Yes, Electroconvulsive therapy is considered a generally safe form of treatment now, although some side effects such as confusion, physical side effects, etc. can temporarily occur. This is why before conducting ECT, medical professionals engage in tests to ensure that it is safe to be administered for the individual. The stigma to ECT treatment comes from earlier times when high doses of electricity were administered without any anaesthesia, which led to fractured bones, memory loss, and other serious side effects. However, ECT now is much safer with lower doses of electric current administered in a controlled setting, and is only done as a last resort of treatment for depression.
When a person is in the most severe form of depression, and not in a mental state to undertake therapy or when psychiatric medications are not helpful, especially when the person’s life is at risk, ECT is considered as a treatment option for depression. In other cases, therapy and psychiatric medications (if required) are considered to be sufficient and effective forms of treatment for depression.
It depends on the severity of the depression and how effective it is on the person. People may have 6-12 sessions done 2-3 per week over many weeks. After that, usually psychiatric medications along with therapy is recommended to prevent depression symptoms from returning.
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