home
RSS
April 27th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

Is electroconvulsive therapy safe?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Ky-Nisha of Florida:

Is electroconvulsive therapy safe to use on children?

Expert answer:

Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a funny business. By far the most effective treatment in psychiatry, it is also by far the most reviled.

At least as safe as many of our medications, its use is nonetheless severely circumscribed in many states. It's an intervention with generally mild side effects, but many people emotionally equate it with lobotomy, aided in this regard by searing images from the classic film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

On the other hand, those of us who have seen countless patients saved from suicide or natural death from their severe psychiatric conditions have a profound admiration for the procedure.

It appears that children and adolescents are no less likely to benefit from ECT than are adults, and so the quick answer to your question is: Yes, ECT is safe in children and adolescents.

FDA panel deems electroshock devices high risk

In fact, guidelines for its use in these patients were published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2004. The essence of these guidelines is that ECT should be considered in children with severe psychiatric disorders and/or in cases of significant suicide risk when other interventions have failed.

To understand these guidelines, we have to keep two somewhat opposite truths in mind. The first truth is that most children and adolescents with psychiatric struggles can be helped immensely by psychotherapeutic or pharmacological interventions, not only for themselves but for their parents.

For example, a large recent study showed that resolving a mother's depression had a bigger positive effect on the mental health of her children than it had on her.

The second truth is that, although rare, cases of severe mood and psychotic disorders in young people are not unknown. These cases can be catastrophic, as anyone who has worked on an inpatient child/adolescent psychiatric unit can attest. When young people with these conditions have failed other interventions, ECT can be a lifesaver.

By the way, I'm not using the word "lifesaver" in a metaphoric sense. Before the age of modern medications, approximately 5% of patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals died from their symptoms.

Today, we rarely see a condition called malignant catatonia, but it used to be far more common, and it used to kill almost everyone who developed it.

Death usually came from extremely high body temperatures (up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit) or from the development of a pulmonary embolus or sudden cardiac death.


soundoff (804 Responses)
  1. jeep dealership near me

    http://www.2ip.ru/lookup/?ip=https://www.midevilvapes.com

    June 14, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. del taco near me

    https://asiawebdirect.com/customer/recommend/?url=www.wildwestlifttrucks.com

    June 14, 2021 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. homes for rent near me

    https://yellowpages.oakridger.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.reviewnearme.com

    June 14, 2021 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. safeway near me

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering issues with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://koloboklinks.com/site?url=https://www.webdesignpostfalls.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ups near me

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!

    https://americantourister.com/disneyside/bumper.php?r=http://www.gomode.tv

    June 14, 2021 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. cheapest gas near me

    Good article. I'm experiencing some of these issues as well..

    http://yousite.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.personaltrainerhub.com

    June 14, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. plumber near me

    Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    http://www.earth-policy.org/?URL=http://masternearme.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. music stores near me

    http://www.irc.lc/https://www.optometristphoenixaz.com/bbs-arab

    June 14, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Repairs Nearby

    https://anonymz.com/?ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-driver-seat-repair-near-me

    June 14, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Nearby RV Repair

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

    https://anonymz.com/?ocrvcenter.com/class-6-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 14, 2021 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal blog now 😉

    https://glowing.com/external/link?next_url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-whittier-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Places Near Me

    Very good post. I absolutely appreciate this website. Stick with it!

    http://yp.ocregister.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-saugus-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Orange County California

    https://intranet.canadabusiness.ca/?URL=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-lake-view-terrace-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    https://www.otohits.net/home/redirectto?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-apple-valley-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 06:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Repairs Nearby

    https://www.telecom.uu.ru/?a%5B%5D=<a+href=www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-furniture-repair-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up plus the rest of the site is extremely good.

    http://www.etis.ford.com/externalURL.do?url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/cargo-van-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    http://commissionsoup.com/opts.aspx?t=P6MCR2&u=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-cudahy-california

    June 15, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Repair Near Me

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your web page.

    https://xcelenergy.com/stateselector?stateselected=true&goto=ocrvcenter.com/bucket-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair San Clemente California

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this website needs far more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!

