What is Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?

ECT is a treatment for adults 18 years and older who suffer from severe episodes of major depression, persistent suicidal ideation, mania and some types of schizophrenia and who have either not responded to medications or whose symptoms are too severe to permit medication trials. The procedure occurs two to three times a week for a total of six to 12 treatments.

Is ECT Effective?

ECT can be effective with more than half of severely treatment-resistant patients achieving remission.* Still there is no guarantee that ECT will be effective. Your doctor will discuss with you why ECT is being recommended and what alternative treatments may be available.

Is ECT Safe?

Prior to ECT patients will undergo a physical and psychiatric evaluation to ensure that the treatments can be administered in the most effective manner. Medications may be adjusted to minimize the risk and maximize the effectiveness. However, all treatments have risks and side effects. The most common side effects of ECT include muscle aches, nausea, short-term memory loss and headaches.

* National Institutes of Health

There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary. Please consult the dedicated professionals within the ECT program at Peachford Hospital to assess if you are a candidate for ECT treatment. Our Medical Staff will also consult with you on the risks and benefits of ECT treatment if you are a suitable candidate.