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ECT treatment

Community Member


 I had 12 rounds of ECT two years ago, and my memory from those days onwards has been horrendous.  I was just wondering if anyone has had any good or bad experiences with the treatment.

[Mod note: we've pinned this thread to the top of the Treatments section, as we have regular inquiries from members about ECT. Other threads detailing members' experiences with ECT are linked to below:

Tired of being depressed now - looking at ECT?

ECT - my experience

My wife has just had ECT - what is the recovery time?

Updated: impending ECT treatment

51 Replies 51

Community Member

Hi there kitkatsoppy

Firstly welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for providing your post.  Secondly I can't agree with you on your name - I have a little bit of a love affair with kit kats - so I can't say that they're soppy - my version would be rather:  kitkatdelicious  🙂

Anyway, that's enough of my rambling - sorry about that.

That sure doesn't sound a very good experience for you with this kind of treatment.  I'm not quite sure whether any of the regular posters here have undergone ect treatment - however, only a month or so ago, we had a poster who provided a very positive experience from her ect treatment.

If I could suggest that up the top of the page, just above the heading of:  "Make A Donation", there is a box with a search facility in there.  I ran a quick check a short while ago, and I think her post was the first one that came up under the search of  ect.

And if not, you'll get quite a listing of previous messages about this topic.

That's not to say that someone reading now, might well come on and chat about it - but hey, some good reading for you in the meantime.

Kind regards



Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Kitkatsoppy,

I underwent ECT almost 4 months ago. I had 7 sessions and decided to stop after that because I found the memory loss contributed to my problems. I have about 6 months of memory missing from prior to the treatments. My Psychiatrist at the time said that I should slowly regain that memory, but it still hasn't come back. The saddest part is that I did so many things during that time and every now and then I see evidence of those things and I have to check in with my partner if they really happened.

I see photos of our trip to Europe back in January and it's like I'm looking at another version of me because I have no memory of being there. I also received an ambulance bill a few weeks back and rang my partner to check if I went in an ambulance back in February, only to discover that I'd made an attempt on my life. It hurts not knowing because I have no idea how my partner felt at that time. 

I'm yet to speak to anyone that hasn't had memory loss from ECT, however that's not to say that some people aren't affected. I certainly didn't get any positive results from the treatment but again they wouldn't be offering it if there was no evidence to support the results it can achieve in some people.

Not sure if you're continuing with the treatment or if you have heard about a new treatment called TMS? It's less invasive so if you're toying with treatment options it might be something to raise with your Dr or Psychiatrist.

Best of Luck!!


Community Member

July 11

I underwent 15 rounds of ECT this year, the last one in May. I wish I had not gone through with it, but as an involuntary patient I likely had no choice.  For the first few weeks after the last one I felt almost high then I crashed and became depressed to the point I was hallucinating (never happened before). How I managed to stay out of hospital then I don't know but then I may have been admitted and not remembered.. I have a faint recollection of an ambulance bill I would have sent to my insurance company. If that's real or imagined I don't know. when I was discharged my mum was overseas and my daughter never home so I had to try and take care of things myself.

That wasn't the worst side effect .. the memory loss was (or should I say is because although my memory has improved its still not as good as it should be). I forgot to feed my dog the first few days I was home (the dog now steals food when he never did before). I open my wardrobe and see clothes I don't recall buying, an MP3 player I don't recall buying and countess conversations I don't recall. these are ongoing and it irritates the people around me making me feel completely stupid and angry at myself.

Hi annakonda071,

After I got my ECT treatment, my memory of the four months that I was in the ward then is basically non-existent.  However, my memory has gotten better, but I would say that it is still bad, particularly with names.


I just guess I have to keep going on with all the treatment that I am receiving at the moment.

Hi all again,

 It has been just over 2 years that I got ECT treatment.  My short term memory is just about non-existent (i.e. if I tell someone something I usually have to ask the person if I told them something or not). 

Also, I went to a board games night that is here in my city.  However, my brain function feels so slow that it takes a very long time to learn how to play a new board game. I honestly can't say if it has been the result of being on 6 different medications a day, or if it was because of the ECT treatment, but part of my long term memory is gone, as well as a lot of short term memory. 

Then again, I guess that I am still alive, and theres a lot of people worse off than me.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi There,

Have you spoken with your Psychiatrist about your concerns with your memory? It could be either or, the medication or the ECT, but it would benefit them to know, and I'd be interested to get their perspective. My Psychiatrist was completely against the idea that the ECT would have impacted my memory - so eventually I switched Dr's.


Hi - I saw my psychiatrist, and they said that nothing else was working - so they did ECT on me.  I found out that it was my family plus the psychs decision to get the ECT done.  i dont remember getting permission to do it - maybe I got talked into it but i dont know.

 My memory is still patchy everywhere..i "guess" im better now. apparently.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi K,

Have you thought about getting a second opinion? I've found with Psychiatrists they tend to have one area that they specialise in. For instance the Psych who did the ECT specialised in this, and that's why he was all for me getting it done. I now see a Psychiatrist who is more into talking therapy. I feel so much more comfortable with her, and I've come a long way since being under her care.

If you don't feel comfortable with your current Psych then I would suggest getting a referral to someone else. You can even get your current Psych to refer you on.

It's such a shame about the memory. I've found that with some things if someone tells me about something that's happened that I didn't previously remember then the memory comes back to me, even if just vaguely. There's still a lot missing, but I've come to accept that it may never come back and I'm better off focusing on making new memories rather than what memories I've lost.




Community Member

hi guys,

i am wondering if anybody has had positive experience with ECT. My new psychiatrist has recommended a bout of it over 4-8 weeks or 10-12 hits. I am being torn about it. The reason he wants to do it is because i have had 5 admissions n countless med changes during the past 13 mths. I would really love 2 hear from any1.