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Depression - Shock Therapy

Shock therapy, in many different forms, has been in use since the Roman Empire. The earliest procedures in shock therapy were harsh and unrealistic, proving to be of little benefit to the patient. The attitude toward mental illness in the past was one of misconception and lack of understanding. People with varying degrees of psychotic behavior were simply considered insane and were treated as outcasts in society. Fortunately, modern medicine has enlightened physicans with new and improved methods for treating mental illness.

Shock therapy, or electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy, is used today in cases of severe mental illness that have not shown improvement with therapy and medication. Since its discovery in the early 1900's, it has proven to be effective in patients suffering with bipolar, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Electroconvulsive therapy induces a seizure in the patient, lasting no more than 30 seconds, by passing an electrical current through the brain. Medical doctors carefully monitor the heart rate and other vital signs while the patient is under general anesthesia.

Shock therapy aids in the growth of new neurons that control emotions and memory to replace the ones lost in chronic depression. Shock therapy is commonly used today in hospitals as a proven method for alleviating mental illness and lessening the chance of suicidal attempts. There is minimal risk and the possibility of short-term memory loss or temporary confusion may well be attributed to severe depression, rather than to shock therapy. People who suffer from ongoing depression should not hesitate to seek the advice of a professional and learn the benefits of shock therapy.