Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health as a medical treatment option for severe psychiatric disorders that have not responded to medication and other forms of therapy. It may also benefit individuals who cannot take medications due to extreme side effects. If you or a loved one is suffering from the acute symptoms of a psychiatric disorder, ECT may be appropriate.
River Point Behavioral Health administers 900 to 1,000 ECT treatments annually on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Our experienced team of psychiatrists, anesthesiologists and registered nurses has received extensive specialized training in order to provide our patients with quality care in a secure, compassionate environment.
Electroconvulsive Therapy has been proven to be a useful treatment method with more than half of severely treatment-resistant patients achieving remission, according to the National Institutes of Health. Still, there is no guarantee that ECT will be effective. Your doctor will discuss with you why ECT inpatient or ECT outpatient therapy is being recommended and what alternative treatments may be available.
Prior to Electroconvulsive Therapy, patients will undergo a physical and psychiatric evaluation to ensure that the treatments can be administered in the most effective manner. Medications may be adjusted to minimize risk and maximize effectiveness. However, all treatments have risks and side effects. The most common side effects of ECT include muscle aches, nausea, short-term memory loss and headaches.
There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary. Please consult the dedicated professionals within the ECT program at River Point Behavioral Health to assess if you are a candidate for ECT therapy. Our Medical Staff will also consult with you on the risks and benefits of ECT treatment if you are a suitable candidate.
At River Point Behavioral Health, 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 psychiatrist commonly delivers the ECT stimulation. The anesthesia team administers general anesthesia, medications and monitors the patient’s medical status throughout the procedure. After the treatment, nursing staff will continue to monitor the patient’s progress until they return to the inpatient or outpatient unit.
An individual typically receives ECT treatments two to three times a week until their acute symptoms lessen, typically within six to 12 treatments. Maintenance ECT treatment may be necessary to prevent the return of symptoms. The frequency of maintenance treatment is based on the individual’s needs.
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. 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.
For more information on River Point’s ECT program, call us at 904-724-9202.
There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary. Please consult the dedicated professionals within the ECT program at River Point Behavioral Health 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.