Shock Therapy

by Sharon Hopkins


This therapy involves giving electric shock to the patient in order to bring out an improvement in the mental state of a patient. This electric shock therapy involves giving artificially generated shock of particular intensity to the patient under supervision. The intensity of shock therapy depends on the condition of the patient.

Electro shock therapy is not much in use today. The reason being that there has been great advance in other methods to help patients with serious mental problems. There are drugs and medicines available to change the mental state of the patient for good. Also there are great advances in the field of psychotherapy and psychiatry, which are able to solve almost all problems related to mental illnesses of the patient. Therefore, the method of electric shock treatment has been stopped in the 21st century.

At present the most commonly used shock therapy is the Electroconvulsive shock therapy. This shock therapy too, is quite rarely used. The advantages of shock therapies have been under controversy for some time. Electroconvulsive shock therapy too is used only in cases where the patient has gone under heavy depression and patients with bipolar disorder.

Shock therapy is used as a last resort. If a patient does not respond at all to any of the therapies, and is an acute case of mental illness, only then such a patient might be subjected to shock treatment.

Shock treatment is not a phenomenon of recent times. It was used as early as the 47AD in Iraq, where people were treatment with electric fist for shock therapy, this was said to remove chronic illnesses like the headaches, etc. The medical practitioners then, found out that exposure of people to pathological shock altered their mental patterns and illnesses. That was the beginning of shock treatment.

Though electric shock therapies were popular in the beginning of the 20th century, it was being considered as dangerous towards the end of this century, again it also did not have any proven facts to support this theory. Today doctors consider only electroconvulsive therapy as the only shock treatment that they would consider giving.

There were several types of shock therapies, some of these were related to use of electricity and others were totally unrelated, for, e.g. Malaria fever therapy, Insulin therapy, Metrazol shock therapy, etc. Each of this therapy resulted in convulsions for the patients therefore, were used as an alternative to electric shock therapy.

None of these therapies are in used today other than the ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), which is being used only as a last resort to people who have not responded to any other forms of treatment.


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