You receive medicine to relax you (muscle relaxant) and to prevent you from feeling pain (short-acting anesthetic).
A small amount of electric current is delivered to the brain to cause seizure activity. It lasts for about 40 seconds. Medicine is given to prevent the seizure from spreading throughout the body.
ECT is usually given once every 2 – 5 days for a total of 6 – 12 sessions.
ECT is a highly effective treatment for depression, most commonly severe depression. It can be especially helpful for treating depression in patients who:
Cannot take antidepressant drugs
Are pregnant and severely depressed
Have certain heart problems