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Electroconvulsive Therapy: How It Works & Key Benefits

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In some cases, patients who suffer from severe depression are unable to find an effective treatment. They may have tried a range of medications and behavioral health programs, yet their mental health conditions do not improve. For some people, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be the right choice to help them get in control of their mental health.

The article below covers electroconvulsive therapy and how it may help people who have found other treatments to be ineffective. We describe what happens during ECT, how ECT works, and treatment benefits. We also cover how people can access ECT therapy at modern behavioral health facilities.

What happens during treatment, and how does it work?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a non drug-based treatment for mental health issues. ECT therapy has been around for decades, and medical professionals have conducted a wide range of studies demonstrating the treatment's safety and efficacy.

During ECT, medical professionals administer small electrical currents to the patient's brain. The electrical stimulation is brief, lasting for only a few minutes.,. This stimulation significantly increase brain activity and results in a massive release of neurotransmitters. This increase in brain activity may develop new cells and nerve pathways that can lead to positive treatment outcomes.

For safety, patients are under general anesthesia monitored by a board-certified anesthesiologist, ensuring that patients do feel anything from electrical stimulation. Patients do not feel the electrical currents and do not experience pain during ECT.

After the electrical stimulation session, patients move to a separate recovery area under our clinical staff's supervision. A member of our clinical team asks the patient several questions and performs monitoring tests. In most ECT programs, patients then come back for electrical stimulation sessions for around a month. Most patients have between two and three treatment sessions per week.

Top aspects and benefits of ECT

The most important aspect of ECT is that it is highly effective. Recent studies suggest that ECT is 80% effective at helping patients reverse symptoms of their mental health conditions, and in many cases, patients saw benefits from ECT within weeks of treatment. With effective treatment, patients can get back to enjoying productive, healthy lives.

Another important point regarding ECT is that it is a drug-free therapy. Many mental health treatments involve a pharmaceutical component, and treatment drugs can have a range of interactions and side-effects. Since ECT does not include a pharmaceutical component, patients and their health providers do not have to worry about the potential impacts of additional medications.

Lastly, another key aspect of ECT is that most insurance companies cover the treatment. This point is important, as it allows more people to access effective treatment for mental health. Of course, insurance plans can differ greatly, and ECT providers can help patients navigate the details of their particular plans.

What type of patient should receive ECT?

Electroconvulsive therapy is not for everyone, and it is not a first-line treatment option. Clinicians only recommend ECT as a treatment after other treatment modalities have failed. Typically, people who receive ECT have tried individual therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, and medication-based treatment methods.

Importantly, clinicians do not use ECT to treat all forms of mental health conditions. Clinical professionals typically use electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to treat depression and bipolar disorder... Also, as mentioned, clinicians only treat the above mental health conditions with ECT after patients prove unresponsive or resistant to other treatment options.

How can people access ECT therapy?

Mental health conditions typically worsen without proper treatment, and it is important for patients to access effective treatment when they need it. For ECT, patients can access treatment at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. Houston Behavioral Health Hospital, offers ECT therapy in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Both inpatient and outpatient ECT occurs under experienced psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, and ECT-trained registered nurses. Importantly, our clinical team has decades of experience administering ECT therapy and helping patients overcome their mental health challenges.

Patients who need ECT must first gain clearance from their doctors and behavioral health treatment professionals at our hospital.

Once clinical professionals approve ECT for the patient, our staff then works to obtain approval from the patient's insurance company. Our goal is to make the process of receiving effective treatment easy for each patient, and we are happy to help patients overcome any logistical hurdles.

Getting started with ECT at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital

If you have a patient that may benefit from ECT services, reach out to our team at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. We have been providing ECT services to patients in a safe and comfortable environment for years. To get started, you can contact us online or call us directly at346-701-8586.

When you get in touch with us, a team member can help answer any questions you may have about ECT. We understand that ECT may be a new consideration for many patients, and we are happy to help guide each patient as they look for effective treatment.