For patients struggling with major depression or bipolar disorder, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can help lift feelings of despair and control episodes of mania. Physicians at Atlantic Behavioral Health may use ECT when patients have not responded well to medications or when other forms of therapy have not been effective.
ECT delivers low doses of electrical current to the brain to stimulate brief seizures, which have been clinically proven to have a mood-stabilizing effect. A standard course of ECT involves several treatments each week for a period of two to four weeks. Patients are given an anesthetic and a muscle relaxant prior to each session and do not experience any discomfort.
Both inpatient and outpatient ECT treatment are available. An evaluation with a clinician and psychiatrist can help patients and families decide which treatment is best.
ECT is available at Morristown Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center.