Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Conditions Treated

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2001 guidelines give the primary indications for ECT among patients with depression as a lack of response to, or intolerance of, antidepressant medications; a good response to previous ECT; and the need for a rapid and definitive response (e.g. because of psychosis or a risk of suicide).

The decision to use ECT depends on several factors, including the severity and chronicity of the depression, the likelihood that alternative treatments would be effective, the patient's preference and capacity to consent, and a weighing of the risks and benefits.