Table of Contents
ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy, is a form of treatment for severe mental illness, such as severe depression and bipolar disorder. It involves applying electrical stimulation to certain areas of the brain, which is believed to help regulate mood and relieve symptoms of depression. ECT is usually considered a last-resort treatment option, when other therapies, medications and lifestyle changes have been unsuccessful.
Frequency of Treatments
The number of ECT treatments typically required to relieve symptoms of depression varies from person to person. Generally, the total number of treatments can range from 6 to 12, with the majority of people receiving between 8 and 10 treatments. Treatments are usually given 2-3 times a week for up to 6 weeks.
The frequency of treatments should be based on the individual’s response to the treatment. If the response is good, then the frequency may be reduced or the treatment may be stopped after a few treatments. If the response is poor, then more treatments may be necessary.
In some cases, maintenance treatments, or booster treatments, may be necessary after the initial course of ECT treatments. Maintenance treatments are usually administered once a month or every few months to maintain the positive effect of the initial treatments and to prevent relapse. These treatments are usually shorter and involve a lower dose of electricity.
Length of Treatments
The length of each ECT treatment typically lasts from 15-20 minutes. During this time, the patient will be under anesthesia and will not be aware of their surroundings. After the procedure is completed, they will usually remain in the recovery area for an hour or two until they are awake and alert.
ECT is a form of treatment for severe mental illness that involves applying electrical stimulation to certain areas of the brain. The number of treatments varies from person to person, but usually ranges from 6 to 12. Maintenance treatments may be necessary after the initial course of treatments. Each treatment usually lasts between 15-20 minutes and the patient will remain in the recovery area for an hour or two until they are awake and alert. It is important to talk to your doctor to discuss the best treatment plan for your individual needs.