Ect (Electroconvulsive therapy)

Ect (Electroconvulsive therapy)

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.

This article will be discussing the meaning of electroconvulsive therapy, electric shock treatment, the meaning of shock therapy, this therapy for depression, scan for electric shock therapy, the benefits of this therapy, which patients are eligible for this therapy, the risks of patient who go through this therapy, and the professional that’s going to administer this therapy.


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a kind of treatment that involves sending an electric current through a patient’s brain which causes a brief surge of electrical activity within a patient’s brain. This kind of process is known as a seizure. The aim of this kind of treatment is to relieve the symptoms of some mental health problems which have not alleviated from other treatments. This means that this kind of therapy is the last resort for psychological disorders that can be alleviated through this kind of therapy.

This kind of therapy is administered under a general anaesthetic which means that the patient isn’t awake during the administration of this treatment. The National Institute of Care and Health Excellence has prescribed this kind of therapy to patients with severe depression, patients who are suffering from catatonia, and patients who have prolonged manic episodes. This means that this kind of therapy will only be used if psychological disorders worsened and need to be stabilized immediately.

Electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a more intrusive type of psychological treatment recommended for severe depression if all other treatment options have failed or when the situation of this kind of mood disorder is thought to be life-threatening. This kind of therapy is often recommended for patients who are suicidal that a lot of suicide attempts have been made in a day or a week. This can make the patient and loved ones distressed about what’s happening which is why this kind of therapy is prescribed for this kind of patient. This kind of therapy will be administered by a doctor who specializes in the use of this kind of therapy.

Psychiatrists can be administrators of this kind of therapy since they have some experience in this kind of therapy. The patient and loved ones are first informed about the activities of this kind of therapy such as giving anaesthesia to the patient to feel too much pain and medications to prevent muscle spasm during this kind of therapy. This kind of therapy is given twice a week for 3 to 6 weeks which is equivalent to 6 to 12 sessions in total. Patients can learn more about this kind of therapy by buying this book on this website.

Ect (Electroconvulsive therapy)

Electric shock treatment

Electric shock treatment is an early term or another term for electroconvulsive therapy. As mentioned before, this kind of procedure involves anaesthetising the patient and passing electricity through the patient’s brain to induce a seizure. Despite exaggerated and terrifying depictions in popular media and a lack of science explaining how and why this kind of therapy works, treatments can prove effective. Personal accounts range from life-changing benefits to the patient to tales of patients’ lives being ruined.

Some people would comment that this kind of treatment is a placebo-controlled treatment. This means that the expectation of the patient that he or she will be healed by this kind of treatment may have caused the treatment. This kind of effect tends to happen to a lot of patients during some form of psychological treatment and this kind of treatment is no exception to this kind of effect. Researchers have also found that this kind of therapy has less adverse side effects but this kind of therapy is not meant for mild mental health problems but severe mental health problems that the patient may not be able to function well and is extremely distressed.

Electroshock therapy

Electroshock therapy is another term for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This kind of therapy only works when other treatments are unsuccessful and when the full course of treatment is completed but it may not work for all admitted patients who were prescribed with this kind of treatment. The various stigma attached to ECT is based on early treatments in which high doses of electricity were administered without anaesthesia which lead to memory loss, fractured bones and other adverse side effects. Fortunately, this kind of therapy is safer today where this kind of therapy uses sedatives to lower the consciousness of the patient to the extreme pain associated with this kind of therapy. 

Although this kind of therapy still causes some side effects, this kind of therapy is recently using electric currents given in a controlled setting to achieve the most benefits to the patient and fewer possible risks. This kind of therapy has also been used to treat other conditions that require a quick healing process. For instance, this kind of therapy has been used for pregnant women who are about to deliver their babies but aren’t able to get sedated through any kind of sleeping medications. You can learn more about the benefits of this kind of therapy by buying this book on this website.

