Electroconvulsive therapy, sometimes referred to as ECT, is an evidence-based treatment which is sometimes recommended for people with severe depression.
Your doctor may discuss ECT with you if other treatment options have failed or if your life is at risk.
During ECT a carefully calculated electric current is passed to the brain through electrodes placed on the head. The current stimulates the brain and triggers a seizure (fit), which helps relieve the symptoms of depression.
ECT is carried out by a specialist doctor under a general anaesthetic. Patients are also given a muscle relaxant to prevent body spasms. The patient's health is carefully monitored during the procedure and after each session.
If you are referred to our clinic for ECT your doctor will clearly explain what the procedure involves, along with the benefits, risks and possible side effects, so that you can make an informed choice about your treatment.
If you decide to go ahead with ECT you will be asked to give your consent. You can withdraw this at any time.
Sussex Partnership provides ECT in line with national guidance set out by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This guidance can be viewed here: