How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5109
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
50444359
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Although it is early in the diagnosis and treatment with medications

Resolved Question:

Although it is early in the diagnosis and treatment with medications I am already wondering about shock treatments for son's bipolar disorder. I would be very nervous in regards XXXXX XXXXX but I wonder how much success people have with this as far as long term relief from manic and depressive episodes. As I understand it you need to continue treatment permanently and I don't know if health care plans cover it. I must admit from looking at my son right now I am feeling extemely worried and hopeless.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, I want you to not be either too eager to opt for ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) right away or to be afraid of it either. You are clearly a loving and caring parent so you are already trying to consider options. That can be a good idea with Bipolar Disorder (BD). However, ECT is a second line treatment option. That means that it is considered only when medications are not doing the job. I would urge you to consider psychotherapy with a psychologist or psychotherapist who is experienced in BD to complement the medications. Therapy geared toward BD can be very effective. At the end of my answer I'll address this a little more.

ECT is an accepted and approved treatment for depressive symptoms and for bipolar disorder symptoms. And it has helped many people. The course of treatment is only 12 treatments maximum. Usually somewhere between 6-12. There is no "permanent" ECT treatment. It is a course of treatments up to 12 maximum. So, if anyone tells you differently, they are not correct, okay?

There are side effects of ECT that can occur. How often they occur is a matter of debate. The primary complaint is memory loss. This is what I hear the most in terms of complaints. I can't tell you what percentage of patients have this problem. Physicians who administer ECT can't say either, because there are no definitive studies.


But the side effect is something you have to consider and discuss with his doctor before agreeing to the treatment. Here are both the Mayo Clinic's entry and Harvard Medical School's. They are both pretty fair though they tend to downplay side effects:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/electroconvulsive-therapy/MY00129



http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/ect-therapy




There are two types of ECT, unilateral and bilateral. Bilateral has more side effects associated with it. Different doctors have their opinions about the efficacy of each. So keep this in your files to discuss this also with his doctor if ECT is considered. Here is the ect.org page on it:

http://www.ect.org/resources/fdapush.html


I think it is a matter of your own benefit vs. risk calculation. ECT today is not what the old movies portrayed. If the doctors decide it is the right treatment to pursue, the above sites will help you to get informed and make a decision.

Now for psychotherapy:

Your son will need to be working with someone who is using a CBT therapy that is modified especially for BD. In my practice, I use the resources with people with BD from Mary Ellen Copeland. I have found her work easy for people to use and easy to keep with him . The biggest problem is forgetting to keep to the plan when times are good and then something happens! Copeland also had BD and was hospitalized. She's a therapist and developed a BD treatment protocol called Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). First let me cite one of her books for you.


The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression by Mary Ellen Copeland. Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Depression-Workbook-Guide-Living-Second/dp/157224268X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284317815&sr=8-1-catcorr

Now here's a YouTube search I've put together on the WRAP program. I want you to look at the videos and see what you think:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=copeland+wrap&aq=f

The video with Mary Ellen is a bit strong but worthwhile. Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful look at the listing and see if they list BD or mood disorders as something they work with and perhaps if they accept a sliding fee if he needs the financial help though insurance should cover it.



http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:

http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

 

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5109
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education