What is ECT?

Patient Stories

Famous Patient Stories

In 2006, Kitty Dukakis, wife of former Mass. Gov. Michael Dukakis who had struggled with depression for many years, wrote a book about her experience with ECT. In the book, Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy co-authored by journalist Larry Tye, she talks about her personal battle with depression and how ECT was a life-saving treatment for her.

Carrie Fisher, actress and novelist, writes about her experience with mental health and substance use and her experience with ECT in her book Wishful Drinking.

In the News
  • Jan. 11, 2016

Electroconvulsive therapy: Considered a safe, effective treatment for patients, despite its persistent stigma
Columbia Missourian

The treatment, known as "ECT" or electroconvulsive therapy to mental health professionals, but “electroshock therapy” to the general public, has been practiced in the United States for more than 80 years. . . a number of physicians have returned to it, calling it a safe, effective treatment for many psychiatric patients.” Read More


  • Jan. 4, 2016

Electroconvulsive therapy shouldn't scare people
Miami Herald

Your psychiatrist at this point may recommend electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Most people have heard about ECT, but unfortunately, ECT has not always been mentioned in a positive context. … In fact, ECT as we administer it today, is quite different from when it was first invented, and can be dramatically effective for those patients who are severely ill.” Read More

Topic Information

What is ECT?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment most commonly used in patients with severe major depression or bipolar disorder that has not responded to other treatments.

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