Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used primarily to treat severe depression. Symptoms of severe depression include sadness and despair, an inability to concentrate, loss of appetite and weight, difficulty sleeping, an inability to enjoy life, a tendency to blame oneself and suicidal thoughts.

ECT has also been effective in treating mania and schizophrenia.

ECT is administered by a team of physicians. The team includes an anesthesiologist and a psychiatrist. During ECT, the patient is placed under general anesthesia, is given muscle relaxants and oxygen and then receives a brief electrical stimulation to the scalp. Most of the time is spent preparing the patient for treatment and in recovery. Total time in treatment and recovery for each session is about two to three hours. Treatment takes place in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.

ECT is usually provided two or three times a week for a total of six to 12 treatments. Patients may need ongoing maintenance treatments after their initial course of treatment. Maintenance treatments are usually much less frequent.

For more information, call (307) 633-7370.