Electroshock: Healing Mental Illness

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Oxford University Press, Dec 1, 2008 - Psychology - 176 pages
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Electroshock therapy has long suffered from a controversial and bizarre public image, effectively removing it as a treatment option for many patients. In Electroshock, Max Fink, M.D., draws on 45 years of clinical and research experience to argue that ECT is now a safe, painless, and sometimes life-saving treatment for emotional and mental disorders. Dr. Fink traces the development of ECT from its discovery in 1934 followed by widespread use for two decades, to the 1950s when it was largely replaced by the introduction of psychotropic drugs, to its revival in the past twenty years as a viable treatment. He provides actual case studies of patients who have been treated with ECT and illustrates that many disorders--such as depression, mania, catatonia, and schizophrenia--respond well to it. As he explains the whole procedure from preparation to recovery, we see what the patient experiences. Fink also shows how anesthesia and muscle relaxation have refined ECT, minimizing discomfort and reducing risks to a level far lower than those experienced by patients using psychotropic drugs routinely prescribed for the same problems. Clarifying the many misconceptions surrounding ECT, Electroshock is an excellent sourcebook for patients, their families, and mental health professionals.
 

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Contents

What Is Electroconvulsive Therapy?
3
The Patients Experience
10
The Treatment Technique
25
Side Effects and Memory Issues
34
Depressive Mood Disorders
43
Manic Mood Disorders
57
Movement Disorders
67
Other Uses Psychosis Pregnancy and Status Epilepticus
75
How Does ECT Work?
94
How Did Convulsive Therapy Originate?
103
Is Brain Stimulation an Alternative to ECT?
111
Is ECT Practice Ethical?
115
Appendices
121
Notes
129
Bibliography
139
Index
153

Pediatric ECT
85

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About the author (2008)

Max Fink, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology Emeritus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Attending Psychiatrist at the Long Island Jewish-Hillside Hospital Medical Center. He is the author of Convulsive Therapy: Theory and Practice, Psychobiology of Convulsive Therapy, and other books. He lives in Nissequogue, New York.

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