Bipolar Disorder Home > ECT for Bipolar Disorder

ECT for bipolar disorder (ECT is short for electroconvulsive therapy) may be used to treat the condition when other treatment methods prove to be ineffective or too slow. ECT for bipolar disorder is a highly effective treatment method for severe depressive, manic, and/or mixed episodes.

ECT for Bipolar DIsorder

In situations where medication, psychosocial treatment, or the combination of these interventions proves ineffective (or works too slowly to relieve severe symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as psychosis or suicidality), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered as a bipolar disorder treatment.
ECT may also be considered to treat acute episodes when medical conditions, including pregnancy, make the use of medications too risky. ECT is a highly effective treatment for severe depressive, manic, and/or mixed episodes. The possibility of long-lasting memory problems, although a concern in the past, has been significantly reduced with modern ECT techniques. However, the potential benefits and risks of ECT for bipolar disorder, and of available alternative interventions, should be carefully reviewed and discussed with individuals considering this treatment and, where appropriate, with family or friends.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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