Is ECT used to treat the mania of bipolar disorder?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is effective treatment for a bipolar disorder manic episode that cannot be treated with mood stabilizers or other medications. ECT is highly effective for mixed episodes and people who are severely depressed. However, in all of these cases, other treatments should be exhausted before using ECT. Treatment for bipolar I disorder mania includes mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications. If these medications do not resolve the manic episode, the psychiatrist may suggest ECT. ECT was formerly called "shock therapy." Today, ECT is greatly improved and gives relief for many with bipolar disorder when other treatments fail.

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