Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a procedure done under general anesthesia in which the patient receives small electric shocks to the brain. These small electrical shocks stimulate the brain in a way that changes brain chemistry. This form of therapy has proven to treat a variety of mental health disorders including PTSD, schizophrenia and depression. Learn why electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) shouldn’t be the last resort — and why it’s perfectly a viable form of treatment from day one — for people suffering from depression. Contact us today to receive more information about ECT for Depression in Chico.
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It’s estimated that over 16 million Americans suffer from depression every year. While counseling, psychotherapy, and prescription medications are the most commonly prescribed forms of treatment for depression, they don’t work for everyone. In fact, it’s estimated that 100,000 people don’t see improvements from these common forms of treatment.
This is why electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) should no longer be seen as a last resort for depression treatment. For many people, ECT can treat depression as, if not more effectively than the more common forms of treatment above — sometimes in a shorter amount of time.
Medication may be one of the most common forms of depression treatment, but it’s not for everyone. For one, it can take a lot of experimentation and professional guidance to ultimately find a medication that works for a specific patient’s needs. Beyond this, the side effects of medication can sometimes outweigh any positive results produced by it.
In other cases, antidepressant medication may not even be an option in the first place. For example, a patient may have some kind of intolerance that eliminates medication as an option altogether. In any of these scenarios, ETC can prove as an effective alternative form of treatment.
While we keep our patients for, however long is necessary to ensure their safety, all patients can leave and sleep in their own beds after their treatment. In fact, many patients finish their ECT session and are on their way in just 30 minutes. The actual procedure itself generally only lasts 4 to 5 minutes.
Plus, for many patients, the only painful part of ECT is the injection of the small IV used to administer the anesthesia. Because you’re put under for the entire treatment session, you don’t have to worry about experiencing any pain from the use of electricity.
When taking antidepressants, it’s not uncommon to have to wait upwards of six weeks to begin experiencing any effect. This is long enough in itself, but when you consider that it can take experimentation with multiple different medications before finding one that’s suitable for you, you can begin to understand just how long treatment can really take through antidepressant medication.
With ECT, however, patients can begin to see results in as quickly as one week. While a full treatment cycle generally lasts several weeks and consists of multiple sessions per week, it’s common for patients to experience better moods, higher motivation, and other positive results after just one or two weeks of treatment.
A large part of ECT’s negative reputation comes from its inaccurate and negative depiction in films and TV. Fortunately, real ECT as administered by licensed and trained medical professionals is a far cry from these fictional depictions. You can take comfort in the fact that each ECT session is guided by both a physician and a psychiatrist, both highly qualified and working with state-of-the-art equipment.
For those worried about brain damage or serious changes to their personality — two false Hollywood tropes related to ECT — there is no scientific evidence to support these as risks of ECT.
Patients are monitored by the doctors until they wake up from the anesthesia, and this process is then repeated multiple times per week for however long is necessary. Patients also don’t have to worry about lengthy medical stays. After each session, as long as they’re deemed okay by the present medical staff, patients can go home and sleep in their own beds the very same night.
Because ECT is such a highly scientific procedure, patients should be very selective in who they choose to receive treatment from. Only providers with proper licensing, experience, and certification — such as Therapeutic Solutions — should be trusted with ECT treatment.
At Therapeutic Solutions, we’re proud to say that we’re the only provider in the area north of Sacramento to offer this treatment. Performed by our compassionate, board-certified psychiatrists in a fully accredited outpatient surgical center, we administer ECT to patients under general anesthesia.
With wide support for the most common insurance providers, we aim to make ECT as affordable and accessible to those in need as possible. To see how much you can expect to pay for ECT treatment, give us a call today.
Whether you don’t see significant results from your current form of treatment, aren’t able to pursue other forms of treatment in the first place, or are simply looking for an effective form of treatment to start with, ETC may be the right form of depression treatment for you.