Statistics show that around a million people try ECT every year. This treatment is used all around the world.
But what is ECT exactly? Is it safe to use? And how effective is ECT in the treatment of various mental illnesses?
What Is ECT?
ECT stands for electroconvulsive therapy.
The name sounds intimidating. Additionally, so-called shock therapy has been portrayed in terrifying ways in popular media. So what is the truth about this treatment?
By using ECT, doctors can induce small, contained seizures in the brain. This happens under general anesthesia. All the seizures last around 30-45 seconds.
So after this therapy, the brain can start producing serotonin. ETC is also used for bipolar disorder and catatonia.
But How Effective Is ECT?
Using ECT can help people with depression. It is a potential solution for patients who have tried using antidepressants before. After all, it can be very difficult to find the right drugs for some patients.
Doctors say that 60-70% of people respond positively to this treatment.
After a few weeks, the patients start showing signs of improved mental health. Their mood becomes more stable. They also start eating and sleeping more regularly.
What About Safety Concerns?
Is ECT entirely safe to use? Are there any risks you should know about?
First, it’s important to keep in mind that general anesthesia comes with certain risks. Hence, some people aren’t able to use this therapy safely.
But there is another concern too. ECT tends to cause short-term memory loss in patients.
Medical science is still researching the way this therapy affects the brain. For now, it appears to be a safe and useful treatment for some mental illnesses.