If this is okay with you, please close this message.
Explains what electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is, when it might be used and what happens during the treatment.
Deciding whether or not to have ECT can be difficult. Usually you will only be offered it if you are very unwell, so you might find it harder to take in information and make decisions.
You should be given full information about the treatment so you can make an informed decision. Unless you are unable to make the decision for yourself, it is your choice whether you accept the treatment or not.
You may find it helpful to discuss it with a trusted friend or family member, or a mental health advocate. See our information on advocacy in mental health, or contact POhWER or Rethink Mental Illness to find out about advocacy services in your area.
"It was suggested by my psychiatrist as a last resort since my depression was resistive to multiple medications that had been tried and multiple types of talking therapies."
Before a course of ECT treatments, you will need a full medical examination to make sure the treatment is safe for you. You will be asked about:
This information was published in July 2019. We will revise it in 2022.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.