What is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) for Depression?
Depression is a real disease that can relate to a diagnosis of major depression or bipolar disorder. Severe depression may include symptoms of catatonia, anxiety, or psychosis.
Medications are an effective treatment for some people, but not everyone. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) can be an effective treatment for people with severe or recurrent depression. The stigma often associated with ECT stems from early treatments which were administered without anesthesia and in much higher doses of electricity. Today, these treatments are low risk, and brief anesthesia is used to make it comfortable.
ECT is a possible treatment for a varity of conditions such as:
- Agitation and aggression in people with dementia
- Bipolar disorder and other conditions that involve mania
- Severe depression
- Treatment-resistant depression
UR Medicine's Approach
To become a patient at our clinic, your psychiatrist will need to provide a referral. You will then be scheduled for a consultation with one of our ECT clinic psychiatrists.
If ECT is recommended, an ECT clinic nurse will contact you to set up your first appointment. Your nurse will also help the doctors coordinate your ECT treatment plan.
Here are some things to know about your day of treatment:
- Our nurses will give you a short assessment and take your blood pressure.
- You will be given anesthesia through an IV that will cause you to fall asleep during the procedure.
- We will keep you safe by monitoring your vital signs.
- An EEG will be used to monitor your brain’s electrical activity during your treatment.
- After your treatment, you will be in the recovery area for about an hour.
Your evaluation and treatments will be done by our psychiatrists. An anesthesiology team will assist our psychiatrist in providing safe, comfortable, and effective treatments. ECT treatments are offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.
What Sets Us Apart?
The UR Medicine Electroconvulsive Therapy Clinic provides ECT in an atmosphere that is private, comfortable, safe, and compassionate, with a staff dedicated to ECT. Our team is highly experienced in ECT and is dedicated, supportive, and knowledgeable. We make ECT comfortable using a brief period of anesthesia.
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