Ernie 4/1997:
I am no better. It is difficult to write, my hands shake. there is still pain and the blackness of not being able to see any future or remember a time when I did not feel this way. My dog is afraid of me and acts like he does not know me. Joan is home full time. She can not work and be here with me. She left her job teaching. Doctors are concerned and want me to return to Philhaven. They are discussing me undergoing ECT. for this I must be admitted again. This I cannot imagine.
It seems I am not making progress. Doctor N. has encouraged me as a good candidtae for Electro Convulsive Therapy. I think they are giving up on me. All the combinations of medications are not helping. I am truly nervous. I cannot fathom losing my memory. They showed us a video about ECT. It was ridiculous. We are all very confused.

Joan and Jen are in to visit me each day and stay as long as they are permitted. It is so embarrassing, they must enter through locked doors and be checked for sharp objects before seeing me.

Yesterday Joan was very worried that I had not showered and changed my clothes, so I got in the shower but could not remember the procedure. Jen stood guard watching for the nurse while Joan took a shower with me in my room. I don't want them to break the rules here. Joan and Jen don't seem to care what the nurses think.

I am in my home. I resist my schedule and head for the only safe place these days, my bed. I cannot eat much of anything, nothing tastes good. I can't read or watch TV. Some of the medication makes my vision blurry and causes my hands to shake. Concentration is nowhere. It is evident that some of the side effects of the medication resemble symptoms of the illness. They say I should be feeling significantly better in future days.
The Depths of Depression
by Jeanine Pohlhaus

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