It’s hard to tell the true from the false! The Legend of Electric Shock Treating Psychosis

Perhaps because of the famous movie “Flying over the Madhouse”, in the imagination of many people, the electroshock therapy in the field of psychiatry is like this: the patient is tied to the bed in pain, and the whole body is convulsive and trembling because of the electroshock.

In fact, this barbaric scene has long been history, but electroshock therapy is not [outdated].

Why does such cruel treatment still exist? Who and when is it used? Let’s put aside our prejudices and understand it.

The truth is often surprising.

Can electric shock therapy lead to epileptic seizures?

This is true, but the therapeutic effect of electroshock therapy also comes from epileptic seizures.

The depressive symptoms of patients will be improved by inducing epileptic seizures in the brain by electric shock-but scientists still do not know the principle.

Perhaps, just like a crashed computer is restarted, the problem of [jamming] recovers after the depressed patient receives electric shock, so he is not as depressed as before.

How can it be realized?

Scientists suspect that during epileptic seizures, partial discharges in the brain may reconnect [short-circuited] neurons, or neurons may release chemicals lacking in the brain of depressed patients such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.

Is electroshock therapy only effective for depression?

This is fake.

Yes, electroshock therapy is mainly used to treat severe depression, especially for depression patients with hallucinations or suicidal tendencies.

However, the vast majority of depression patients have not reached the severity of requiring electrotherapy. Many people have gradually improved their symptoms through drug therapy and psychological treatment.

In addition to treating depression, electric shock therapy is also used to relieve the symptoms of manic episode in bipolar disorder patients.

Occasionally, doctors will also implement electric shock therapy on schizophrenic patients, which is mainly used to improve frequent attacks and also to relieve the stiff state of schizophrenic patients with negative symptoms who do not eat, move or speak.

Electric shock therapy is useless?

This is fake.

Some doctors said that after a complete course of electric shock treatment, about 85% of the patients have fully recovered.

Moreover, a large number of research results have proved that electric shock therapy can show effect in a short period of time, especially for suicidal people.

The curative effect characteristics of electric shock therapy provide great convenience for doctors to treat patients with major depression:

    On the one hand, it makes it possible for doctors to make patients better in a few days to weeks, thus being able to cooperate with treatment; At the same time, electrotherapy can greatly reduce the suicide risk of patients and make the following treatment safer.

Only when you are admitted to a mental hospital can you receive electric shock treatment?

This is fake.

Electric shock therapy is not as terrible as we imagined. It can be done in the outpatient department. After it is done, it is also possible not to be hospitalized.

However, a course of electroshock therapy usually takes 6 to 12 times, which takes about half a month to a month.

In addition, in order to prevent recurrence, doctors may recommend patients to receive [maintenance treatment].

In other words, after the regular treatment lasting half a month to one month is completed, the doctor may require the patient to receive another electric shock treatment every half to one month in the next few months or even years.

Can electric shock therapy kill people?

This is fake.

I have to admit that the earliest electroshock therapy was really devastating to the patients. The current intensity could not be controlled. The patients were very painful and the side effects were not small. Even the patients died in electrotherapy.

However, there is no need to worry, with the development of science and technology today, electrotherapy is no longer this situation.

In addition to having special medical monitoring to ensure the health and safety of patients, patients no longer need to suffer from major epileptic seizures after undergoing general anesthesia.

As a safe treatment method, the proportion of accidental deaths in the current electrotherapy process is less than 1/1,000.

If you receive electric shock treatment, your teeth and bones will be broken?

This is fake.

Just now we said that the current electrotherapy will cause patients to be anesthetized before the electrotherapy. At the same time, doctors will also inject muscle relaxants into patients.

As the name implies, this medicine can relax the muscles. After epilepsy is induced by electric shock, the involuntary spasm and tremor of the body muscles will not be so strong any more, and the teeth will not be broken by grinding too much and the body muscles will contract too much to break the bones.

However, although such terrible side effects no longer exist, electrotherapy still has its side effects.

For example, electric shock therapy may lead to an increase in blood pressure and arrhythmia.

Therefore, if patients with cardiovascular diseases need electrotherapy, psychiatrists will ask cardiologists to help evaluate the patient’s condition, and invite cardiologists to be present during the treatment process, in case of accidents, to correct the abnormal condition of the heart in time.

Does electroshock therapy cause amnesia?

This is true.

Temporary amnesia of recent events is one of the most common side effects of electroshock therapy.

Patients who have just finished electrotherapy, like patients who have just experienced major epileptic seizures, will have confusion of thinking and are not sure where they are and what is going on in the surrounding environment.

In the next few days, the patient may not remember the events of the period before receiving treatment, but the memory will slowly recover.

However, there are still some people who still cannot remember the experiences they have forgotten for weeks after electroshock treatment.

In addition, older people are more likely to suffer from mental confusion after electrotherapy, which may even last for several weeks.

Is electroshock therapy used to punish disobedient patients?

This is fake.

In the past, electroshock therapy had a bad reputation, not only because it looked horrible and easy to cause injuries, but also because it was against the wishes of patients. As a [taming] method, historical data proved that this situation did exist.

With the development of medicine and science, the [taming] effect of electroshock therapy basically ceased to exist in the 1950s and 1960s.

However, according to the survey results of the public’s attitude towards electroshock therapy, to this day, it seems that many people still think electrotherapy is a [disciplinary measure].

Maybe it has something to do with movies about psychiatric hospitals.

So will doctors still perform electrotherapy against the wishes of patients?

As a treatment method for serious mental illness, electric shock treatment requires the signature and consent of family members. However, for patients with less serious symptoms and the ability to make their own decisions, electric shock treatment is only a possible choice.

Electric shock therapy is a [permanent treatment]?

This is fake.

Like antidepressants, electric shock therapy can effectively relieve the symptoms of an attack.

Subsequent maintenance treatment (combined with antidepressants) can reduce the possibility of recurrence of depression, but it cannot [cure depression] or any other mental illness.

Can do more electric shock therapy [cure]?

Long-term electroshock therapy is not necessarily a wise choice, because it will make cognitive side effects such as memory loss and learning decline more likely to occur.

Is electroshock therapy [the last treatment option]?

This is fake.

Many people think that it is useless to try other methods before doctors use electroshock therapy.

In fact, electroshock therapy is not often used, mainly because of these points:

  1. Everyone’s attitude towards it is basically rejected.

  2. The price is a bit high;

  3. Doctors are limited in manpower and are not suitable for large-scale development.

  4. Each treatment takes a little longer.

However, in some cases, electric shock therapy is still used as the first choice of treatment, such as major depression. In the eyes of doctors, it may be the safest and fastest treatment method-really, on the whole, if it dares to be the second, there is currently no other treatment that can be called the first.