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What should I expect if I have electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for bipolar disorder mania?

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You’ll get general anesthesia so that you aren’t awake during the procedure. You’ll also get a muscle-relaxing drug.

Your doctor will put electrodes on your scalp. He’ll use a finely controlled electric current to cause a brief seizure in the brain.

Because your muscles are relaxed, the seizure will probably only slightly move your hands and feet. Your doctor will watch you carefully during the treatment. When you wake up a few minutes later, you won’t remember the treatment and you may be confused at first. This confusion typically lasts for only a short period of time.

ECT is given up to three times a week usually for 2 to 4 weeks or sometimes longer.

SOURCES: American Psychiatric Association: Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder, 2002.  Cleveland Clinic Foundation: "Your Guide to Electroconvulsive Therapy."  , 2000. Ghaziuddin, N.  , December 2004. Kahn, D. , April 2000. Kowatch, R.  , March 2005. Medscape: "Long-term Management of Bipolar Disorder: Psychopharmacologic Management." National Institute for Mental Health: "Bipolar Disorder booklet, 2001." , 326: 1363-1367.  The Expert Consensus Guideline Series: Medication Treatment of Bipolar Disorder 2000, A Postgraduate Medicine Special Report, April 2007.









Clinician ReviewsJournal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychiatryPostgraduate Medical Special ReportJournal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychiatryBritish Medical Journal

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on September 09, 2016

SOURCES: American Psychiatric Association: Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder, 2002.  Cleveland Clinic Foundation: "Your Guide to Electroconvulsive Therapy."  , 2000. Ghaziuddin, N.  , December 2004. Kahn, D. , April 2000. Kowatch, R.  , March 2005. Medscape: "Long-term Management of Bipolar Disorder: Psychopharmacologic Management." National Institute for Mental Health: "Bipolar Disorder booklet, 2001." , 326: 1363-1367.  The Expert Consensus Guideline Series: Medication Treatment of Bipolar Disorder 2000, A Postgraduate Medicine Special Report, April 2007.









Clinician ReviewsJournal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychiatryPostgraduate Medical Special ReportJournal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent PsychiatryBritish Medical Journal

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on September 09, 2016

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What side effects could I have fromelectroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for bipolar disorder mania?

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