Saturday, June 2, 2012

What is Electroshock Therapy?

            Electroshock therapy is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders through the use of electric current to induce shock. This therapy is generally used in treating severe endogenous depressions and some forms of schizophrenia. The working of this therapy is not clearly understood as yet.

Electroshock Therapy Machine

            U. Cerletti and L. Bini introduced electro convulsive therapy ECT in Rome in 1938 for treating psychiatric disorders. Since then, it has bee widely used to treat manic depressive psychosis and various other types of depressions. In electroshock therapy, two electrodes are placed in approximate positions on the head of the patient and 50 or 60 hertz alternating current at about 70 volts is passed for about 0.1 seconds. There have been modifications and variations in the basic technique. The passage of the current causes an immediate loss of consciousness, and the induction of a convulsive seizure. The treatment is given three times a week for two to six weeks. In some serious cases, the doctor even resorts to two or three treatments in a single day.

Electroshock Therapy

            This therapy can have serious side effects and complications. Hence it should be given to a few selected patients, and with great skill and proper judgment. Although it is a valuable therapeutic method in psychiatry, in certain cases it is not effective and sometimes may make matters worse.

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