Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy

This paper examines the myths and misconceptions of electronconvulsive shock threrapy (ECT) and its legitimate use in treating psychiatric disorders.

This paper traces the different uses of electroconvulsive shock therapy (ECT) in psychiatry since its discovery and first use in the 1930s. The author details the many myths and miscocnceptions of ECT and details how this treatment has been a leading method used in the treatment of many different types of mental illness including depression, schizophrenia and eating disorders. The problems associated with the use of ECT at different points in history are discussed and the methods used to combat these problems in order to make it more affective are also detailed in this paper. ECT has also been the subject of many different movies that has made it into a method of treatment that is frightening to many people. The author also discusses some alternate methods of treating some types of mental illness.
“Despite patient reports and documented research studies some professionals continue to object to the use of ECT as a treatment for mental disorder. They feel that the negative side effects are often more detrimental to the patient’s health than the mental disorder itself. One psychologist, John Breeding, PhD, has also raised ethical issues relating to informed consent. He argues that professionals in the psychology field have deliberately deceived patients by not providing enough information for the patients to make an informed choice about ECT guidelines for the administration of ECT are routinely and systematically violated. (Breeding 2000). He also puts forth the claim that informed consent in ECT can’t be fully obtained by someone in the grip of a serious mental disorder: ??people become victims of this so-called “treatment” at a time in life when they are extremely vulnerable.? (Breeding 2000).”