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Belmont Behavioral Health provides comprehensive psychotherapy services for depression. Upon intake a psychiatric evaluation is performed and a determination is made about the type and appropriate level of care.
ECT is a highly effective treatment available at Belmont Behavioral Health as an inpatient or outpatient service. It is particularly useful for individuals whose depression is severe or life threatening or who cannot take antidepressant medication. ECT is also effective in cases where antidepressant medications do not provide sufficient relief of symptoms.
For full therapeutic benefit, several sessions of ECT, typically given at the rate of three per week, are required. Usually, a course of six to twelve treatments is required over two to four weeks. A typical course is for a patient to start the treatment as an inpatient and continue post discharge as an outpatient, until the recommended course is completed.
Belmont Behavioral Health offers the most comprehensive ECT service in the Philadelphia region, and the psychiatric staff are the leading experts in the region. In fact, Belmont Behavioral Health is an ECT training center for the psychiatric staff for several medical schools in the region.
ECT has been referred to by names such as electric stimulation, electroseizure, electroshock therapy (EST) and shock therapy. Misconceptions associated with ECT present a barrier to treatment as many patients reject treatment based on their mistaken idea of what ECT is. These misconceptions are holdovers from earlier years when side effects of ECT were severe. In recent years, there have been great improvements in ECT and side effects are often temporary.
The patient is given a light anesthesia so they are asleep throughout the treatment and a muscle relaxant. Electrodes are placed at precise locations on the head to deliver electrical impulses. The stimulation causes a brief (about 30 seconds) seizure within the brain. The person receiving ECT does not consciously experience the electrical stimulus.
If you have any questions about this treatment or if you or a family member is considering ECT as an alternative treatment, please contact us at 1-800-220-HELP (4357) or 215-877-2000.
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