Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy is a specialized treatment for certain types of severe mood and psychotic disorders. ECT uses an electrical shock to cause a short seizure which produces a number of neurochemical effects that help alleviate psychiatric symptoms rapidly. ECT was first introduced to the U.S. in the 1940s and has continued to help approximately 100,000 individuals per year. In modern times, ECT is aided by the use of anesthetic agents to help patients receive the treatment in a way that does not cause discomfort.
ECT may require hospitalization while the initial course of started in order to monitor response and toleration. Most patients initially require treatment three times per week, for a total of roughly 6-12 sessions before feeling improvement. After patients have improved, they can work with one of our providers to establish a schedule for ongoing treatment, which can range from once per week to even as little as every few months, depending on need.
Some patients may experience difficulties with memory and concentration following treatment, however these are usually short lived. ECT is regarded to be a safe procedure that can be extremely effective in alleviating treatment-resistant mental illness. Patient can be referred for evaluation in our clinic by their current psychiatric provider.