Posted: Mar 29, 2010 1:57 pm
by Mr.Samsa
Shrunk wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:It is still used today, but it is pretty controversial and there are quite a few groups lobbying for it to stop. The research on it is pretty mixed so I don't know if it has any benefits, however, I have a feeling that any significant "improvements" that they find are due to the fried brain preventing them from exhibiting problem behaviors, rather than "fixing" them, per se. Sort of like curing a child's running away behavior by cutting off their legs.

I'm not sure what you're basing this on. The evidence for the efficacy of ECT is at least as strong as any other treatment in psychiatry or psychology. As the US Surgeon General wrote:

Accumulated clinical experience—later confirmed in controlled clinical trials, which included the use of simulated or “sham” ECT as a control (Janicak et al., 1985)—determined ECT to be highly effective against severe depression, some acute psychotic states, and mania (Small et al., 1988). No controlled study has shown any other treatment to have superior efficacy to ECT in the treatment of depression (Janicak et al., 1985; Rudorfer et al., 1997). ECT has not been demonstrated to be effective in dysthymia, substance abuse, or anxiety or personality disorders. The foregoing conclusions, and many of those discussed below, are the products of review of extensive research conducted over several decades (Depression Guideline Panel, 1993; Rudorfer et al., 1997) as well as by an independent panel of scientists, practitioners, and consumers (NIH & NIMH Consensus Conference, 1985). ... ec3_1.html

You can find more here: ... as_sdtp=on

Whatever "controversy" that may exist over ECT is akin to that over whether vaccines cause autism.

Sorry, I wasn't very clear there. I meant "controversial" in that many people disagree with the use of electric shock as a treatment for mental disorders or behavioral problems, and then my opinions were supposed to be a separate sentence rather than a follow-on of the "controversial" statement. I haven't done a proper search into the effectiveness of ECT but I thought I had read some studies suggesting no/negative results, but my "I think I remember..." is no match for your articles.

Thanks for linking them, I'll have to read up on it some more.