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Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

When the medication and psychotherapy fail to improve mental health problems, sometimes other types of therapies or brain stimulation techniques are used to treat and manage the condition. Out of these, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is used predominantly to treat various mental health conditions. At Cadabams, a range of ECT treatments are available such as ECT for depression,  ECT for Bipolar disorder, ECT treatment for OCD, and ECT for Schizophrenia.

With 3 decades of experience in providing quality mental health care services, Cadabams is one of the top hospitals which performs ECT in India with a team of the best medical professionals. We have a stellar team of some of the top psychiatrists supported by specialist doctors, top therapists, psychologists, registered mental health nurses, and social workers who work round the clock to build customised treatment plans that focus on long-term recovery.

What is ECT?

ECT is among the safest and most effective brain stimulation techniques. Sometimes when symptoms are very severe, there is a need for urgent measures such as ECT in addition to regular therapy and medication regimen. ECT is mostly used for patients with severe depression or bipolar disorder, who do not respond to the medications anymore. 

How Does ECT Work?

In this therapy, the patient’s brain is stimulated with specific and regulated electric current to control acute conditions of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, mania, and catatonia. Electrodes are placed on the scalp and a controlled electric current is applied. This procedure is generally done after giving anaesthesia to the patient. Though this treatment has been used since the 1940s, it is highly misunderstood. There are no such side effects of ECT as it is a controlled and medically monitored therapy.

There is some stigma associated with ECT as a treatment method as in the early days it was carried out without anaesthesia leading to uncontrollable seizures and pain for the patient. With developments in medicine and anaesthesia, ECT is much safer today and in a controlled setting, it is very effective as a treatment. This therapy affects the brain’s activity and aims to relieve psychotic and severe depressive symptoms.

Before proceeding for ECT treatment, the patient undergoes a psychiatric assessment, often known as ECT psychiatry, along with other medical examinations like blood tests and ECG to check the heart health. In most cases, when the patient’s body is reluctant to medications, ECT works more quickly and effectively. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can provide rapid and significant improvements in many mental health conditions. 

Benefits of ECT Therapy

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) works for many people when drugs or psychotherapy are ineffective. There are typically fewer side effects than with medications.

ECT works quickly to relieve psychiatric symptoms. Depression or mania may resolve after only a few treatments. In contrast, many medications require weeks to take effect. Therefore, ECT can be especially beneficial for those who are suicidal, psychotic, or catatonic. It is also a safe option for people who may be resistant to other treatment modalities. 

According to an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 83% of depressed patients who did not respond to other treatments did improve after ECT. In addition, patients who are treated with ECT have a 49% remission rate.

ECT has some risks like any other medical procedure. The most common side effects are short-term memory loss and difficulty in learning. Often patients face trouble in remembering recent events that occurred in the past few weeks before the treatment. This usually goes away within a few weeks after the treatment ends. ECT is a recognised treatment option worldwide and has been used for decades to treat mental health conditions. 

Why Cadabams

Cadabams Hospitals is the top psychiatric hospital in Bangalore for all kinds of mental health conditions including Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, OCD amongst others. With over 30 years of experience, we assure patients of a comfortable and satisfying experience. Our multi-specialty team professionals rely on an evidence-based treatment approach that enables us to deliver better outcomes.

At Cadabams Hospitals, on the back of our world-class facilities, we offer both inpatient and outpatient services. If you or your loved ones are suffering from any mental health problems, hand-in-hand with experts, seek proper treatment, and stride towards a better life. Get in touch with us today. Give us a call at 24/7 helpline – +91 9741476476.

All the risks and benefits of ECT are explained to the patient and the needful consent is obtained before administering any treatment. It is chosen as a last resort of treatment and when all other alternatives seem to be ineffective in producing the desired results. To know more about the ECT treatment cost in India and the risks and benefits associated, get in touch with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the success rate of ECT?

ECT psychiatry therapy, in combination with medication regimes, is known to be more effective and successful in treating patients. However, there are chances of relapse in some patients. In some cases, ECT treatment has to be monitored on scheduled intervals to ensure that treatment is effective. The psychiatrists will gauge your recovery based on certain milestones and prescribe the right treatment and maintenance plan in your case.

Can ECT cause brain damage?

There is no evidence to suggest that ECT, as it is carried out in modern psychiatry, causes structural changes to the brain. There are some rare cases where ECT has been associated with memory loss, hyper or hypotension, however, they are rare and can be prevented with adequate pre-diagnosis and precautions.

Who is a good candidate for ECT?

ECT is only carried out when the patient exhibits severe symptoms of acute mental illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Severe Depression. ECT is only carried out if all other treatments including therapy and medication have failed to induce the desired recovery.

Is ECT treatment dangerous?

ECT treatment as carried out in modern psychiatry is generally safe. However, there may be some confusion and disorientation after treatment hence it is advised to have a family member or loved one along during the treatment

How many ECT treatments are needed for recovery?

The number of treatments varies based on the severity of your symptoms. On average, 6-12 sessions of ECT have been found effective in most cases. However, this is purely indicative and your psychiatrist will constantly monitor your progress and decide on the number of sessions that are right for you.

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