Ect (Electroconvulsive therapy)

ECT treatment

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a kind of medical treatment used in patients with severe depression or bipolar disorder that has not responded to other treatments such as psychotherapies and medications. This kind of treatment involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anaesthesia which made the patient sedated. This kind of treatment is usually administered by a team of trained medical professionals which includes the psychiatrist, the anesthesiologist, and the nurse or physician assistant. This kind of treatment is sometimes used in treating individuals with catatonia which is a condition in which a person can become increasingly agitated and unresponsive. 

A patient with the severe signs of catatonia can accidentally injure themselves or develop severe dehydration from not eating or drinking. This is why this kind of treatment is used for these kinds of patients since this kind of situation is considered life-threatening for psychiatrists and the loved ones of the patient. Nevertheless, this kind of treatment is still followed by the required maintenance treatment if the patient wants to be truly cured of his or her psychological disorder. This kind of treatment is preferable to patients than transcranial magnetic stimulation which is another form of shock therapy that lets the patient remain conscious throughout the shock process which may create trauma to vulnerable patients.

Shock therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy is a form of shock therapy that has been recently used to treat symptoms of severe psychological disorders if the patient faces an emergency situation such as almost killing oneself without conscious awareness. This kind of treatment is the best treatment to produce remission. This means that this kind of treatment helps in making the psychological almost disappear and relieve the patient from distress, deviance, danger, and dysfunction. As mentioned before, this kind of therapy does not really eliminate the psychological disorder immediately but merely manage the severe symptoms that endanger the patient’s life. 

This kind of treatment is also cost-effective earlier in the treatment course of depression. This means that this kind of treatment as a wake-up call for patients to bring them back to reality. This can be done this kind of treatment which will make the patient productive and slightly normal once again. You can learn more about the different forms of shock therapy by buying this book on this website

Electric shock therapy

Different forms of shock therapies are also used for serious mental health conditions aside from electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The least invasive of these shock therapies is called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This kind of shock therapy is when a magnetic field is created by a device held above the head. This process causes a weak electrical signal to be applied to the prefrontal cortex which is the region of the brain that is responsible for mood. While vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is another shock treatment for depression that uses a surgically implanted pacemaker-like device that electrically stimulates a nerve that runs up the neck into the brain

This kind of nerve is called the vagus nerve. While in ECT, an electric current is briefly applied through the scalp to the brain which will induce a seizure. Both ECT and VNS induces seizures on the patient’s brain which can sedate them during the procedure. The transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) doesn’t induce seizures which makes the patient go through the process of shock therapy awake which may cause long-term trauma after the procedure.

ECT therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment for some mental illnesses. During this kind of therapy, electrical currents are sent through the patient’s brain to induce a seizure. This kind of procedure has been shown to help people with clinical depression. It’s most often used to treat patients who don’t respond to prescribed medication or talk therapy.

This kind of procedure is most often used as a treatment of last resort for some disorders that are considered as threatening for the patient. These different psychological disorders are bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorder. Two types of this kind of therapy are unilateral and bilateral. You can learn more about these kinds of this procedure by buying this book on this website.

What is ECT

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a kind of procedure used to treat certain psychiatric conditions. This kind of therapy involves passing a controlled electric current through the brain which affects the brain’s activity and aims to treat severe depressive and psychotic symptoms. This kind of therapy can relieve symptoms of the most severe forms of depression more effectively than medication or therapy but because this kind of therapy is an intrusive procedure and can cause some memory problems. This kind of therapy should be used only when absolutely necessary.

This kind of treatment is given two to three times a week for three to six weeks. Although the exact course of this kind of treatment depends on the nature of the mental illness and the patient’s response to this kind of treatment. The patient should be re-assessed after every session of this kind of procedure. This kind of therapy makes patient’s symptoms start to improve after two sessions of this kind of therapy.

ECT for depression

ECT is a procedure given to depressed patients under anaesthesia. After the patient takes a muscle relaxer, this procedure sends electrical pulses to the brain through electrodes applied to the patient’s head. This kind of electrical stimulation triggers a seizure. When this therapy is repeated a few times a week for a short period, this therapy eliminates depressive symptoms for an extended time in many affected patients.

