In a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in April of 1981 seventy-two patients that received ECT for severe mental disorders were asked how they felt after receiving ECT. 83% stated they have improved by having ECT and 81% said they would have the treatment again. Some patients (54%) felt the dentist was more unpleasant.
Electroconvulsive therapy has saved the lives of many when medication did not help. Patients who have been deemed severely depressed literally felt as if they were living in their own hell and having no future with death as their only prospect now have their hopes and dreams restored.
The acute manic patient who has had no relief from drug therapy now has another option other than being placed at a hospital for inpatient treatment during a manic episode. When nothing else has worked and their lives feel as if they are spinning out of control and becoming suicidal, ECT has been effective in making the acute manic episodes decrease or stop.
ECT maybe used with medication for those with schizophrenia who have become depressed or withdrawn and resistant to drug therapy. The effects are still being studied and suggest that the benefit may be short lasting for the management of schizophrenia.
In speaking with a patient who had ECT treatment she said , "When I went in for ECT I was not eating or moving and was in a very dark place. I was in the psych ward for a few weeks before they considered the ECT. I have been on all types of anti depressants for over 12 years and nothing was working.
I had 8 treatments and at first had slight memory loss, but it all came back to me within weeks. I am all for ECT it helped me and it helps so many people. These days it is a lot different from the olden days, the methods have all changed and I do not think it harms any one in anyway. I am glad I had it done. After treatment I felt I had a kick start. I was rebooted and my life since is a lot better. I have had no admissions since and I had ECT 4 years ago. I still have dark days but have learned to deal with it a lot better through things like therapy."