Shock therapy making a comeback

Jan 14, 2008

Electroshock therapy is coming back into favor as a treatment for depression in the United States.

In the last 25 years, the number of U.S. patients undergoing the treatment -- formally known as electroconvulsive therapy -- has tripled to about 100,000, Te Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported Sunday.

The treatment faces a stigma, the newspaper said. Some view it as a form of torture, while others argue it causes permanent mental damage.

The American Psychiatric Association last month agreed to a new examination of literature on the practice.

Even among doctors who use it, there is disagreement about its effects, the newspaper said. Some feel it causes almost no problems, while others feel it can cause problems, but they are outweighed by the good done in some patients.

Both doctors and patients who use it say it is the only treatment that works for some suffering from severe depression.

"It's becoming a treatment of next resort instead of a treatment of last resort," said Dr. Michael A. Hill, a psychiatrist at University of North Carolina Hospitals, who administers the therapy.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: The 'fifth taste,' umami, could be beneficial for health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Does acupuncture help pets?

Jan 22, 2015

Like any other type of medical therapy, acupuncture is not magic: It is a mode of therapy that has both applications and limitations. I don't like to say that acupuncture treats disease, because so many people associate the ...

World's oldest penguin undergoes cancer radiation

Dec 12, 2014

A toddler on Tuesday peered through thick glass as Tess – the world's oldest African penguin, representing an endangered species set to vanish in the child's lifetime – dove into her pool at the Pueblo Zoo. It was the ...

Chinese gay dating app grows to 15 million users

Dec 01, 2014

By day, Ma Baoli was a high-ranking officer in a seaside city police force. By night, he ran a website for gay people to share experiences and on which he spoke under a pseudonym about the pressure he faced ...

Virtual stimuli help identify deviant sexual behaviors

Nov 03, 2014

Virtual reality may be the key to predicting both the behaviour of sex offenders and the effectiveness of the therapies they have undergone, according to a study undertaken by Massil Benbouriche of the University ...

Recommended for you

The 'fifth taste,' umami, could be beneficial for health

9 minutes ago

The umami taste could have an important and beneficial role in health, according to research published in the open access journal Flavour. The journal's special series of articles 'The Science of Taste' also finds that ' ...

Why menthol chills your mouth when it's not actually cold

Jan 22, 2015

Try putting an ice-cube in your mouth. The insides of your mouth and tongue instantly turn numb. Hold it in still and you will feel pain. Now try sucking on peppermint. The mint itself is at room temperature, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Roopie
not rated yet Jan 21, 2008
I appreciated your article printed in local paper - Carroll County Times, Westminster, MD today. In my late teens and early 20's I experienced major depression. ECT was the only treatment that brought relief. However, I was aware that this needed to be followed with extensive psychotherapy as well. I had short term memory loss, but at age 45 returned to college to obtain my BA and MS. I am currently employed at the same psychiatric Center where I was treated. Now being there as LCPC and Chaplain. I hope this article brings hope to others.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.