Ect (Electroconvulsive therapy)


Electroconvulsive therapy is named as such due to its relation to the brain stimulation that this procedure will do. The brain stimulation allows the patient’s brain to change which can alleviate symptoms of a psychological disorder. Although this procedure is only effective for psychological disorders that are considered dangerous to the patient and other people. At the same time, these specific psychological disorders should be distressing to the patient.

This procedure is only done when the patient has already tried different treatments such as therapy and medications. The patient must be shown that these treatments have not been effective for the patient. This means that this procedure is only used as a last resort for patients. This has also been known to be a short-term treatment just like medications and the duration of this treatment can promote psychological health to the patient in the long term.

Electroconvulsive therapy UK

Electroconvulsive therapy is a medical procedure is only used as short-treatment for psychological disorders that are considered as life-threatening to patients. These psychological disorders that have life-threatening symptoms are severe depression, symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and manic episodes in bipolar disorder. Every patient who is offered this therapy is given information from their doctor and a leaflet explaining what this therapy is and why this therapy is used. The leaflet also explains a person’s rights when consenting to this therapy.

Ect (Electroconvulsive therapy)

Electroconvulsive therapy for depression

Electroconvulsive therapy is widely used for people with severe depressive symptoms. These symptoms that are treated are the psychotic symptoms of this disorder which makes the patient detach from reality. This detachment of the patient may cause accidental suicide since the patient isn’t aware of his or her surroundings. This therapy has been considered safe and effective for patients with depression. This therapy is only used when other treatments have been ineffective in treating patients with severe depression.

This therapy is quite effective for suicidal patients. Research has found that most suicidal patients who have taken this therapy are more likely to stop their negative behaviours. These suicidal behaviours can’t experience a relapse due to this therapy. Despite these advantages, patients are still required to take maintenance medications to relieve depression fully.


The NHS services have two modern and specifically-designed ECT suites at Callington Road Hospital in Bristol and at Green Lane Hospital in Devizes. The services are fully compliant with the NICE guidelines for this therapy and both locations have been accredited three times under the Royal College of Psychiatry’s exacting ECT accreditation scheme (ECTAS). In 2003, the Royal College of Psychiatrists established the ECT Accreditation Service (ECTAS) to promote better standards of practice in these therapy services in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. Some of the groups in the NHS plan to consider applying for this kind of accreditation in the near future.

ECT mental health

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a kind of therapy that is good for patients with mental health disorders that have been resistant to other treatments such as therapy or medication. This therapy allows patients to get a wake-up call from their debilitating symptoms. Most patients who go through this treatment will experience significant improvement of debilitating symptoms. This treatment has been considered in treating life-threatening symptoms. 

Patients can refuse this treatment if they find it terrifying. This decision will be done after the doctor will explain to them what goes on in this treatment. This explanation can also delete the stigma about this therapy. Loved ones can be social support for these patients who may be unsure of taking this treatment.


Several clinics in the UK offer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for patients who need it. The Chase Farm hospital in London offers this therapy to severely depressed patients. Patients only need to undergo a risk assessment from a mental health specialist. This can help the mental health specialist of the patient is eligible for this therapy.

What is electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment for certain mental illnesses that have been shown to have been treated by this therapy. During this therapy, electrical currents are sent through the patient’s brain to induce a seizure. This procedure has been shown to help patients with clinical depression. This therapy is often used to treat patients who don’t respond to medication or talk therapy.

This therapy is only used for patients who have depressive symptoms that may endanger their lives or others’ lives. Recently, this therapy has been used with anaesthesia induced to the patient which will make he or she relax during the treatment. This treatment has great results since most patients achieve remission after this treatment. This treatment is taken three times a week depending on the severity of symptoms of the patient.

