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What should I know when considering shock therapy (ECT)?

Sometimes medication doesn't have the effects doctors want. When depression or mania doesn't respond to medication, your doctor may recommend ECT or electroconvulsive therapy.

Unlike the images you may see in old movies, electroconvulsive therapy as it is conducted now is neither painful nor dangerous. It can never be applied without your consent. In fact, it lifts many out of overwhelming depression, and for those unable to take medications, ECT can be the only effective treatment. Unlike medication, its effects take place instantly. Sometimes, electroconvulsive therapy can cause short-term memory loss.

If you're considering ECT, know that you can discuss the level of ECT best for you with your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.