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Myths of "shock therapy"
Am J Psychiatry 1977;134:991-996.
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Abstract

The author discusses the myths of the ECT process--that shock and the convulsion are essential, memory loss and brain damage are inescapable, and little is known of the process--and assesses the fallacies in these ideas. Present views of the ECT process suggest that its mode of action in depression may best be described as a prolonged form of diencephalic stimulation, particularly useful to affect the hypothalamic dysfunctions that characterize depressive illness. The author emphasizes the need for further study of this treatment modality and for self-regulation by the profession.

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