What Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Feels Like
Kathleen Brannon, 48, found the experience terrifying, particularly the short-term memory loss. Joseph, 55, who had ECT a decade ago, says he doesn’t regret his decision.
What does ECT feel like?
RAZ: What does electroshock therapy feel like? NULAND: It doesn’t feel like anything because anesthesia is used; the only sensation is the last sliver of consciousness fading quickly.
What does electroshock therapy do to you?
Small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure, and electroconvulsive therapy ( ECT ) appears to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions when performed under general anesthesia.
What are the side effects of electric shock therapy?
On the day of treatment, the most common side effects of ECT are nausea, headache, fatigue, confusion, and slight memory loss, which can last anywhere from minutes to hours; however, these risks must be weighed against the consequences of ineffectively treated severe psychiatric disorders.
Are you awake during electroconvulsive therapy?
Despite the fact that you will be asleep during the treatment, the medical team will need to begin preparing you for it while you are still awake. They will: Place electrodes on your head to measure the electrical activity in your brain.
Can ECT make you worse?
While ECT may help with depressive symptoms, some psychiatrists are concerned that it may worsen anxiety symptoms, such as obsessional thoughts or panic attacks, in people who have comorbid depression and anxiety.
When should ECT not be used?
a history of moderate or severe depression, or the initial presentation of subthreshold depressive symptoms that have been present for a long time (typically at least 2 years), or the initial presentation of subthreshold depressive symptoms or mild depression that persists after other interventions.
Does ECT change your personality?
ECT does not change a person’s personality, and it is not intended to treat only primary ” personality disorders.” ECT can cause transient short-term memory u2014 or new learning u2014 impairment during a course of treatment, which usually resolves within one to four weeks after the acute course is completed.
Does ECT work for anxiety?
Electroconvulsive therapy is effective in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder patients with anxiety symptoms, though anxiety symptoms improved less than depression symptoms.
Who is a good candidate for ECT?
People who have had ECT before and responded well to it are good candidates, as are those who are catatonic or suffering from psychotic depression (depression accompanied by delusions and hallucinations).
Does ECT kill brain cells?
Conclusions: There is no credible evidence that ECT causes structural brain damage. Other findings indicate that the passage of electricity, thermal effects, and the transient disruption of the blood-brain barrier during ECS do not result in structural brain damage.
What is the success rate of ECT?
What is the Success Rate of Electroconvulsive Therapy? Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective medical treatment option that helps 80-85% of patients.
How long does ECT results last?
We know that depressed patients often respond after the first treatment and progress to wellness after 6 to 12 treatments; trajectories vary, but most patients experience progressive symptomatic improvement within the first week and complete remission within 3 to 4 weeks.
Do they shave your head for ECT?
You’ll have your head shaved during surgery prep, and you’ll be kept unconscious during brain surgery with general anesthesia or awake with a local anesthetic applied to your scalp. A sturdy frame will hold your head in place during surgery to prevent movement.
Does ECT last forever?
Because ECT is effective but has a short-term effect, patients often take antidepressant medication afterward or receive ECT on a regular basis to avoid relapse.
Does ECT cause weight gain?
During ECT, all patients increased their caloric intake (280 /- 180 to 1,510 /- 60 kcal/day, mean /- SEM) to exceed their basal energy expenditure; five of the six patients experienced significant improvements in their depressive symptoms and weight gain.