Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a safe and effective treatment for certain psychiatric disorders. It is most commonly used to treat severe depression and is often the safest, fastest and most effective treatment available for this illness. ECT is also sometimes used to treat patients with manic illness or schizophrenia.
ECT is available as an inpatient and outpatient treatment.
Treatment for depression has improved tremendously over the past 25 years. The techniques for administering ECT have also improved considerably. ECT is believed to correct biochemical abnormalities that underlie severe depressive illness. Studies indicate that 80% to 90% of depressed individuals who receive ECT treatment respond favorably, making ECT the most effective treatment for severe depression.
Before ECT begins, a patient’s medical condition is carefully assessed with a complete medical history, physical examination and laboratory tests, including blood tests and an electrocardiogram.
ECT is given as a course of treatments, with the number of sessions needed to successfully treat severe depression ranging from four to 20. The treatments are usually given three times per week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
ECT services at Boulder Community Hospital are directed by Drs. Frank Guerra and Daniel Fisher, who are both board-certified psychiatrists with years of experience utilizing this therapy.
For more information, please call 303-440-2280, or visit www.coloradoect.org.