Electroconvulsive Therapy

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Electroconvulsive Therapy: Experience of Patients

Posted on August 19, 2011 in ECT Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy is one of the most widely used therapies for people suffering from severe depression and other mental disorders. Studies have revealed that eighty percent of patients with severe depression significantly improved with ECT.

ECT is done by applying electrical shocks to the brain by using electrodes that are planted on the head. In order to attain the most comprehensive positive reactions to depression, it is imperative to undergo repeated treatments.

However, even if ECT is the best depression treatment; many people are still afraid to use it as remedy. The negative thoughts about ECT are brought about by the perceived possible side effects. Experts are now researching on how to maintain the benefits of ECT treatment over time in order to prevent relapse when the treatment is discontinued.

Electroconvulsive Therapy Saved Celine

Electroshock therapy for bipolar disorder worked satisfactorily for Celine. Celine is single, in her late 30’s and used to work as a bank teller. She has a pretty normal life, not until one day when she suffered from an anaphylactic reaction to an x-ray dye. She was supposed to undergo an x-ray to check what was causing pain in her stomach; unfortunately, the dangerous reaction to the liquid dye almost killed her.

After that incident, she became weak, had difficulty in breathing, became very forgetful and moody. After three attempted suicides, she was finally diagnosed to be afflicted with bipolar disorder. Due to the severity of her manic attacks, her doctor combined electroconvulsive therapy with her medication. After the first ECT, she experienced a slight numbness that lasted for about twenty five minutes. The second ECT proved better and so were the consequent therapies. Today, she seldom experiences manic attacks and has integrated herself into society again. She works at a shop in her local community where her talent in sales and marketing have proven very useful.

Depression Shock Therapy for Cathy

Cathy, a mother of two boys suffered from recurring bouts of severe depression after undergoing a painful divorce from her husband. After her diagnosis, her doctor recommended ECT. At first, she was hesitant because of the many side effects of electroconvulsive therapy that she had been hearing about from people around her.

However, her psychiatrist explained to her what ECT was really about and the benefits she can get from it. Eventually, she consented and had the therapy for four months. Two months after her last ECT session, her moods have stabilized and even while she has stopped medication, she was able to return to her job. She is also doing wonderfully well raising her two sons.

The ECT experiences of these two women represent the ease and safety of the procedure as it is done today.