapine to Lithium as my consultant psychiatrist had suggested.

BUT at the meeting about a month ago with my consultant psychiatrist (that my spouse was asked not to attend)???  she said that she wanted me to increase the Venlafaxine from 225mg to  300mg for two weeks and then to increase again to 375mg for two weeks, before decreasing the Mirtazapine from 45mg to 30mg.

BUT the actual prescription that I got from the pharmacist after  it was written out by my doctor was 375mg Venlafaxine and 30mg Mirtazapine ( in one go). Luckily I am getting my head back together, otherwise I would be very ill indeed!

In the meantime over the past six weeks my family clubbed together and have paid for some 'CBT', as the NHS haven't been able to give me any CBT in over a year of waiting. ( I know there's no funding........) Well it turns out that the person that has done the 'CBT' on me is not specifically trained in the usual CBT, but is in fact a 'life coach'. So I don't get the "softly softly" approach that might have suited me a year ago. I get the "well life goes on... let's get back on our feet again". I find this very helpful and am actually making decisions for myself. Like NOT taking the additional Venlafaxine and taking the reduced Mirtazapine.

I am now in the position where in a couple of days I will have to lie to the consultant psychiatrist and tell her I am taking the dose she says (LIE) and that I feel fine (TRUE), just to keep her on my side, as I want to get my driving licence back after she (through her ignorance of the regulations) stopped me driving while on maintenance ECT.

As it stands at the moment, I will probably space out the ECT to five ,then six week intervals, just in case I have a relapse. (This also keeps my name on the system). I have been looking at reducing the Venlafaxine and  Mirtazapine. The articles seem very confusing as what to reduce first. I think it says reduce the Venlafaxine first, but at 10% off each month, that will take two years or more. So it's going to be a long haul if I'm not going to suffer the withdrawal effects.

I had never met anyone with severe mental depression until I was diagnosed with it. So the way I see it, is in the way I have seen Alcoholics stories. It will be there, waiting in the background, ready to bite your bum. So arm yourself with all the knowledge and tools you can.....and protect yourself.

Remember this: THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE and TRUST NO ONE.............................  "Fox Mulder.......X Files"  

Yes,  I have my sense of humour back after over 18 months.

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