Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) remains the gold standard of treatment for severe, medication-resistant depression. Recent advances in technology have improved the safety and tolerability of the procedure. ECT is used to treat mental illness via the application of a controlled electrical stimulus to the scalp which induces a brief generalized seizure in the brain. This seizure activity is believed to bring about certain biochemical changes which may cause symptoms to diminish or to even disappear. The therapy is administered in a hospital room, while the patient is under general anesthesia.

ECT is most commonly used to treat severe depression in patients that are unresponsive to other forms of treatment or in patients in whom it is dangerous to wait for medications to take effect. This therapy is highly effective as a depression treatment modality and is one of the fastest therapies to relieve symptoms. Less often, it is used to reverse symptoms of other mental illnesses, including:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Severe mania
  • Catonia

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) remains the most effective and safest treatment for many cases, particularly when alternative treatments are neither effective nor safe. Problems can also occur with memory loss but this usually improves after completion of treatment. Common side effects can include headache, mild nausea, muscle soreness and temporary confusion. 

To learn more about ECT, make a referral, schedule an appointment, or for more information don’t hesitate to call us at 918-497-4930.