Ernie:
It is the Christmas season. A lady came in riding a mobile piano, one on wheels, playing Christmas carols whether we wanted to hear them or not. What she did to "Silent Night" was cruel. She tried to push the piano into my room. I held the door closed with all my might. If people in hospitals only knew you must not foist inferior performers on the helpless. Joan came into my room and made a comment defending the idea and "holiday spirit".
Ernie:
After the ECT therapy (thirteen treatments) I had a few setbacks including two manic episodes. During that time I was part of an out patient group, I was forced to retire early losing my full pension benefits. I had worked for the department of Welfare for 27 years. I was given a party and a gold watch. I don't think my co-workers knew what to say to me. My battle with this illness is an ongoing struggle. I guess this is a disease that you learn to manage day to day.
E.C.T

Ernie 1997
They have moved me into the older adult unit. I sit with 80 and 90 year-olds, many suffering from dementia that can't walk or speak and a few who are drooling. We are all candidates for ECT. At 60 I don't belong here. Tonight they have us sitting watching Laurence Welk reruns one after the other. I have never liked Laurence Welk and still don't. I chalk this experience up to penance for having depression. Joan found me in bed facing the wall. The nurses tell Joan that I am not involving myself enough.

I have had my first three treatments. The doctor seems optimistic. I am trying to remember as much as I can. I feel no different, just as exhausted and my head hurts. Everything seems a blur.
The Depths of Depression
by Jeanine Pohlhaus
foto8


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