[Editor’s Note: The following post is a submission. If you are interested in submitting, read till the end.]
Bone-crushing electroshock treatment number sixty-seven
Yes, you read that right. That is the treatment number I am on as of Monday, 8 May. On Friday, I will receive number sixty-eight. I don’t have a problem with it and neither should you. It is necessary for my mental health treatment. Without the ECT, I am not functional. I was having a psychotic depression before I had the last round of treatments.
No, they do not feel good. Yes, they hurt. Yes, I get nauseous. I do not take this lightly. I have tried many things to improve my mental health, and I am not ready to take this option out of my mental health toolbox. I am an advocate of informed consent, and I am fully aware of what happens every time my brain is zapped by a large jolt of electricity. I know about pain, I know memory loss is almost inescapable. I know about nausea. But hey, fuck it, I would rather be alive. I am able to live an almost normal life because of this treatment. I can go to the grocery store and buy things. I can paint. I can do chores. I can be a full partner to my wife and a friend to those who claim me.
So, no, I do not want to outlaw this medical procedure. I think it has its purpose. When I see young adults who have intellectual disabilities get this treatment before me, yes, I do pause. However, I know that it has benefit. Those parents of people with disabilities that receive the same treatment I do must feel as if they have no other choice. I know I feel like I have no other choice. I like living, I like life. I want to be able to get along without them, but when medications no longer work, gimme the electroshock. EVERY FUCKING TIME.
I know I was suicidal. I know I lied about it. I need ECT in order to live a somewhat productive life. Fact. If my Wife must get me committed to a mental institution in order for me to receive that treatment, so be it. It is better that I live than commit suicide. She is glad she got me help. I am still alive. I might not be, had she not gotten me help. I am lucky that my psychiatrist cares enough to perform this treatment, and has the medical training to do so.
It might be bone-crunching, and feel like being hit in the head with a hammer, but I am alive. I am resilient. I am a warrior. Fuck you.
words & art by Wm. Andrew Turman
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