It has a brutal history. We don't know how, or even if, it works. So why do we still give electric shocks for depression? Kathy Brewis investigates.Some countries refuse to use it. Scientists have little idea how it works, and precious few doctors have been properly trained to administer it. But in contrast with much of the rest of Europe, patients in Britain are routinely sedated and shot through with electricity, in an attempt to fix their troubled minds. The horror stories surrounding electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) abound. This is the poet Sylvia Plath's grimly eloquent account from her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar: ''Don't worry,' the nurse grinned down at me. 'Their first time, everybody's scared to death.' 'I tried to smile, but my skin had gone stiff, like parchment. Doctor Gordon was fitting two metal plates on either side of my head. He buckled them into place with a strap that dented my forehead, and gave me a wire to bite.
Electric Shock Treatment