Thursday, March 6, 2008

What I Did After I Didn't Become First Lady

Kitty Dukakis never became First Lady - Willie Horton took care of that - but she made the news on KFWB (Los Angeles news radio) this morning nevertheless.

Actually, she's been in the news for a while, but I just missed it. Here are excerpts from an CNN 2002 transcript.

KITTY DUKAKIS, DEPRESSION PATIENT: I had no energy. I had no enthusiasm for the things I usually have enthusiasm for. I had incredibly low self-esteem.

NATALIE JACOBSON, WCVB: And for how long have you had that?

DUKAKIS: The depressions for 20 years....

JACOBSON: How did you handle that?

DUKAKIS: Well, I did not handle it very well. I mean, I just -- I withdrew. You know, my administrative assistants would make excuses for me. In my case, the other issue I had is that I drank at the -- oftentimes at the end of the depression. It just -- it just become too much.

So what did she finally do?

JACOBSON: So taking the shock treatment has helped greatly your...

DUKAKIS: Enormously.

JACOBSON: ...your depression. Would you say that it has eradicated it?

DUKAKIS: Well, for some people who have ECT, they need one set -- you know, one, six or eight-time session and they are finished for the rest of their life. That did not happen to me.

You have series of six to eight sessions that -- you are given a shot of -- I guess there is a tranquilizer in it, but it puts to you to sleep. There is a very mild convulsion that takes place....

The first time I had the treatment, I was very anxious, as you can imagine. It was our anniversary, and I said to Michael, "I don't think we will be able to go out." I just can't imagine going through this and -- I felt fabulous.

JACOBSON: Now, what are the downsides that you had to be aware of?

DUKAKIS: Well, there are short-term memory loss.

JACOBSON: Did you experience that?

DUKAKIS: Yes. I did.

For example, if I was going to a familiar place in the car, I would have to really think hard about how I was going to go there. There are some people, and I am one of them, who have a block of certain events. When I spoke in Florida, both my dad and Michael were in the audience, and I talked about how I had just realized that our trip to Paris last June was a total wipe out.

We were there for five days, and I do not remember anything about it. And I made those remarks and all of a sudden heard from the audience my husband say, "I'll take you back to Paris soon." It was just so perfect!

In the KFWB interview this morning Dukakis again noted the memory loss, but said that it was worth it to alleviate the depression.

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