AfterShocks (…Smile) From our ECT Series

Reference cat

I am hoping to get a running stream of references for those interested in finding out more about ECT.  To start, some are:

  1. As relayed in our last blog post, check out Mayo Clinic
  2. Kitty Dukakis: Shock Therapy Saved My Life – ABC News on
  3. Kitty Dukakis And ECT – CBS News Video
  4. Kitty Dukakis And ECT video – CNET TV
  5. Katherine Kitty Dukakis on ECT | Psych Central
  6. Kitty Dukakis & Shock Therapy | World of Psychology
  7. Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy – Amazon …
  8. Kitty Dukakis Backs ECT for Depression : NPR
  9. Scientific Articles on Neurogenisis From ECT as described on PubMed
  10. Mortality Rate From ECT
  11. University of Maryland describes their understanding of ECT as a treatment option for Bipolar Mood Disorder and Depression
  12. Currently under research at Duke University, “Not-So-Deep Brain Stimulation:  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
  13. I also really love the 1st hand words from    Here is one of her excellent statements – “No one really knows how ECT works. For the longest time everyone just said it “rebooted” the brain. Hardly scientific. What we now know is that ECT creates neurogenesis, in other words, neuron growth. And this is needed because long term depression kills brain cells and shrinks the brain. (Antidepressants also induce neurogenesis, FYI.) So ECT is able to make connections in the brain that weren’t previously there, and it makes them very, very quickly compared to any other method.”  She has done her research.
  14. Also, enjoy reading The Bipolar Badger who is going to be writing more on his experience with ECT this week (he’s promised).  The Badger says, “there is very little positive or objective is more like it out there on the interwebs. While I do not expect every post out there to be positive as not everyone has a great experience with ECT. It as important to mention positive outcomes as well.”
If you know of more, please tell us!
Be a friend to yourself.  🙂





12 thoughts on “AfterShocks (…Smile) From our ECT Series

  1. Is neurogenesis faster or greater in either ECT vs antidepressants or about the same. Very concerning that depression kills brain cells. These facts make the topic much more interesting now.


    • Awesome question M.
      I don’t know how to answer that except obliquely through the stats of efficacy of these different therapies.
      Psychotropic medications have their percentages of efficacy depending on which disease and which course of therapy they are used for, as does ECT. However, across the text of disease spectrums ECT is used for, including major depressive disorder, it is consistently more effective for achieving treatment response than are psychotropics. The amount of improved efficacy often startles us. Statistically. Individually we are not “statistics,” of course.
      This is, in so many words, a way of saying, without giving data on a cellular level, that neurogenesis is greater in ECT than in psychotripics. Thanks for asking this poignant question.


  2. Just a fleeting thought. Have become modestly computer literate only a few years ago. But because of the net I have no need for the reference books on that shelf. Had Time and US News subs 45 years and let them expire.


  3. Dukakis’ book was what made me make a final and definitive decision about ECT. The chapter on her memory loss after her treatments – not being able to find her husband’s office, not remembering their anniversary trip to Paris – convinced me that there was nothing in the world worth my losing the memories of my granddaughter’s birth, my aunt’s incredibly spiritual death, anything about the special times with my husband and children. Perhaps my illness was not severe enough at the time. Maybe, had it been, I might have been talked into ETC but my husband had also witnessed them being administered 50 years ago when he was working in a hospital as a grad student, and he could not get that memory out of his head. Knowing it is a much better
    procedure now didn’t make him any more willing to see me go through it. Fear may be the wrong thing on which to base a decision in friending one’s self, but it sure was a strong enough one for me.


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