Bayfront Health Punta Gorda is now offering Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), a medical treatment option most commonly used to treat patients who suffer from major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, when other treatments, including medications and psychotherapy, haven’t worked. ECT is also sometimes used in treating individuals with catatonia.

“ECT is one of the most well-studied and effective treatment options we have available today for medication resistant psychiatric disorders,” says Gregory Arthmann, M.D., psychiatrist with Bayfront Health Medical Group and currently the only provider in Charlotte County offering this as a treatment option. “ECT has been effectively used for over 80 years.”

According to the American Psychiatric Association, clinical evidence indicates that for individuals with uncomplicated, but severe major depression, ECT will produce substantial improvement in approximately 80 percent of patients.

Unfortunately there is the misconception that ECT is a form of shock therapy and is portrayed as such in many Hollywood movies. However, during ECT treatment, the patient remains under general anesthesia, so the patient is completely relaxed. It is considered safe and effective for pregnant women, adolescents, and the geriatric population. Around 100,000 people receive ECT as a medical treatment in the Unites States annually.

In addition to the American Psychiatric Association, ECT’s effectiveness in treating severe mental illnesses is recognized by the American Medical Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, and similar organizations in Canada, Great Britain and many other countries.

If you or someone you know suffers from major depression or another disorder and other treatments have not worked, ECT may be a viable treatment option for you.

Call 941-833-1750 to learn more and schedule an appointment.

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