Electroconvulsive therapy NHS

Several NHS services offer electroconvulsive therapy. This therapy is offered at WLMHT if different medications have not helped the patient. This therapy is provided for patients if side effects from antidepressants are too severe. This therapy is also offered if the person’s life is in danger due to the symptoms he or she is experiencing.

Electric shock treatment NHS

Electric shock treatment is another name for electroconvulsive therapy which is offered by the NHS. The Greater Manchester Mental Health is an NHS Foundation Trust that offers this therapy. There are three clinics that provide this therapy based within GMMH which are one at the Royal Bolton Hospital, one at Salford Royal Hospital, and one at Trafford General Hospital. This Trust has a committee with representatives from Doctors across the three areas to deliver this therapy. In 2003, the Royal College of Psychiatrists established the ECT Accreditation Service (ECTAS) to promote better standards of practice in these therapy services in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. 

GMMH plans to consider applying for this kind of accreditation in the near future. The Royal College of Psychiatrists and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) both publish useful guides which provide further information on this therapy. This therapy is used once medication, talking therapy, and other psychological and social supports are exhausted and there is a need for another dimension to the recovery process. Medication and talking therapy may still be used in addition to this therapy to ensure the positive outcomes of the treatment are sustained.

ECT definition

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a type of therapy in which electric currents are passed through the patient’s brain. This shock process can cause brief seizures and changes in brain chemistry. This therapy is also known as shock therapy. This therapy is administered repeatedly in a week.

What is shock therapy

Shock therapy is when a person is given a seizure-inducing electrical shock that can lift depression. Although no one knows exactly why this seizure works. This seizure may restore some neuro connections or reconnect nerves that are short-circuited. This procedure also may change the levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin which play a role in depression.

One of the most common side effects of this procedure is memory loss. After a seizure occurs, whether from this therapy, epilepsy, or other reasons, some patients experience short-term confusion. Memory loss usually covers events that took place shortly before the treatment and for most patients, the problem doesn’t continue for more than a few days. However, some people report memory loss lasting several weeks after the treatment, and elderly patients may be more likely to have confusion that lasts for up to a few weeks.

ECT treatment depression

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is most often used to treat severe depression and depression with psychosis that has not responded to medications. In some cases of treatment-resistant bipolar disorder, this therapy may be considered as a treatment option.  Most patients have four to six treatments before the major improvement of the symptoms is seen. This therapy is followed by additional treatments and in some cases maintenance of this therapy on a less frequent basis such as once a month or once a year.

Electrotherapy for depression

Electrotherapy is most commonly used to alleviate what medical professionals refer to as treatment-resistant depression which is a kind of depression which hasn’t responded to other forms of help such as medications. This therapy can help patients with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. A course of this therapy can require as many as 20 treatments which are administered as frequently as 3 times a week. Like antidepressants, this therapy can trigger the production of important brain chemicals like serotonin which regulates mood. 

This therapy also boosts the output of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter linked to the brain’s pleasure centre. Other research studies point out that this therapy reduces brain activity in the amygdala which is the part of the brain that controls anxiety and fear. The most common issue patients who receive this therapy can experience is a lapse in short-term memory. Although this side effect appears to be temporary.

ECT scan

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is conducted in a controlled medical environment, either during a hospitalization or as an outpatient procedure, by a team consisting of a psychiatrist, anesthesiologist, and nurse. Patients receive a short-acting intravenous anaesthetic to ensure that they are unaware of the procedure and a muscle relaxant to help prevent physical injury. Vital signs and brain waves are monitored throughout the procedure which typically lasts 15 to 20 minutes. Patients remain relaxed and are unaware that they are having a seizure, and experience no pain.

What does ECT stand for

ECT stands for electroconvulsive therapy. This therapy is a form of psychiatric treatment that involves inducing seizures with the use of electrical stimulation while a patient is under general anaesthesia. This therapy was originally known as electroshock therapy and was first introduced by a pair of Italian psychiatrists in 1938. However, the use of induced seizures to treat mental illness to patients dates back as far as the early 1500s.

