Psychiatrist explains how this type of therapy is useful and dispels some old rumors and interpretations...BD
I have been taking care of many severely ill patients with depression and bipolar disorder over the past month, patients hospitalized on the mood disorders service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Three of these patients have had outstanding responses to ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy, also known as "shock" therapy.
Two of them came in hopeless, intensely miserable, and preoccupied with ending their lives, while the third came in with a depression so severe that it shut her down entirely — she was mute, not able to respond to my questions or even recognize that I was in the room with her. I know it looks cruel and punitive as it is depicted in the 1975 movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," but that's Hollywood — that's fiction — rather than an accurate rendering of ECT as we use it in psychiatry today.