Electro-Convulsive Therapy , or ECT, is a controversial treatment for a number of severe mental illnesses. In essence, an electric current is passed through the brain and induces an epileptic seizure. Though less frequently used these days, it may still be employed in cases of severe depression and mania resistant to other therapies. After treatment, patients may suffer headaches, feelings of confusion and temporary memory loss.
In this article, Dr Paul Lambden summarises the treatment, technique used, the risks and side effects, and longer term outcomes.