I am just going to come right out and say it. I have been trying to be clever, a Queen Esther toward her King and Hamon, on behalf of the people she loved. (Yes. I am Queen Esther in this story. You can play her in another one. Maybe tomorrow.) I have been talking about treatment options for brain health and it is just not going where I was trying to take us – ECT.
ECT, my friends. Electroconvulsive Therapy. Many people see this as an extreme option for the dire, filtered out treatment failures. That is an ugly description but I believe pretty close to what we have culturally got. Many of you have told us how you escaped receiving electrically induced convulsions. You hid from the boogie man and lived to tell us. (There are chemically induced convulsions but we have more control of the convulsions through electricity, so that is the standard of care.) Others have testified that it destroyed them with a catalog of specific and nonspecific complaints.
Interestingly we have not heard from you who have received ECT.
Come out, come out wherever you are.
Stigma perhaps hides you, and we can understand why. Stigma toward ECT is like stigma toward anything – pretty off topic and hurtful. Although it is improved by education and empathy, it is not fun challenging it “alone.”
Tonight I am not going to talk about the pros and cons of ECT, but to say that you are not alone. You who are in treatment or have been in treatment or are considering ECT – would you tell us what you know, personal or impersonal? There are many of us who would benefit from your education and empathy.
(What would that do to stigma? What would that do for us?)
It would be wonderful to hear questions any of you have, as well, and anything related to ECT that you would like to share. Please tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip – Consider the barrier stigma plays in your willingness to receive treatment and to connect with others.