Since 2016, I have received Electroconvulsive Therapy, also known as shock therapy or electroshock therapy, and made famous in the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
One does an index series of treatments, thrice a week for a week or so, then backs down to once a week, then every other week, and so forth, until one receives treatments every 1-2 months, ideally every 6 weeks.
I’ve spaced out my treatments more than this, mainly because I’ve grown to dread treatments, though I’ve come up with some ways to handle Treatment Day. The point is, the last time I showed up for a treatment, it had been about 3 months since my previous treatment, and the psychiatrist said something along the lines of – “there’s no evidence to support treatment spread this far out. If you’re doing ok, it’s probably unrelated to ECT, at this point.”
So, I can quit ECT, and I probably won’t do any worse than I am now? Deal!
Well, I asked the nurses (who are more approachable than the head shrink, himself), and they said that generally when someone quits ECT, they lose touch with them – they have no idea if they are doing fine without treatments, or committed suicide week one without treatment. So. We’re “off literature,” here.
No one really knows what to expect when one quits electroconvulsive therapy.
There’s no evidence to support the wisdom or foolishness of quitting treatment. We’re off the beaten path, in every sense of the words.
As of Wednesday of this week, Feb 24th, I skipped my 6-week-interval treatment. I’m going to see what life is like without occasional doctor-issued seizures, which I’ve enjoyed for several years, now.
I figure I should record this, aberrant however it may be, so that we have at least mildly, somewhat-improved data on what happens when one quits ECT. Can one, effectively, improve one’s quality of life such that one no longer needs ECT?
My hypothesis is, yes. Yes, one can improve one’s lifestyle in many ways that equate to no longer needing electroconvulsive therapy, shock treatment, or whatever one chooses to call it.
So. I quit. And I’ll track the path, however it turns out, here.