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Down Syndrome adult bipolar electric shock therapy


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Old 08-16-2017, 04:31 AM   #1
dianec
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Down Syndrome adult bipolar electric shock therapy

My 47 year old son has been diagnosed with servere depression and failure to thrive. His psychologist want to use electric shoke therapy. I understand it will help with the depression. My concern is that up to 90 days ago he was fairly independent and high functioning. Now he is not at all. after the treatment will he again be high functioning or will he just not be depressed but low functioning. What has been others experiences.Thank you

 
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:32 AM   #2
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Re: Down Syndrome adult bipolar electric shoke therapy

Dear diane,

I know all of this is so confusing and disheartening to you. I'm so sorry for both of you. I had a dear friend that was given many shock treatments because her husband didn't want to deal with her choices, until her whole personality disappeared. All she ever wanted was a normal life and to be accepted.

A high functioning and intelligent person can lose heart and will to live. Depressing things do happen in life. Are you actually involved with your son. Excuse me for asking. I just don't know what kind of relationship you have with him.

PLEASE if possible refuse to allow shock treatment. It indiscriminately destroys parts of the brain. It does not resolve depression or sadness. Rather it makes it harder or even impossible to reason. Your son already has enough handicap that way. I'm sure he does get sad and angry. That often is diagnosed as 'bi-polar'.

Your son is an adult now, so what does he want? Rather than a psychiatrist, I would get my adult son to a good mental health therapist that will talk with him and learn what his frustrations are, and teach him coping skills, and show acceptance for who he is. He knows he is 'different'. That can really distress an intelligent person. Well, fact is, we are all 'different'. I am different due to disfigurement from an accident many years ago. While we are 'different', we all are still much the same, with hopes and dreams.

Can you tap in to what his hopes and dreams are and help him discover what is in his reach? Or is he completely institutionalized? Doing what I am capable of doing and letting go of what I am not capable of doing is what gets me through the day.
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Last edited by YaYagirl; 08-16-2017 at 07:41 AM.

 
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: Down Syndrome adult bipolar electric shoke therapy

My son has always lived with his father and me. My husband passed away 5 years ago. Three years ago I moved and added onto my sister and brother in law in a nice warm state. We have a great support system. My son thinks electric shock therapy is a former of torture so if it's the last result he will have to be told he's going to the hospital for a treatment and be sedated before any prep. I just worry about the quality of life afterwards if he doesn't regain his normal high function abilities. If something ,meds or the treatments don't work, he may only have weeks to live. He's only eating around 4 oz. of soft food a day and drinking 4 to 6 oz. of fluid a day. In the last 90 days he's lost 50 pounds.

 
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: Down Syndrome adult bipolar electric shoke therapy

I'm not a doctor but I think YaYagirl is right. Electric shock therapy will not help and may make things worse. My son is 24 and has downs, autism, is non-verbal and is at a 3-5 year old level. For most of his life he's been on many medications- Zyprexa, Abilify, etc. to help with occasional bouts of aggression and insomnia but now he suffers from the side effects of these meds- tardive dyskinesia and dysphagia (trouble swallowing) especially liquids which could lead to having to use a feeding tube which I know he will not tolerate. I cried for weeks as I felt guilty for giving him these medications that caused these side effects that may be permanent. Three months ago I stopped all antipsychotic medications in hopes that especially the trouble swallowing (which has caused aspiration pneumonia many times) would go away and now we are waiting for an appt for swallow therapy and I pray it will help. We have battled these problems many, many times- stopped meds 6 months to almost a year until he started hitting caregivers at his school or day program- then they would ask me to put him back on meds, and I did. Gone through this many times but No More. I will not let caregivers persuade me to put him back on meds anymore. He is my only child and I love him with all of my heart. He is not a violent person that needs to be medicated, he has sensory issues that can be addressed with ABA- Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy.
In the past we've had "in home" Behavior Modification Therapy which has really helped me in recognizing the triggers and how to/or not to respond. Check with your Regional Center Worker for more info on programs or therapies for your son- I'm in California which has many great benefits for the disabled. My son LOVED the interaction with his therapist and I learned a lot about his behaviors and what to do or not do.
My son is actually doing really well without meds now, he still has an occasional minor aggression outburst but will snap out of it pretty quickly if he is not pressured. Usually there is a "trigger" for his lashing out- someone else yelling/crying/being aggressive or loud noises/loud environment (he has sensory issues) but if left alone for a bit (or if the other offending item is removed/discontinued) he will go back to his happy go lucky self who loves to give hugs and he gives them more since he's not doped up anymore. We no longer see his Psychiatrist as she had him try 10 different meds in the past year which contributed to the dysphagia and made it worse.

