Shock Treatments For Depression


Shock treatments for depression include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), otherwise known as electroshock, a form of treatment in which the induction of seizures is utilized for various therapeutic conditions.

Typically, shock treatments for depression are used to treat severe depression cases which have not responded to other forms of treatment. This form of therapy has also been known to work as a method of treating individuals suffering from mania and catatonia.

Originally introduced in 1938, the use of ECT didn’t really catch on until the 1940s. It was at that point that this form of shock treatments for depression for various otherwise untreatable conditions came about, and from there, it became increasingly more popular.

ECT can be applied in three different ways depending on the placement of the electrode, the frequency of the utilized treatments and the electrical waveform of the used stimulus. As a result, these three application types can have very different impacts on the people receiving them – both positive and negative.

Generally, after shock treatments for depression, a period of drug therapy follows. From there, the patients may or may not receive further maintenance ECT.

One of the most well-known standards of modern ECT is “informed consent.” As per the Surgeon General, the only time involuntary shock treatments for depression is permitted is in the extreme cases when all other options have been exhausted. Or, of course, if it is deemed that the ECT can be potentially life-saving.

While shock treatments for depression are generally recognized as a safe and effective technique, it carries with it a certain stigma that it has been unable to shake over the years. Thus, shock treatments for depression remains a controversial method of treatment which should be heavily researched, and the subject of number of consultations with specialists before being chosen as the preferred method of treatment.


The information provided on the is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Total votes: 3979