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Uncle in psychiatric hospital. Electric shock treatment

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
My uncle is very ill in psychiatric hospital. I went to see him with my mum last monday (he's her eldest brother); he looked skeletal because he's not been eating... Found out today that he was 6 stone when we saw him last week, and that was after having put on 6 pounds.

Basically, since last summer he's being going down hill mentally. When he was a teenager he was diagnosed with scitsophrinia (sorry can't spell it). However after being on medicine for it for not very long he stopped taking it and discharged himself from hospital appointments (with the backing of his parents), as they seemed to be supressing his personality and abiltys with certain things. He's always been somewhat of a genius, especially with music and maths; but he's never held down a job for longer than a few weeks (maybe a few months when he was a younger man) and has been a drug user all of his life from being in his late teens. I don't think there is anything he hasn't tried and he chain-smoked pot for months on end. He always said that he was self medicating.

Anyway... So maybe a year or two ago he gave up drugs (I believe)... I don't know if this had an affect on his mental state or not because he appeared just as normal (well normal for my uncle) for quite a few months.
Then he's gradually been getting worse since August time. He ended up in hospital when he stabbed himself with a knife. He was put on some kind of medication; but I know he was having a problem taking it because of paranoia. Then he gradually stopped eating.
About 3 or 4 weeks ago his psychiatrist managed to persuade him to go into hospital as an in-patient.

Anyway. Today I found out that he's now been sectioned and had electric shock treatment. He'd stopped drinking as well as eating. And my mum spoke to his doctor who did think he was going to die (because of the weight-loss).

I just needed to vent really. I found out before going to work today and went and sat in my managers' office and just burst into tears. :(

I don't know much about the electric shock treatment either, and it sounds really scary. Does anyone know how it works and stuff?

Comments

  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 I am one with The Mix
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I really want to say something that will be of comfort but can't think of anything. Just that I would find out as much as I can about it as possible. When I was in hospital an older patient was going to have the treatment and I remember being disturbed by the idea. For me it conjures up images of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest but from what I read about it in the leaflet it isn't like that anymore. Still an extreme procedure but hopefully when you find out more about what it entails it won't be as upsetting.

    I hope your uncle feels better soon. Take care
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the link JsT. And thanks Rachael for the reply.

    I just had these images of my head of him being all scared and confused and upset about it all.
    When I saw him he looked so animal, the slightest noise and he was on full-alert... I don't think he trusts anything or anyone so the fact they've had to section him and he probably didn't have much choice in having the procedure made me feel really bad for him.

    I still don't get how it works though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lu_C wrote: »
    I don't know much about the electric shock treatment either, and it sounds really scary. Does anyone know how it works and stuff?

    An electrode is placed on the head (both sides I think) to induce seizures. It used to mean tying the patient down to avoid broken bones (like in one flew over the cuckoos nest), thankfully now they use muscle relaxants so the patient barely moves. Its not as scary as it sounds, and it should be painless.

    Even the professionals have no idea how it works, hence it being one of the most controversial treatments around and is generally only used in cases where other treatments have failed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can find all kinds of horror stories about ECT if you want to but most of them refer to how it was done decades ago rather than the modern day ECT. I've read some very positive reports from people who've had it done even though it seems to get a bit of a unfair press.

    *hugs*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for all the replies. Will have a look at the link.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Seems like there are more negatives than positives surrounding it.

    But I guess the point is that he'd be suffering a lot without it, so if he suffers with it it's not really much different.

    I still don't like the idea of it though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There is a short bit about EST in the Stephen Fry programme The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. Its explains that in the past it did have a bad reputation. It was really informative though, dispelling some of the myths.

    I dont know if you can watch the TV programme on BBCi Player, if not their are loads of clips on YouTube.

    :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lu_C wrote: »
    Seems like there are more negatives than positives surrounding it.
    Bear in mind though that people speak out about bad experiences way more than they do good ones.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    Bear in mind though that people speak out about bad experiences way more than they do good ones.


    Yep. So I wouldn't read personal experiances. Also what works for some doesn't for others, it's an individual thing. Hopefully it does help your uncle :)
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