Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
In recent years, medicine has vastly improved the diagnosis and treatment options available for those suffering from mental illness. New therapies and medications have helped countless people recover from debilitating psychiatric problems that were previously thought untreatable. Despite these advances, not everyone experiences the same success. Electroconvulsive Therapy is an option for patients who have not responded to traditional therapies and medication.
What is Electroconvulsive Therapy?
Electroconvulsive Therapy is a treatment option for patients who suffer from severe depression, persistent suicidal ideation, mania, and some types of schizophrenia. ECT is a proven method for treating severe mental health disorders when more standard therapy modalities and medications have not been effective. Patients at Brentwood Hospital undergo medical and physical evaluations to determine if ECT is an appropriate treatment method for them.
Is ECT Effective?
Electroconvulsive Therapy has been proven to be a useful treatment method with more than half of severely treatment-resistant patients achieving remission, according to the National Institutes of Health. Still, there is no guarantee that ECT will be effective. Your doctor will discuss with you why ECT inpatient or ECT outpatient therapy is being recommended and what alternative treatments may be available.
Is ECT Safe?
Prior to Electroconvulsive Therapy, 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 risk and maximize 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. There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary.
Am I Eligible for ECT?
Please consult the dedicated professionals within the ECT program at Brentwood Hospital to assess if you are a candidate for ECT therapy. Our Medical Staff will also consult with you on the risks and benefits of ECT treatment if you are a suitable candidate. Referrals for ECT can be made by physicians, psychiatrists, mental health professionals, hospital staff, patients, and family members. Patients are scheduled for ECT after their evaluation is complete.
How Does ECT work?
At Brentwood Hospital, Electroconvulsive Therapy is performed by a team of medical professionals specifically trained in its delivery. This team consists of a psychiatrist, anesthesiologist and nursing staff. The psychiatrist commonly delivers the ECT stimulation. The anesthesia team administers general anesthesia, medications and monitors the patient’s medical status throughout the procedure. After the treatment, nursing staff will continue to monitor the patient’s progress until they return to the inpatient or outpatient unit in Shreveport, Louisiana.
What to Expect after ECT?
While Electroconvulsive Therapy is an extremely effective treatment, it is only one component of a complete treatment regimen. After your ECT course, medications will likely be required as maintenance therapy to help prevent a return of your illness. ECT cannot resolve other problems associated with personal relationships or how an individual copes with the stressors of life. Other interventions such as psychotherapy may be recommended.
There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary. Please consult the dedicated professionals within the ECT program at Brentwood 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.