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What happens in electroconvulsive therapy?

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First, you get general anesthesia and a drug that relaxes your muscles. Then, the doctor places electrodes on your scalp. He'll send a finely controlled electric current through those electrodes for a short time. This will cause a brief seizure in your brain. Because your muscles are relaxed, the seizure may only cause slight movement of your hands and feet. You�ll wake up minutes later, and probably won�t remember the treatment. You may be confused for a short time afterward. Most people get it two to three times a week for two to four weeks. You�ll probably also get psychotherapy and take medicine under a psychiatrist's care.

SOURCES: 

Rabheru, K.   Feb. 9, 2012.  J. ECT.

Petrides, G.  published online, July 29, 2011. Neuropsychobiology, 

Cleveland Clinic: “Schizophrenia.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on March 13, 2020

SOURCES: 

Rabheru, K.   Feb. 9, 2012.  J. ECT.

Petrides, G.  published online, July 29, 2011. Neuropsychobiology, 

Cleveland Clinic: “Schizophrenia.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on March 13, 2020

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What are misunderstandings about electroconvulsive therapy?

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