Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) at Peak View Behavioral Health

We offer Electroconvulsive Therapy on both an outpatient and inpatient basis for adults 18 years and older. ECT is a highly effective treatment option for those suffering with severe depression, mania and catatonia. Also known as “shock therapy” to some, ECT is a procedure in which electric currents are passed through the brain under the supervision of a psychiatrist and nurse anesthetist (CRNA).  Electroconvulsive Therapy is often used after other treatments have failed and can cause change to the brain’s chemistry while relieving mental health symptoms.

Each patient typically receives a series of 8-12 treatments. Treatments usually begin three times per week and then taper to monthly based on the individual needs of the patient. Two psychiatrists must render separate opinions supporting the benefit of the treatment. We have psychiatrists experienced in ECT evaluation whom are also available to render 2nd opinions.

Overall, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) can be an effective treatment option for patients who suffer from severe depression, have suicidal thoughts or tendencies or have bipolar disorder with depression/mania. You may have heard of this referred to as “shock treatment” at times, but the technical term is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), and has proven as an effective course of treatment in certain cases and situations for patients.

Read more about ECT treatment as described on 60 Minutes. 

History of ECT

ECT was originally developed in the year 1938, and was found very useful for a multitude of psychiatric illnesses and issues, especially for those who were suicidal or suffered from severe depression. Leading into the 1960’s, the treatment was used quite a bit less, mostly because of negative associations of it known as “shock therapy” and certain stigmas regarding it as a “caveman” type of treatment. This was also a time period where psychiatric drugs and medications were emerging, which also contributed to its decline.

However, the 1970’s and beyond eventually saw the emergence of ECT again as a proven and effective treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. There have been improvements in the safety of the procedure since then, and it is extremely safe. ECT for depression and other mental health disorders is one of the best treatments available and will likely remain so in the foreseeable future.

Treatment Approach

Generally, the main utilization for Electroconvulsive therapy is for individuals who are suffering from significant depression, yet have failed to respond to medication and other forms of therapy.  It can also provide a quicker and more rapid response than other forms of treatment, which is why some patients choose to go the ECT route immediately.

So how exactly does Electroconvulsive Therapy work? The actual therapy involves the patient being under anesthesia, while brief electrical impulses are applied directly to the scalp. This causes brain cells to respond and creates a form of seizure. There are multiple theories on why ECT is so effective, yet no specific answer has been found as of yet. Some theories claim that the electrical impulses change the way that the stress hormones are regulated, which can cause a significant improvement in various forms of depression, as well as helping to stabilize mania episodes for those suffering from bipolar disorder.

Treatments can range from as many as several times a week to as little as once a month, with the actual therapy ranging from only 10 to 20 minutes in overall length. The process requires the patient being anesthetized before the procedure, the actual therapy and then a recovery period when the patient is brought out of anesthesia and is monitored for proper recovery.

ECT is minimally evasive to the patient and has an excellent track record in terms of producing solid results.

Who Can Receive Treatment

Peak View offers Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) for patients who are 18 years and older, and are:

  • Unresponsive to other forms of treatment
  • An immediate danger to themselves
  • Not good candidates for antidepressants or mood stabilizer medications

Ultimately, ECT is a viable option after much discussions and after the exploration of other types of therapy are concluded.

Patient’s receiving ECT will also be given:

  • Pre-ECT education for the patients and their families conducted by a registered nurse
  • Coordination of all pre-ECT requirements including required medical appointments and insurance authorization.
  • Completion of the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) by the patient before, during and after the ECT series to monitor progress and to determine if their symptoms have gotten better or worse.
  • Communication with the outpatient doctor of progress in treatment
  • Follow-up calls from a registered nurse to the patient after the ECT treatments

Inpatient and Outpatient Options

In addition, Peak View also offers ECT services on an outpatient and inpatient basis. ECT is performed under general anesthesia by a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and a psychiatrist. Each patient typically received a series of 8-12 treatments. Treatments usually begin three times per week and then taper to monthly based on the individual needs of each and every patient. Two psychiatrists must render separate opinions supporting the benefit of the ECT treatment. Peak View has psychiatrists experienced in ECT evaluation, also available to render second opinions if required.

As a leader in the mental and behavioral health community, Peak View is proud to be able to offer our various treatments and services, both inpatient and outpatient, to the community. We are able to perform treatment and therapy for a host of issues, such as PTSD, substance addiction, anxiety, phobias, mental trauma, depression, managing stress, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, sexual disorders, schizophrenia and much more. The most important aspect for recovery is to first understand the problem and then provide proper treatment. Our staff is highly qualified and we understand that the most important aspect of treatment is making certain that the patient is comfortable and understanding that he or she is in excellent car.

Initiate the Referral Process

Please contact our clinical team today to begin the process of learning if this is a treatment option for you.

To initiate the referral process for Electroconvulsive Therapy at Peak View, please contact our assessments for more information at 719-444-8484. Information should be faxed to 719-355-1059.