    https://mundijuegos.com/messages/redirect.php?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-stanton-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repair San Clemente California

    Very good post. I definitely appreciate this site. Keep it up!

    https://www.asiawebdirect.com/customer/recommend/?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-lakewood-california

    June 15, 2021 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    https://www.htcdev.com/?URL=ocrvcenter.com/tow-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Near Me

    http://triathlon.org/?URL=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-la-puente-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Camper Repairs Near Me

    I'm more than happy to discover this site. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to check out new information on your web site.

    http://www.yousite.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-awning-repair-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair Near Me Now

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Cheers!

    http://redirects.tradedoubler.com/utm/td_redirect.php?td_keep_old_utm_value=1&url=https://my-home-mallorca.com/forum/viewtopic.php?lang=es&p=173335

    June 15, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Nearby RV Repairs

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own website now 😉

    https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/disclaimer.jsp?ciURL=http://mariavcastellanos.com/?p=343701

    June 15, 2021 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Near Me Now

    http://etracker.de/lnkcnt.php?et=mjVFaK&url=https://my-home-mallorca.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=95320

    June 15, 2021 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. kniky curly wigs

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
    I'll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more here regularly.
    I am relatively sure I will be informed lots of new stuff proper right here!
    Good luck for the following!

    June 15, 2021 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    https://www.kronenberg.org/download.php?download=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-rancho-santa-margarita-california&filename=rpn-calculator_0.9.0.wdgt.zip&project=RPN-Calculator

    June 15, 2021 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Camper Repair Near Me

    https://oraung02.iamgold.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/passenger-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    I couldnít refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

    http://www.go.xscript.ir/index.php?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-sherman-oaks-california

    June 16, 2021 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Iím amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

    http://www.kultur-bad-vilbel.de/goto/?u=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-orange-county-california

    June 16, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. indian food near me

    Great post. I will be going through a few of these issues as well..

    https://www.kanuking.de/redirect/Index.asp?url=http://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. aaa near me

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Many thanks!

    http://ww17.blankyouverymuch.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. zaxby's near me

    http://www.lawnmowerclass.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. smoothies near me

    http://www.facultyretirement.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. church's chicken near me

    https://gbcode2.kgieworld.com/gb/ocrvcenter.com/hot/

    June 16, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. walk in clinic near me

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I really hope to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own site now 😉

    http://www.metallicster.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. papa john's near me

    Excellent post. I will be going through many of these issues as well..

    http://kh8.ievaporate.de/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Nearby RV Repair

    Great blog you've got here.. Itís difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    https://georgewbushlibrary.smu.edu/exit.aspx?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-technician-near-me/

    June 16, 2021 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Shop

    http://loome.net/demo.php?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/videos

    June 17, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Garden Grove

    bookmarked!!, I love your web site!

    https://www.kms.fr/Eprv/Spe/GoPartenaires/?Url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-tv-repair-near-me/

    June 17, 2021 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Camper Repairs Near Me

    I really love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my very own website and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Cheers!

    http://friscowebsites.com/Redirect.aspx?destination=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-remodel-near-me-2

    June 17, 2021 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    http://www.herna.net/cgi/redir.cgi?www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-bedroom-repair-near-me/

    June 17, 2021 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    http://channel.iezvu.com/share/UnboxingyanálisisdeChromecast2?page=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-paint-shop-near-me-2/

    June 17, 2021 at 04:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Camper Repair Places Near Me

    http://local.kxlf.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-rialto-california

    June 17, 2021 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    http://girisimhaber.com/redirect.aspx?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/manufacturing-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 17, 2021 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. plumber near me

    I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

    http://www.the40daychallenge.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.bestshopnearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. liquor near me

    Hello there! This blog post couldnít be written much better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://www.yunsom.com/redirect/commodity?url=https://bestlocalnearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. in n out near me

    http://etracker.com/lnkcnt.php?et=qPKGYV&url=https://bjsnearme.com

    June 18, 2021 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. bb&t near me

    http://www.forefrontmedicine.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com

    June 18, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Leave a Reply to Sprinter Van Conversion Computer Repair


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.