This therapy became a popular psychiatric technique during the 1940s and 1950s, especially in the treatment of severe depression. The stigma attached to the use of this therapy led to a decline in its use during the 1960s. The emergence of effective psychiatric medications to treat depression also contributed to the therapy’s decline. Today, this therapy is still used as a treatment for cases of severe depression, mania, and schizophrenia but this therapy’s use remains controversial.

Electric shock therapy for depression

Electric shock therapy or ECT works faster. Older patients can often tolerate this therapy better than antidepressant medications. This is because the therapy’s risk of complications from antidepressant side effects is greater due to interactions with the medication they already take for chronic conditions. This therapy is so effective for some forms of severe depression.

Electrical convulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive Treatment or electrical convulsive therapy (ECT) has been used in mental health treatments since the 1940s. This therapy’s controversy over some aspects of the treatment in the 1950s and 60s led to guidelines and legislation on this therapy’s use. Today, this therapy is given under general anaesthetic and is offered as an acute treatment of severe depression that is life-threatening and when a rapid response is required or when other treatments have failed. This therapy has been demonstrated to be an effective and safe treatment for many psychiatric disorders.

This therapy may cause new cells and nerve pathways to grow in the patient’s brain. This therapy can sometimes help treat symptoms of severe depression. Patients often get short courses of this treatment of about 6-12 sessions. Doctors might offer patients this therapy if patients do not respond to other treatments.

Electric treatment

ECT or electric treatment can help shed the most harmful symptoms of mania, catatonia, or severe depression that can slide into suicide. Although this therapy is far from perfect. This therapy can’t cure a patient and has to be performed every few months in order to prevent the original symptoms from returning. There are risks of temporary memory loss, headaches, and jaw pain.

Electroshock treatment

Electroshock treatment is a treatment for severe depression and certain mental disorders. A brief seizure is induced by giving electrical stimulation to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp in this treatment. This treatment is also called ECT and electroconvulsive therapy. The treatment of depression with this therapy stimulates the generation of new nerve cells. 

This therapy causes a specific part of the brain such as the dentate gyrus and part of the hippocampus to expand. This treatment is the only part of the adult human hippocampus that is capable of producing new nerve cells. This treatment leads to an increase in this structure which lead to a reduction in depressive complaints. This treatment has remained in use as a treatment because of its particular effectiveness in severe cases of depression.

Shock treatment therapy

Shock treatment therapy aims to ease mental illness symptoms by stimulating specific areas of the brain with mild electrical currents and rebooting brain activity. As with any kind of treatment, patients and families should ask many questions and do their own research before deciding to try this therapy. Patients with depression and bipolar disorder should try talk therapy and medicines first. But if someone tries therapy or three or four medicines over several years and still fails to improve, this therapy might be a good option.


Electroconvulsive therapy is a kind of therapy where electrical currents are used to stimulate the brain. This process causes the brain to seizure which allows the creation of new cells to relieve some symptoms of severe mental health illnesses. This therapy has been used for severe depression, bipolar disorder, and a schizophrenia spectrum disorder. You can comment below on your thoughts about this treatment and the experiences you may have with loved ones who have undergone this therapy.

FAQ Questions

Can you get brain damage from ECT?

You can’t get brain damage from ECT but your brain cells will change to make you more resistant from severe mental illness.

Can ECT change your personality?

ECT cannot change your personality.

How much does ECT cost?

ECT costs $2,500 per session of this therapy.

Does ECT reset the brain?

ECT resets the brain in mentally ill patients.

What part of the brain does ECT target?

The part of the brain that ECT targets are the amygdala and hippocampus.


Crown. (2019, December). Treatment Clinical depression. NHS. Retrieved from here.

Davis, N. & Duncan, P. (2017, April). Electroconvulsive therapy on the rise again in England. The Guardian. Retrieved from here. Mind. (2019, July). Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Retrieved from here.

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