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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure done by intentionally triggering a brief seizure by passing electric currents through the brain. It is done under general anesthesia. It causes changes in brain chemistry, which seem to reverse symptoms caused by certain mental conditions. ECT is only done when all other treatment options are unsuccessful. It is done to treat severe and treatment-resistant depression, severe mania, catatonia, and symptoms seen in dementia. It is considered generally safe, but some of the side effects include confusion, memory loss, nausea, headache, jaw pain, muscle pain, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate. Most patients notice an improvement after six ECT treatments. It works faster than antidepressant medications but might not work for everyone.
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