Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) program in Wasatch Front

At Lakeview Hospital and Ogden Regional Medical Center, we make sure our patients have access to all the treatment options they need to manage and overcome their behavioral health symptoms. That's why we offer ECT, commonly referred to as "electroshock therapy." This method of treatment is endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and National Institute of Mental Health as a safe and effective option for many patients.

For more information about our ECT services or for help finding a doctor, call our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse line at (801) 715-4152.

Who is a candidate for ECT?

Typically, an adult who has sought treatment for depression and has tried at least two medications without success, may be a candidate for ECT.

Patients with many different health conditions and symptoms, from pregnant women to those with pacemakers, have benefitted from ECT treatments. Of course, treatment options are decided on a case-by-case basis, but ECT is a commonly used and well-tolerated procedure for adults who are 18 years old and older.

Some of the conditions that respond well to ECT include:

  • Catatonia
  • Dementia with behavioral disturbance
  • Depression, including refractory depression
  • Mania
  • Neuroleptic malignancy syndrome
  • Psychosis
  • Refractory bipolar disorders
  • Schizophrenia

How does ECT treatment work?

Before ECT begins, your physician will fully explain the benefits and risks associated with treatment, and you will provide your consent. (This consent for treatment can be withdrawn at any time, and we will stop treatment.) After this, you will receive a complete physical examination, which may include certain imaging exams or diagnostic laboratory tests.

We encourage you to ask questions any time before, during and after ECT. It's important you feel comfortable with the treatment and understand the process.

How long does it take for ECT to work?

Many patients who undergo ECT see improvement in their symptoms within two to three weeks. A series of ECT treatments is usually required and consists of 12 treatments that can be administered on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

What is involved in an ECT session?

To begin treatment, IV medications are used to induce sleep and relax your muscles. Once this happens, an electrical stimulus will be administered through electrodes (small pads) placed on your head. The stimulus produces changes in the brain waves that are similar to what is produced during a generalized seizure. It is believed that this activity is what leads to the clinical improvement in mental health symptoms. Even though the scientific community doesn't quite know for sure why it works, they do know that it does, in fact, work.

After an ECT treatment

You will wake up roughly 30 minutes after the completion of treatment. Shortly after, you will become re-oriented enough to eat and return home or back to the inpatient behavioral health unit.

ECT follow-up care

An ECT treatment is intended to be followed by additional ECT sessions or medication therapy. If follow-up ECT or medications are not administered, there is a higher probability of symptom relapse within six months.

What are the side effects of ECT?

ECT is a safe procedure and often has fewer side effects than medications, however, common side effects of ECT may include:

  • Difficulty with short-term memory during the time of treatment
  • Headache
  • Muscle soreness
  • Nausea
  • Short-term difficulty learning and/or remembering new information during the time of treatment

ECT at Lakeview Hospital and Ogden Regional Medical Center

We provide complete ECT services and care as part of Lakeview Hospital and Ogden Regional Medical Center's behavioral health program. This program includes both inpatient and outpatient ECT, as well as access to a variety of other mental health care services and resources.

For more information about the ECT program at Lakeview Hospital, please call (801) 299-2290. For more information about the ECT program at Ogden Regional Medical Center, please call (801) 479-2610