Life After Depression: How I’ve Changed Since Shock Therapy

My life has changed since having electroconvulsive therapy

Maggie Kelly
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readOct 26, 2023

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a man’s head is emitting electric waves
image credit: Lexica

I was in a major depression for a long time. My mental health suffered tremendously. It was so bad that I was committed to the mental hospital after a particularly rough season. My brain wasn’t functioning. I was doing and saying crazy things that I don’t remember. I needed an intervention. We were introduced to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as shock therapy.

My family was terrified. They were initially resistant. But my sister came to the rescue with her research. She presented a clear case of why it was a good idea. Less than a month later, I lay on the hospital bed, ready to get my brain shocked. Here’s what's changed since that fateful day.

My depression is a goner. While getting ECT, my doctor came in every few sessions to check on my status. He asked routine questions about my depression and how I was feeling. It was around session 14 when he came in for another evaluation.

“How is your depression?”

I was honest.

“I don’t feel the heaviness anymore.” It was a miracle. ECT was a success. Once I was discharged, I got a good psychiatrist and therapist to help bridge the gap.

My therapist helped me develop coping mechanisms and continue to be an active participant. My psychiatrist helped me find a combination of medication to stabilize me. After ECT, I was still listless. I wasn’t depressed, but I didn’t have a lot of energy either. It took a few months of work before I started feeling the effects.

I felt lighter and happier than I had been in a long time.

two identical females facing each other
Image credit: Lexica

Dissociation is a thing of the past. Every person feels dissociation to a certain degree — that’s what your imagination does. Before ECT, dissociation was a regular occurrence for me. I felt stuck in a constant state of dissociation. I looked around my life, and it felt like I was living in a black-and-white movie.

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Maggie Kelly
Human Parts

Maggie Kelly is a ghostwriter who writes about mental health and personal development. https://mindfulmillennialbusinesswomen.com/