What is ECT?

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Electro-Convulsive Therapy

ECT is an abbreviation for Electro-Convulsive Therapy. Electro-Convulsive Therapy is a form of treatment prescribed for persons suffering from conditions such as serious depression, psychotic diseases like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder . In some cases, modes of treatment like counseling and medication have no or little effect on psychosis or depression symptoms. ECT is prescribed when signs exhibited by a patient are serious or other modes of treatment prescribed prove to be ineffective. This includes situations where these symptoms cause serious distress to the patient to an extent of getting suicidal. ECT involves passing well-controlled electricity generated current through a patient’s brain. This current affects the electrical level in the brain generating positive changes in the psychotic or depressive symptoms. ECT appears to be helpful with more than 80% of depression patients showing signs of improvement.

How ECT is administered

A patient who is subjected to ECT treatment is first given an anaesthetic to put them to sleep before passing a controlled electric current in between the two electrodes located on the scalp. When the patient regains consciousness, he or she will not remember what transpired after anaesthesia was administered. This procedure is often repeated several times. Though most patients show signs of improvement after three or four sessions, some patients with severe conditions may require up to twenty five sessions for the treatment to prove effective, Normally, this form of treatment is administered twice or thrice a week.

How ECT works

Usually, the brain functions through highly complex chemical and electrical processes. These processes get influenced by mental ailments and fail to function properly. ECT works just like prescribed medicine. It improves the functionality of these processes to enable them operate in a normal way again while reducing the symptoms of mental ailments exhibited by a patient.

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