Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
People with severe depression who experience remission for up to six months after completing electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) report an improvement in quality of life that is comparable to that of a mentally healthy person.
"If we can get you into remission, you get this big, big improvement in quality of life at six months such that our patients' quality of life is as good as that of the overall general population," explained Dr. W. Vaughn McCall, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.
After reviewing quality of life surveys completed by more than 500 patients, they found that half went into remission after ECT and about 64 of them stayed in remission six months later. Their survey answers during that six-month time period compared favorably to that of healthy individuals in a control group.
The researchers hope to improve the numbers of those staying in remission. "We need to look at different drug treatments for patients to prevent relapse," said McCall. There is some evidence suggesting that ECT along with drug therapy produces better results. "The other possibility is that there are some people who seem to respond to nothing but ECT and will need booster ECT sessions to stay well."
The ideal candidate for ECT is someone who is severely depressed who has not responded to a variety of drug therapies. Over a lifetime, depressed people can do several rounds of ECT where the results will last for varying lengths. Therapy includes a short burst of controlled electricity to the brain via electrodes on the scalp. Anesthetic and muscle relaxers are used to keep the patient comfortable.
"What I tell patients is that six months after this is over, my expectation is that you will be better off, not just in terms of your depression, I mean globally in your quality of life," McCall said. "The trick is going to be keeping you well so you do not slide back into depression. That is the biggest risk."
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Medical College at Georgia Regents University
The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.