Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an alternative for mood disorder patients who have not had relief from counseling and medications.

ECT is commonly used to treat:

  • Severe¬†depression that causes serious symptoms, like psychosis and suicidal thoughts
  • Schizophrenia
  • Severe mania

Description of the Procedure

General anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Your doctor places electrodes on your head and administers controlled amounts of electricity. The electric current triggers a brief seizure. Your muscles not affected by the medication will contract for a few seconds, and your body may twitch. 

The procedure takes about 30 minutes, including recovery time. After ECT, you may have a headache and muscle aches or soreness.

For the best therapeutic results, you can expect to undergo several sessions with two or three treatments per week. After that, your care is maintained with a regimen of medication and psychotherapy that may be supplemented by ECT sessions.