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Suffering from schizophrenia, suicidal tendency. Taking medication, not reduced, prescribed ECT. How to proceed further?

hi doctor.,i am ms.Nithya from chenna - india..My Mom is suffering from Schizophrenia . she is getting sucide thoughts in recent months. She says that she is hearing voice which is forcing her to commit sucide. We have been regularly consulting the local doctor and taking medications regularly (for past three months). yet the symptoms had not reduced. she had attempted suicide twice and now doctor had prescribed to undergo ECT therapy (shock treatment).. My mom had been treated for the same illness nearly a decade back where the doctor had prescribed the same medication what he had given now and she got cured effectively in those times. whereas the pills doesn't seem effective now. Is there we can change the medication., kindly suggest us how to proceed further. Note Currently her age is 55 yrs ..
Asked On : Mon, 25 Mar 2013
Answers:  3 Views:  43
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Dec 2014
Welcome to HCM

Suicidal thoughts in a patient of Schizophrenia should not be taken lightly. She is getting Command Hallucinations to commit suicide and even she has tried three times. If she is not getting relief from medicines then best way is to go for ECT. Electro convulsive therapy is in fact the treatment of choice in suicidal ideation. Don't waste your time, ECT is a very safe procedure, it is even safer than medicines used in Schizophrenia. It has been labelled as a stigma by movies and media but it is not like they show in movies. In ECT your mother will be anesthetized and then by electrical current artificial seizure will be produced. It has very high effectiveness. I will advise you to go for it if she is deemed fit by anesthesia for ECT.

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi
Answered: Mon, 25 Mar 2013
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Psychiatrist Dr. Srinivasa S.R.R.Y.'s  Response
Welcome to Health Care Magic
Suicide is a psychiatric emergency. The treatment of choice is ECTs. Already your mother has attempted suicide twice and she luckily escaped. There is a very high risk that she would attempt one time again. Also she is hearing voices commanding her to commit suicide. This means that she is in very high risk. Electro convulsive therapy or ECT is a very safe and effective procedure. There is a lot of misconception about ECT and media played a significant role in this. In the current situation ECT is the treatment of choice. Without any hesitation ECT treatment can be opted. Anaesthetic check up and fitness procedures can be taken up as a formality. Already your doctor has given a sufficient trial of medication i.e. for 3months. Clozapine is another option that can be tried. But ECTs give an early response. I would prefer that she goes for ECTS.
Thanks and regards
Answered: Thu, 9 May 2013
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Psychiatrist Dr. Gourav Monga's  Response

welcome to health care magic

I can easily understand your situation and i appreciate your effort to seek online help. Schizophrenia is a chronic condition characterised by delusions, hallucination and other psychotic symptoms. Hearing voices are auditory hallucinations which are characteristic of schizophrenia. For this various drugs like antipsychotics are available which are quite effective. Before labelling as "drug resistant schizophrenia" and thinking of other options like ECT, one must give a trial of clozapine which is gold standard in drug resistant cases. I don't know whether your mother has been put on clozapine. But this is must. Discuss all this with your doctor. ECT is the last option considered.

Hope it helps
Good Luck
Dr. Gourav Monga
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Mon, 25 Mar 2013
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