Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a relatively safe and effective procedure, providing relief from serious psychiatric symptoms much sooner than other therapies, such as medication and psychotherapy. Although ECT was introduced in the 1930s, its therapeutic use today is very different from what is portrayed as “shock treatment” in books and films.

ECT is reserved for patients who have not responded to medication, who are having excessive side effects from medication or who are severely suicidal. Statistically, approximately 80% of patients treated with ECT respond well and get relief from their symptoms.

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