'Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly known as electric shock therapy, is without a doubt the most controversial mental health treatment ever to become a part of mainstream psychiatry. Developed by a team of Italian researchers back in 1938, ECT operates on the premise that exposing a mentally ill patient to a jolt of electricity to the brain, thereby inducing a seizure, can relieve the patient of some of their symptoms.
Though nobody really knew or could explain how ECT worked, it took the medical world by storm, quickly becoming the go-to treatment for everything from depression and schizophrenia to homosexuality. Horror stories of people being forced to submit to the horrors of ECT began to emerge, and movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest revealed it for what it truly was, pure torture with unsubstantiated results.
While unmodified ECT – where the treatment is administered without the benefits of anesthesia or muscle relaxants – is no longer used in mainstream medicine, a more modified version of ECT has been gaining in popularity in recent years. And now a new type of electric therapy is being touted as a miracle cure for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But, it has its risks.
Known as Magnetic EEG/ECG-guided Resonant Therapy, or MeRT, this controversial treatment has shown promise in the treatment of many of the symptoms associated with PTSD, including uncontrolled rage, anxiety, memory problems and sleep disorders. Nobody knows, however, just what the long-term health cost of this type of treatment might be. And, since MeRT has shown promise as a way to increase cognitive function, there are serious concerns about the possible ways the military might use it in the future.'
Read more: “Zapping” your skull with EMF is the latest trend in treating PTSD – if you’re willing to risk cancer and diabetes along the way
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