Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), referred to as Shock Therapy, is form a treatment for depression and mental illness. During the procedure, patients are placed under general anesthesia and undergo a series of electric currents that are passed through the brain. These currents are intended to trigger a seizure in the brain of at least 20 seconds duration. This therapy is typically recommended for those with more severe depression, and for those who have not responded to other forms of mental illness treatment, such as antidepressant medication.

How does ECT work?

Is ECT right for me?

You may be a candidate for ECT if you suffer from severe depression, have thoughts of suicide or other serious symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses. The procedure is generally recommended as a potential solution for those whose depression seems to be resistant to medication and other treatment methods.

Side effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy

While ECT is an effective depression treatment for some patients, it does not work for everyone, and there are potential side effects that you should be aware of:

ECT vs. TMS?

Many people mistakenly assume Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is similar to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). A common variation of that myth is that TMS is "mild ECT". In fact, the two treatments are very different from each other. TMS delivers repetitive stimulation to a targeted area of the brain. TMS does not involve anesthesia and has no effects on memory.

Learn more about TMS