Clinicals have been used electric shock therapy for depression for a long time ago. But its popularity dimmed later. The reason was the electric shock practice looked horrible and dreadful, especially for people outside the medical. Not only for depression, psychiatrists use this electric shock therapy for other severe mental health disorders. Such as schizophrenia or bipolar as well.
As a manic depression or bipolar patient, a psychiatrist once performed this shock therapy for me as well. After that, all of my physicians never use it again. I was very grateful for that. For me as a patient, electric shock therapy was really very painful. That’s because my first doctor did not use the modern consensus management of electric shock therapy for manic depression. This modern procedure is indeed far much more humane than the out of date old way.
Electro-Convulsive Therapy or ECT
Medical circles call this therapy with electro-convulsive therapy. This is a choice among other therapies. Principally, the rules are the same among all severe mental disorders. Namely, with the using of low-flow electric current on the patient’s temples. Patients will experience a seizure similar to a seizure in a grand mal epilepsy. Until now doctors and researchers do not know why ECT or electro-convulsive is effective to relieve the symptoms.
This time people predict that electric shocks affect the brain’s chemical makeup. The dead parts of the brain are stimulated to regenerate. Thus, it functioned again. In addition, the connection between the broken synaps will be reconnected. Once again this is just a hypothesis, we never know what really happened to the patient’s brain after the doctor did this ECT therapy.
Electric Shock Therapy For Depression Side Effects
Actually, many clinicals still refused to use this therapy. Indeed, we can see electric shock therapy for depression side effects. For example, they find that the patient suffers from memory loss or amnesia. That’s after doctors do electric shock therapy for depression to the patients. But much research showed that the side effect was not lasting long and can reverse.
Modern Procedure for Electric Shock Therapy For Depression
The doctor will ask the patient to lie on the bed. Then he or she will give anesthesia and muscle relaxant. It is important to avoid fractures due to jerking body movements. The therapist will also provide oxygen to minimize side effects. I have previously written that the side effect is temporary memory loss or amnesia. When the patient is asleep, the therapist will provide a small electric current with a high voltage in the patient’s temples. The patient will not feel anything.
This procedure is very different from the previous procedure. In the past, doctors would just have the patient lie on a cot. After that, he or she will directly drain the electric current through a pair of electrodes to the patient’s temples. It’s very dreadful and terrible.
The Future of Electric Shock Therapy
A number of studies having reported that this therapy was very effective. For instance, if the patient did not react to conventional treatment. Likewise to patients who had a strong tendency to commit suicide. This treatment is safe for pregnant women who need depression therapy. The use of medicines for pregnant women does require proper selection due to its side effects.
There were currently about a hundred thousand people in the US and twenty thousand people in the UK undergoing this ECT every year. Certainly with very satisfactory results. Indeed the use of electro-convulsive therapy is controversial as well. However, by reviewing the patient’s condition, a physician may choose the appropriate therapy. There are patients who are more suited to using conventional treatments. The use of this electric shock therapy for depression is still closely monitored. Similarly to its use for other severe mental health illness.