Electro convulsive therapy, or ECT therapy, is employed for a small number of severe mental illnesses. Originally the treatment method was introduced during the 1930s but it was extensively used in the 1950s and 60s for quite a number of conditions. Today it is very much very clear that this therapy must only be utilized in a small amount for very severe conditions.
The process of ECT therapy consists of a passing of electrical current through the patient’s brain which causes an epileptic fit and that’s why this treatment is termed electro convulsive. The concept was formulated by noticing that in the earlier days individuals with depressive disorders or schizophrenia or people who had epilepsy, seemed to have felt much better after having a seizure. Research was conducted and it discovered that the impact is because of the seizure rather than the electric current.
This treatment procedure is conducted with the supervision of a consulting psychiatrist after anesthetizing the individual and in addition by giving muscle relaxers. At specific points on the skull of the affected person the electrodes are positioned. Stimulation of the brain could take place on one or even both sides of the brain. This would depend entirely on the respective patient and this is known as bilateral or unilateral ECT therapy. The severity of muscle spasms will get minimized due to the muscle relaxant. The precise course of this treatment will depend entirely on the condition or the nature of the patient and the patient’s reaction to it.
This particular treatment will entail a small level of risk which comes along with virtually any procedure that includes an anesthetic. A few side effects of this treatment are sore muscles, headache, confusion and queasiness.
Another side effect is the fact that a lot of individuals experience the problem of short term memory loss which can occur in the course of the therapy. But this lasts for a couple of days or weeks. Regardless of this there are some individuals who have extended difficulties with their memory and it’s observed that it happens largely to those people who have bilateral treatment rather than unilateral.
If this treatment is suggested to you by your psychiatrist you have specific legal rights to learn a number of things prior to undergoing the treatment. These rights consist of complete explanation of the procedure, the potential risks involved, the pros and cons, the rewards, the right to get a second opinion, the right to make a complaint, the right to refuse the treatment, the representation by a friend or relative, legal advice and so on. Additionally there are certain things that a person should bear in mind before agreeing to the treatment. The therapy treats a variety of mental illness and there is a temporary problem in short term memory faced by the individual.