This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Electroconvulsive Therapy: What Is It And Is It Safe?

1655 words - 7 pages

Many treatments within the medical field have been considered controversial, but even after seventy-eight years of use electroconvulsive therapy, also referred to as ECT, is still one of the most questionable treatments. Just like any other treatment ECT has its risk and advantages, but it seems to have an even more negative connotation than other controversial treatments due to its violent history. Throughout the seventy-eight years that ECT has been around, research has been done to learn more about the treatment, which disorders it can be useful for, and what side effects can occur. The research has led to adjustments being made to the procedure and has significantly improved patient safety. The success of electroconvulsive therapy can be shown by numbers and case opinions; it may work for one person, but not another.
Several strides have been made in the medical field in regards to electroconvulsive therapy. The treatment is defined as “a medical procedure in which a brief electrical stimulus is used to induce a cerebral seizure under controlled conditions” (Enns, Reiss & Chan, 2010). It is used for a handful of mental illnesses, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, but when it was introduced in 1938 by Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bin, its main use was to treat schizophrenia (Enns, Reiss & Chan, 2010). ECT can indeed be effective for schizophrenia, but the best results are when the “… duration of [the] illness is relatively brief or when catatonic or affective symptoms are prominent” (Enns, Reiss & Chan, 2010). Unlike schizophrenia, the best results from ECT have come from treatments with patients who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and alternative methods are no longer working. Electroconvulsive therapy occurs two to three times per week and often there are twelve sessions until a patient reaches a recovery stage; if there is need for more sessions that doctor will have to re-evaluate the situation.
ECT has a rather violent history, but the procedure is much more humane now, with the use of anesthetics and muscle relaxers, than it was in the beginning of its existence. After the patient is put to sleep with the anesthetic and the muscle relaxer sets in, “Two electrodes are placed on the patient’s scalp and a current is passed between them by a machine designed for this purpose…the current lasts for a second or two and the resulting seizure for 30 seconds to a minute” (“Electroconvulsive therapy”, 2007). It is important for the current to be at a proper level because if it is too low, the treatment won’t work, and if it is too high then a longer seizure could occur and serious damage can be done to the brain.
Because of the side effects and risks, people have to freely and voluntarily consent to the treatment. In order to consent to the treatment, the patient must sign a paper but not until after the procedure is explained to him/her. The nurses and/or doctors must provide the patient with...

Find Another Essay On Electroconvulsive Therapy: What Is It and Is It Safe?

What´s Electroconvulsive Therapy? Essay

1585 words - 7 pages Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was first developed in 1938. It has a history of abuse, exploited as a means of punishing or controlling people in mental hospitals, consequently ECT had poor reputation with negative depictions, but since then it has drastically improved with confirmed effectiveness. Despite the improvement in techniques, the use of ECT continues to decline since the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE,2003) states

Sun Gazing, Surviving Off of the Sun: Is It Possible and Is It Safe?

1749 words - 7 pages sure you don't overdo it. I am not a professional instructor, and I take no responsibility if something should ever happen to you during your Sun Gazing experiences. Remember, staring at the sun is NOT recommended. It can severely hurt your eyes, or even in the worst scenario, blind you, so be sure you know what you are doing at all times and be safe. With that being said, let's move on. My research led me to the "best" method of Sun Gazing, and

Nuclear Energy; How Safe is It?

1378 words - 6 pages March 11, 2011 an earthquake of 9.0 magnitude struck and caused a tsunami that led to the meltdown of three reactors at Japans Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Hundreds of thousands of people found themselves victim of contamination from one of the worst environmental disasters in history. So, how can Nuclear Energy be safe, this is just one of many accidents to happen whether it is by natural disaster or human error nuclear energy is not safe. It

Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Is Necessary

2299 words - 9 pages making better decisions, one will have greater confidence to pursue and achieve our most important life goals. We must work everyday to overcome our prejudices, biases, emotions and opinions. We must use critical thinking in every situation we encounter; Critical thinking is the basis for effective communication. References Facione, P. (2007 update). Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts. Retrieved February 6, 2009, from http

What is Fear and What Causes It?

