Electro-Convulsive Therapy

A Ray of Hope for Severe Sufferers

For more than fifty years, Carrier Clinic has provided this well-researched and effective treatment option for those suffering from psychiatric illness, including depression with psychosis, Bipolar Disorder, treatment-resistant Schizophrenia and catatonia.

One of the largest ECT treatment providers on the East Coast, Carrier Clinic has a long history in providing life-changing ECT services. Carrier's staff are among the most experienced in the field, and use the most modern technology for treatment services.

The Procedure

During ECT, a small amount of electrical current is sent to the brain, producing seizure activity. This seizure activity stimulates the brain to correct imbalances in the brain centers that are responsible for sleep, appetite, mood and thought processes.

An ECT treatment series usually consists of six to 12 treatments, given up to three times a week. The attending psychiatrist monitors patient response and mood to determine the exact number of treatments best suited for each individual. Maintenance ECT is also available to help prevent another episode of depression for patients who experience recurring symptoms.

Who Might Be a Candidate to Receive ECT?

ECT is most commonly prescribed for severe depression, where symptoms include:
  • Sad, blue, low mood
  • Altered appetite with weight changes
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Low energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Decreased interest in things that once gave you pleasure
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Increased worrying

What to Expect with Getting ECT
Patients lay down on a bed and are given a muscle relaxant. Monitors are applied to check heart rate and EKG, oxygen level and pulse oximeter, as well as blood pressure. General anesthesia is administered intravenously. Electrodes are attached to the head, and a current is introduced in short pulses, causing a grand mal seizure that makes the brain produce and use serotonin, norepinephrine - brain chemicals that are low when someone is depressed.

ECT is also helpful in the treatment of other disorders that have not responded to medication, such as Catatonia and chemical imbalances.

For general information about ECT, and other programs and services at Carrier, please contact Community Relations by calling (908) 281-1513. If you need clinical information regarding ECT or would like to schedule treatments, please contact our ECT Coordinator at (908) 281-1440.

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