Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
In recent years, medical advancements have vastly improved the diagnosis and treatment options available for patients suffering from mental illness. The development of new medicines and therapies have helped countless individuals recover from debilitating psychiatric problems that were previously thought untreatable.
Despite the advances, not everyone experiences successful outcomes through traditional methods. Heritage Oaks Hospital, located in Sacramento, California, offers an ECT program for individuals who have not responded to traditional therapies and medication.
What is Electroconvulsive Therapy?
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure most commonly used with patients who have one of several behavioral health issues such as:
- Severe major depression
- Bipolar depression or mania
- Persistent suicidal ideation
These methods are typically for patients who have not responded well to other treatments or may be resistant to medications. ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia. These procedures occur in two phases, initially consisting of three sessions per week for two to four weeks, then followed by a maintenance phase. Treatments are for adults 18 years of age and older.
Is ECT Safe?
To ensure that treatment can be administered in the most effective manner, prior to receiving Electroconvulsive Therapy, patients will undergo a physical and psychiatric evaluation. Medications may be adjusted to minimize risk and maximize effectiveness. Yet, all treatments may have risks and side effects. The most common side effects of ECT include muscle aches, nausea, short-term memory loss and headaches.
Don’t let time rob you of finding effective treatments for severe depression.
“God is forgiving, time is not… and the years go by.”
– Former Patient
Description of behaviors prior to treatment:
Didn’t feel good. Always felt sad, down, depressed, tired, upset; didn’t want to be around people. Wanted to be in my bedroom, just laying down. Didn’t have an appetite. Crying for no reason. Didn’t want to speak with anyone. Didn’t feel like working on my job that I’d been doing for more that 30 years. It was very hard to do my job.
Description of behaviors following ECT treatment:
I started feeling good like how I used to. As soon as I got my first treatment my mood changed, I started talking with my family, my wife. I started feeling good around people. I wanted to do my regular every-day tasks. I was more confident. My appetite came back. I started trusting in myself, like driving my car and dealing with simple things that before were so hard to do. It changed everything in me for being a better person.
How Effective is ECT?
According to the National Institutes of Health, with more than half of severely treatment-resistant patients achieving remission, Electroconvulsive Therapy has proven to be a useful treatment method. Since there are no guarantees regarding the effectiveness of ECT for each patient, our doctor will discuss why ECT therapy is being recommended and what alternative treatments may be available to you.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for ECT?
Please consult the dedicated professionals within the Heritage Oaks Hospital ECT Clinic at 916-480-5115 to assess if you are a candidate for ECT therapy. There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary. Our Medical Staff will also consult with you on the risks and benefits of ECT treatment if you are a suitable candidate.
ECT and How It Works?
At the Heritage Oaks Hospital ECT Clinic, Electroconvulsive Therapy is performed by a team of medical professionals specifically trained in its delivery. This team consists of a psychiatrist, anesthesiologist and nursing staff.
The anesthesia team administers general anesthesia, medications and monitors the patient’s medical status throughout the procedure. The psychiatrist commonly delivers the ECT stimulation.
After the treatment, nursing staff will continue to monitor the patient’s progress until it is deemed safe to leave the clinic. Outpatients receiving Electroconvulsive Therapy therapy will need to be driven to and from the treatment as a safety precaution.
What Should I Expect After ECT?
While Electroconvulsive Therapy is an extremely effective treatment, it is only one component of a complete treatment regimen. After your ECT course, medications will likely be required as maintenance therapy to help prevent a return of your illness.
It is important to remember that ECT cannot resolve other problems associated with personal relationships or how an individual copes with the stressors of life. Other interventions such as psychotherapy may be recommended. Talk to a medical professional about steps after ECT.
A Continuum of Care
With you in mind, Heritage Oaks Hospital’s family of services is able to better serve our patients by offering multiple levels of care along the path to wellness. In addition to providing Electroconvulsive Therapy, we offer a broad range of inpatient services for adolescents, adults and seniors, as well as outpatient services including:
- Partial Hospitalization (PHP)
- Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
Both inpatient and outpatient programs for patients provide treatment services with a variety of treatable mental illness or behavioral health needs throughout the Northern California area. Each of these services can help our patients reach their goals and provide them with the tools necessary to live a happier, healthier life.
There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary. Please consult the dedicated professionals within the Heritage Oaks Hospital Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Clinic at 916-480-5115 to assess if you are a candidate for ECT treatment. Our Medical Staff will also consult with you on the risks and benefits of ECT treatment if you are a suitable candidate.
Help Is a Phone Call Away
If you or a loved one may be in need of behavioral health treatment, call Heritage Oaks Hospital at 916-489-3336. No cost assessments are available 24/7.