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by Eugene Shattuck 4 years ago in depression
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Hello, sorry I’ve taken longer to write then I planned. Here is story number three. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for reading my other stories. Honestly I never thought I would get tips, I was just hoping to make some money off of reads. But people are actually tipping me, WOW! Thank you very much! This story is going to be part of a series I’m writing named “Stigma.” As I write my stories, I am trying to write them in different tones. This one is more of a personal/technical tone. I am trying to find out what genre and what tone people respond to the most favorably. Then once that is discovered, that's how I’ll write more often.

Today’s topic is stigma regrading depression.

Every three weeks, I go into the hospital for treatment of Bipolar depression. The treatment I receive is ECT, Electroconvulsive Therapy a.k.a. “shock therapy.” It really isn’t as bad as the name sounds. ECT is considered a very effective treatment in cases where the patient hasn’t responded well to medications and other factors. I encourage you to google “ECT" and read WebMd’s article about it. The side effects (for me normally) are muscle soreness and confusion, which usually go away after a few days. Since starting this treatment my emotional heath has significantly improved. I want you to understand I don’t just get depressed, like my cat dies and I’m sad. Thats not the depression I am talking about. What I’m talking about is depression that lasts for months, yes, months. It suffocates any enjoyment of life. It makes even the most basic of tasks a major, near impossible challenge. I haven’t gotten catatonically depressed. But I have been close to it. Then as the depression gets thicker, much like a dense fog, the voices come. This is when I tend to go to the hospital. Because the depression at this point is literally trying to kill me (suicidal ideation). But since starting ECT, I, gratefully haven’t experienced that level of depression.

This treatment became an option after another failed suicide attempt. I told the doctor “I cannot live another day being depressed.” After talking with the doctor, he had me watch a video about ECT. While watching this video, I felt something I hadn’t felt in a while. I felt hope. Saying this is kind of wired because I am a Christian, you know, the religion of hope. I ended up watching this video three more times. I couldn’t believe that there could be some kind of treatment for my depression. By this point I have tried a lot of different medications, talk therapy, and many different mindfulness treatments, all with very little success.

So this last week was an ECT treatment, the V. A. puts me up in a hotel for two nights. Because I won’t be able to drive for 24 hours after the procedure. The hotel they usually put my in is Extended Stay America. There is an elderly man in his 70s; he has been at this hotel for the last seven months. He and his wife are waiting to for their house to be built. I have told him, about why I am getting these treatments. Every time we talk he says the same thing: “Just think about something else, that won't make you sad.” Oh if only it were that simple. I respect this man, but he doesn’t get it. Depression and sadness are different from each other. In fact, for a person to be medically diagnosed with depression, according to the DSM-5, the depression has to last for at least two weeks and impede at least one area of life. Can you imagine experiencing depression every day and every night for two or more weeks with no relief? Next time you hear someone say they are depressed, remember the DSM-5's two weeks minimum. That person may have already been feeling that way for a while.


About the author

Eugene Shattuck

I'm a Bipolar Christian who has experienced judgments as if I'm sinning because I'm bipolar. Im working on a book regarding Christianity and Mental Health. I hope to help others that are like me and challenge the stigmas within the church.

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