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
- Can treat severe depression during pregnancy
- 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