Shock therapy making a comeback

January 14, 2008

Electroshock therapy is coming back into favor as a treatment for depression in the United States.

In the last 25 years, the number of U.S. patients undergoing the treatment -- formally known as electroconvulsive therapy -- has tripled to about 100,000, Te Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported Sunday.

The treatment faces a stigma, the newspaper said. Some view it as a form of torture, while others argue it causes permanent mental damage.

The American Psychiatric Association last month agreed to a new examination of literature on the practice.

Even among doctors who use it, there is disagreement about its effects, the newspaper said. Some feel it causes almost no problems, while others feel it can cause problems, but they are outweighed by the good done in some patients.

Both doctors and patients who use it say it is the only treatment that works for some suffering from severe depression.

"It's becoming a treatment of next resort instead of a treatment of last resort," said Dr. Michael A. Hill, a psychiatrist at University of North Carolina Hospitals, who administers the therapy.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Emotional toll from mass trauma can disrupt children's sense of competence

Related Stories

First ever data on number of gender confirmation surgeries

May 22, 2017

For the first time, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is reporting on the number of gender confirmation surgeries in the United States. ASPS—the world's largest plastic surgery organization—found that more ...

Recommended for you

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017

(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Study shows blood products unaffected by drone trips

December 7, 2016

In what is believed to be the first proof-of-concept study of its kind, Johns Hopkins researchers have determined that large bags of blood products, such as those transfused into patients every day, can maintain temperature ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Roopie
not rated yet Jan 21, 2008
I appreciated your article printed in local paper - Carroll County Times, Westminster, MD today. In my late teens and early 20's I experienced major depression. ECT was the only treatment that brought relief. However, I was aware that this needed to be followed with extensive psychotherapy as well. I had short term memory loss, but at age 45 returned to college to obtain my BA and MS. I am currently employed at the same psychiatric Center where I was treated. Now being there as LCPC and Chaplain. I hope this article brings hope to others.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.