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Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

ECT is recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health as a successful treatment option for severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The experienced psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, and registered nurses at Windmoor Healthcare have received extensive training on how to conduct a ECT procedure. The staff at Windmoor Healthcare of Clearwater is committed to educating patients and their families about the risks and benefits of ECT.

A potential candidate for the ECT may show signs of sadness, despair, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, or inability to sleep. The procedure can work faster than psychiatric medications and psychotherapy and may provide life-saving results where other treatments have failed. Today, as many as 100,000 people in the United States receive ECT each year.

The procedure normally takes around two hours from admission to discharge.

Frequency of ECT

The average patient will usually receive six to twelve ECT treatments about two or three times a week.  Most patients remain well many months after treatment though monthly or bimonthly treatment is an option to maintain remission.

Side Effects of ECT

It is common for patients to experience mild confusion after treatment. A patient may wake up not remembering where he or she is or why he or she received ECT. This generally lasts from a few minutes to several hours. Often patients describe their thinking as “ hazy” or “cloudy” after the procedure. The most common side effects of ECT include muscle aches, nausea, short-term memory loss and headaches.

Help is Just a Phone Call Away

We cannot offer diagnosis, counseling, or recommendations online, but an assessment and referral specialist is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 727-541-2646. If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

To contact us via email, please fill out a request information form.

ECT disclaimer:
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any medical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is right for you.