1520 words - 6 pages Fear is something that large amounts of people have encountered at least once at some point in their lives. It has been said to have caused a variety of outcomes, many of them being largely negative. Therefore, it is a common human response to react to fear by counteracting it with positivity and/or success. The idea people have of what fear is depends on the person. In the article “How Fear Works”, for example, fear is defined as a “chain

Schizophrenia- What is it?

687 words - 3 pages then you’re 10% more likely to have it… if both of your parents have it you’re 39% more likely to have it” (National). Although schizophrenia is genetic, malnutrition in the womb can encourage it. Regardless of research, scientists still do not know what gene causes the disease. Most scientists believe it is a combination of different genes that cause it and not just one. Another important thing to be educated on is the symptoms of

Prozac - What is it?

949 words - 4 pages Prozac, what is it?Prozac; you have seen it on television, read about it in the papers, heard about it at the office, but what is Prozac? Prozac is an anti-depressant in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) family. Prozac was first introduced in 1987 when the U.S Food and Drug Administration approved its release in the United States. The drug is commonly prescribed for treatment of depression but has also been used to treat

What is it called?

890 words - 4 pages is surviving after a painful and fateful giving-birth moment. This is what happened, but few people came and I could see some disappointment in some faces. The first one I saw was my grandma’s, because she was praying day and night wishing to have a new grandson. She already had four granddaughters from the same son, why would she have a fifth one? Nevertheless, another thing was coming and it was much more stressful and frustrating than my

Terrorism: What is it?

629 words - 3 pages considered to be terrorism.So, what is terrorism? There is no concrete definition; instead there are many, which are based on individual and self-centered views. When defining the term we tend not to ask the following: Does terrorism need to involve the killing of many people or can it affect just one person? Can it involve simply the destruction of property, with no injuries? Can governments commit acts of terrorism, or is the term reserved only

Truth, what is it?

629 words - 3 pages mode of subsistence of truth. Since it is the correct reflection of the object, truth always has objective content. If we conceive conceptions that have no correspondence in authenticity, it is pellucid that these concepts have nothing to do with truth and cannot therefore stand up to the test of practice. Any truth is objective. There is no subsistence of unobjective truth. Subjective truth is merely an individual's opinion. So the definition that

What is it Really?

1088 words - 5 pages ) Here in this time period people were starting to question why were they still fighting even after Hitler would give these very firey speaches of the former glory of the fatherland (Germany). It is human nature to question things and most of the time not just accept things for the way they are. Even today in two thousand thirteen the government tries to control what you can and cannot do but everyday there is someone who questions why they can not

Similar Essays

Is It Safe? Essay

728 words - 3 pages right. Some sites do not have any help that will be fast and easy to receive. On the bright side there is way to check how safe a website is. This website is called Better Business Bureau, and it is a government website so it can be trusted. So, in conclusion, shopping in the store is better than shopping online, because the safety, the guarantee, and the social aspect are all at risk. There may be some perks to shopping online, but when someone

Abortion Is It Safe? Essay

964 words - 4 pages Abortion - Is it Safe?      If you have been told that abortion is a "safe and legal" procedure, please keep reading. Many problems can occur either during or after a legal abortion. Most people are unaware of the many dangers associated with abortion.   Ten percent of women undergoing elective abortion will suffer immediate complications, of which one-fifth are considered life-threatening. The most common complications that can

Nuclear Power, Is It Safe? Essay

981 words - 4 pages large quantities. U-238 makes up 99 percent ofthe uranium on the planet. Uranium-235 makes up about 0.7 percent of theremaining uranium found naturally, while uranium-234 is even more rare and isformed by the decay of uranium-238. (Uranium-238 goes through many stages oralpha and beta decay to form a stable isotope of lead, and U-234 is one link in thatchain.) Uranium-235 has an interesting property that makes it useful for bothnuclear power

Functional Communication: What It Is And What It Is Not

767 words - 4 pages The topic for today’s reading was Functional Communication: What It is and What It is Not. The assigned reading, Facilitated Communication—what harm it can do: Confessions of a former facilitator, presented the case story of the Wheaton daughter’s facilitator where she said that twenty years ago, she was the facilitator in the Wheaton case, a story featured on Frontline’s Prisoners of Silence and, later, in a 20/20 episode with Hugh Downs. She