I don't know your son, you know him best and you- only you, must decide on what is best for him. Do not let others persuade you. Always look at all possible side effects of any prescriptions or procedures.
Your son may be frustrated and depressed that he is unable to do things on his own. I know my son gets frustrated and depressed too as even though he's in the more severe end of downs/autism, is non-verbal and needs 24 hour protective supervision and care- he still has feelings and I know he longs for a friend, interaction with others and being active (he loves bouncing a ball and is really good at it) loves basketball, music and riding our tandem adult tricycle and still loves watching the Wiggles. Try to find things that your son loves to help him enjoy life and have fun with him too. That may be the best prescription!

 
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:20 AM   #5
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Re: Down Syndrome adult bipolar electric shoke therapy

Dear diane,

Aren't you also suffering from depression and fear for your son? We are here for you to support you through this, mom. You need some mental and emotional support. Having a handicapped child (esp. an adult child) is extreme pressure and can be very confusing at times. If you will discuss and talk about your fears with us and be cheerful and hopeful around your son, that's the best medicine for him. That he eats at all indicates that he does want to be alive. It's just that he is very down or angry about something you don't know about yet.

Hon, people can become extremely skinny and still do not die from it. Starvation is an extremely slow process to die from. He won't disappear in weeks or months. Body weight is not a measurement of how long a person will live. He is eating something because he is hungry. So, he isn't really killing himself. I know this is scary. But you must not allow this situation to manipulate your emotions or thoughts. He does not require shock treatment to start eating. It doesn't MAKE anyone eat. It destroys brain cells to the person loses the capacity to think. I'm sure you don't want him to become like a mindless zombie.

Please hon, have a normal relationship with him. We cannot make people do things. Don't treat him as if he is a disease that needs to be managed. Take this as encouragement...this is not in any way a judgement on you...but people usually stop responding to us when they feel they have no control or choice. It's just human to do that.

Internally he may be throwing a tantrum out of frustration. I would assume he is upset about something he doesn't want to admit or talk about. He is an adult and he has a right to not talk about it. Or to not eat much if he so chooses. It's mom's job to agree with him that he can choose to eat or not. Then as scary as it is to you, get your support here, and don't try to get him to eat

While you can't force your son to eat, you can be proactive and interact with him as you would any 'normal' person. Rather than to focus on food (which can't be forced on him), you can emotionally disengage from this (and for your sanity, you must disengage emotionally) and you can be cheerful, and eat your favorite things in front of him and make a big deal about how good it tastes, etc. (don't offer to share it). Then clean up after the meal and act normal. You don't feel normal right now, but being mom you can act like it. We do this when our babies and little ones are crying, refusing to sleep or eat. You can do this now!

Buy and/or make milkshakes, favorite foods etc. and just say this for you, and leave it where he can see it. Don't try to make him eat it or want it...if it needs thrown out, so be it. Trust the fact that his body does want it. Mental illness does not stop normal body functions. He is sad or angry or both about living right now.

Does he have access to a computer? If so, it's very probable that he tried to have or had an online girlfriend and was spurned or blocked. That kind of depression does not come out of no where. In a chatty way, you could ask him if he has or ever had a girlfriend.

In most communities there are day care groups for mentally and physically challenged people. Mom needs a break from this and son needs a break from mom and home. You don't need permission or a psychiatrist to involve him in a day group. People that are not emotionally involved can handle the situation easier than mom. We are usually too close to the situation to be able to step back and be totally objective. I think that's why you came here, right?

Well, we are here for you. Please let us give you support and ideas.

Love,
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Last edited by YaYagirl; 08-17-2017 at 08:27 AM.

 
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:23 PM   #6
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Re: Down Syndrome adult bipolar electric shock therapy

I don't have any experience with electric shock therapy, but I do have a child with DS.
Get a second opinion before you do anything so drastic. He probably is upset about something if he was fine just a few months ago. You need to find out what he is upset about one way or another. He sounds like a sensitive individual.
I know people with DS don't adapt well to change, has he had some changes in the last year? Or when did you start noticing the depression for the first time?
Was it after his dad died or after you moved?
Maybe he needs something to connect him to his old life. What you could do is go to a therapist with him, but ask about ways that you could give him connections to what he used to know.
I would try to find a therapist that has training with special needs individuals, even if you have to travel further away.
I agree with YaYa. You can't force anyone to eat, just offer high calorie foods, and not make a big issue about the eating. Its the one of the few things he can control in his life.
Wishing you the best, Kande

 
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