I have had 14 sessions of ECT, am diagnosed with PTSD primarily. I have suffered from depression, like yourself (and hate when people tell me I don’t need meds or a doctor and to just get over it). I was depressed to the point where I was in a catatonic state, the medications I was on for 8-9 years have very little effect on me, changes to them became taxing because I had tried so many (like yourself). I also struggle with ADHD, which wasn’t being treated because I lived in Vegas and every doctor is hesitant to prescribe stimulants for ADHD because of the major drug crisis there. I sat down one night and decided that a lobotomy was impossible and I needed something effective… ECT was the option next to TMS.
I highly recommend ECT, it helped me a lot. I continued taking the medication I was on and I began to break out of my depression slowly. I am one of the lucky people that did not suffer from long-term memory loss after ECT, but have met others that sadly have. This particular person told me that the benefits of ECT outweighed the memory loss; he was OK with it because he was able to live again.
The reason why I stopped ECT and didn’t progress to a full recovery was because my psychiatrist was not a part of the process, she was with the VA, I was receiving ECT at a local hospital and the management of ECT is up to you and your psychiatrist. I think ECT would have worked well for me if my psychiatrist at the time had more involvement. But the VA is inconsistent and I could not be seen as often as I should have been during ECT.
In summary, ECT will most likely help you. There are risks, and I had to consider those before I decided to do it, as you will too. The benefits of ECT are greater than the risk; and living with depression that is so crippling that you cannot function and all medication has failed is worse than not giving it a try. ECT is like a medication, you start slowly, unilateral, and you progress to bilateral; you may begin with one treatment a week and slowly increase. When you decide to start ECT, make sure your psychiatrist is on board with you 100% of the process, beginning to end, and he/she should also be following up with you to assess your mood/symptoms so that ECT/medications can be adjusted accordingly. It does help, it is done very safely and is very effective with extreme depression.
Good luck, if I don’t get a response. I hope that you try it because it is safe and the benefits definitely outweigh the risks.