March is known as women’s month, but I would like to make an enlightenment of an illness that nearly took my life: Malignant Catatonia.
Malignant catatonia (MC) is a life-threatening manifestation which can occur in the setting of an underlying neuropsychiatric syndrome or general medical illness and shares clinical and pathophysiological features and medical comorbidities with the Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS).
Malignant catatonia (MC) is also known as ‘lethal catatonia‘ and the most severe manifestation within the spectrum of catatonic syndromes. immobility, rigidity, mutism, posturing, excessive motor activity, stupor, negativism, staring, and echolalia. Catatonia is defined as immobility, rigidity, mutism, posturing, excessive motor activity, stupor, negativism, staring, and echolalia. MC includes behavioral changes, movement disturbances and autonomic dysregulation.
I can’t remember much until they removed my intubation and I was on my 9th or 10th ECT. My hospitalization was from October 22nd to December 9th. Didn’t get to vote nor celebrate Thanksgiving at my home. I didn’t even know what ECT meant until I was transferred to PPI for my 13th and 14th ECT. I ended up having a total of 14 ECTs, which stands for electroconvulsive therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy is very controversial in certain places, but I have to say without those ECTs, I would not be back to my normal self. ECT is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions.
What are the risks & benefits of an ECT?
- The American Psychiatric Society (APA) has established clear guidelines for ECT use.
- ECT is considered safe for pregnant women, adolescents, and older people.
- Positive results can be seen in as few as one to two ECT treatments.
- Around 100,000 people a year receive ECT in the U.S.
- Symptoms improve in 70 to 90 percent of patients.
- There is no reliable evidence of long-term harmful effects.
When the PROs outweigh the CONS, you should know which side to take, or do you?
Go with the PRO….but educate, educate, EDUCATE yourself!
Some key messages to take away about Malignant Catatonia & ECTs:
- ECT, formerly called electroshock therapy, has been used to treat several psychiatric conditions since 1938.Here are some educational tools that you can utilize to address immunization awareness:
- However, not everyone responds well to drug therapy, and with improved treatment procedures and better management of side effects, ECT can now be an effective treatment with a high safety record.
- If you can see when your mental starts to shift, you become more rigid, etc. Advocate for yourself as you might be in the early stages of malignant catatonia.