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Electroconvulsive Therapy Research Essay

1174 words - 5 pages

Electroconvulsive Therapy, a procedure in which electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure, can provide relief from psychiatric illnesses such as major depression and dysthymia. Currently in the U.S., depression and dysthymia is becoming a serious problem for teenagers today. According to Teen Help, “about 20 percent of teens will experience teen depression before they reach adulthood.”(Teen Help) Treatment of adolescents with clinical depression is difficult, involving pharmacologic, psychotherapeutic, educational, and family interventions. Medication has a limited role because of its lack of efficacy, its minimal effect on etiologic factors, and the frequent noncompliance of adolescents. Treatment with ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) is proven, based on positive clinical studies, to treat depression effectively. ECT ultimately heals the illness quickly with only 3 treatments a week for one month. Unlike medications, which only begin treating after a year. Physicians should promote strong therapeutic treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy. The lack of attention of depression has become worse throughout the years in America. Because of its positive rating of treatment, Electroconvulsive therapy can treat adolescents with depression and dysthymia.
In contrast to the treatment of depression in adults, medication has a limited role for treating adolescent depression. ECT can heal depression in approximately one month according to scientific research “there is considerable variability in the trajectories, but most commonly there is progressive symptomatic improvement within the first week and complete remission within 3 to 4 week.”(Avery) Adolescents are likely to be noncompliant with medication. They struggle with the idea of “taking mood-altering substances recommended by adults while they are developing an independent identity to peer pressure.”(Avery) Adolescents have commented “taking pills proves to them that they are ‘psycho’”(Avery) Finally, those adolescents who have developed clinical depression require strong therapy and a quick treatment in order to help repair the damaging effects of the depression and to prevent its recurrence. ECT is one of the fastest and convenient ways to receive treatment. Most units give ECT twice per week, often on a Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday. In general, it will take “2 or 3 treatments before you see any difference, and 4 to 5 treatments for noticeable improvement. A course will on average be 6 to 8 treatments, although as many as 12 may be needed, particularly if you have been depressed for a long time.”(Austerman) ECT treats severe symptoms quickly and effectively. ECT can be a life-saving treatment because it is rapidly effective, even when other treatments fail. ECT often quickly resolves the “symptoms of major depression, including depressed mood, lack of interest, appetite and weight disturbance, sleep disturbance, feelings of...

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