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Electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy or more popularly known as electric shock treatment is one of the psychiatric brain stimulation treatments available for people with treatment-resistant major depression. In this procedure, controlled electric currents are passed through the brain intentionally prompting a brief seizure. ECT brings changes in the brain chemistry to reverse the symptoms of depression. This treatment is given to patients under general anesthesia.


  • Works well for people with treatment-resistant depression as well as treatment-resistant mania.
  • One of the fastest ways to relieve symptoms in severely depressed or suicidal patients such as:
    • Severe mania
    • Catatonia
    • Agitation
  • Can treat severe depression during pregnancy

  • Disadvantages:

    • Memory loss for few days to few months
    • Confusion for few minutes to few hours after the procedure
    • Risks with general anesthesia
    • Physical side effects include: nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, headache, and/or rarely fractured limbs