Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Lake Worth Psychiatry provides information on Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), a medical procedure that involves placing electrodes on a patient’s scalp and administering a controlled electric current while the patient is under general anesthesia. This current induces a brief seizure in the brain, lasting 1-3 minutes. ECT is primarily utilized for treating severe refractory depression and is considered one of the safest, quickest, and most effective methods for alleviating symptoms in patients with severe depression, suicidal tendencies, mania in Bipolar Disorder, and other severe mental illnesses. The procedure is carried out by a skilled team comprising a psychiatrist, an anesthesiologist, and a nurse or physician assistant.

ECT is generally considered a later treatment option for severe depression that has not responded to other therapies or medications, or when the patient’s condition poses an immediate risk to their life. Its rapid effectiveness also makes ECT a preferred option in situations where it is too risky to wait for medications to take effect, which may take several weeks or more.

Research has demonstrated the high efficacy of ECT in relieving severe depression, with about 80 percent of patients showing substantial improvement. It is also effective in treating other severe mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and is sometimes the treatment of choice for catatonia, a state of extreme agitation and unresponsiveness where ECT may be urgently needed to prevent severe dehydration from lack of eating or drinking.

While ECT can significantly benefit individuals with serious mental health issues, it is not considered a cure. The typical ECT treatment plan involves 6-12 sessions, and to prevent relapse, most patients require ongoing maintenance treatment, which may include psychotherapy, medication management, and possibly maintenance ECT sessions.

Lake Worth Psychiatry does not perform ECT but can facilitate referrals to local hospitals equipped with the necessary tools, anesthesia, and resources to administer this treatment.


6894 Lake Worth Road, Suite 201
Lake Worth, FL 33467



+1 561-257-5229


Mon 08:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tue 08:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wed 08:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thu 08:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fri 08:00 AM – 5:00 PM