Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT)

Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) has been used in mental health treatments since the 1940s. Controversy over some aspects of the treatment in the 1950s and ’60s led to guidelines and legislation on its use. Today, it is given under general anaesthetic and is offered as an acute treatment of severe depression that is life-threatening and when a rapid response is required, or when other treatments have failed.

We interviewed 32 people about their experiences of mental illness and having or being offered ECT.


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