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Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

If you or a loved one lives with mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be the most effective way to reverse symptoms.

Quick, Safe & Proven Treatment

ECT treatment works by producing changes in brain chemistry through a medically induced and professionally monitored seizure. ECT often produces positive outcomes more quickly than medications alone. In fact, people who receive ECT as their primary treatment generally experience 80-90 percent improvement in area such as mood, motivation, interest, energy and sleep patterns.

How You Benefit from ECT

Fit your ECT treatments into the demands of your busy life with flexible programs – inpatient or outpatient – that help you feel like yourself again.

What to Expect

The decision to seek behavioral health treatment can be a difficult. When you choose ECT therapy at the Avera Behavioral Health Center, you can expect to receive the best care possible in an environment of comfort, privacy and confidence.

During ECT treatment, our highly-trained professionals use electrical current to produce a closely supervised, medically induced seizure.

  • Safety: During your ECT sessions, you receive sedation for comfort and relaxation. You will be asleep during the procedure and under constant supervision by our experienced medical professionals. An anesthesiologist, along with a nurse anesthetist who is cross-trained in advanced cardiac support, monitors your condition throughout your treatment.
  • Dignity, comfort and privacy: You will prepare for your ECT treatment in our private changing area. And, while you're resting through your treatment, your family can relax in our inviting waiting area, complete with free Starbucks coffee. After your treatment, specialized nurses supervise your recovery and provide support to help you make a comfortable transition back into your day.
  • Convenience: Discover patient- and family-centered care that works around your schedule so you receive the care you need, when you need it. Generally, each ECT session lasts approximately two hours, depending upon recovery time. For acute situations, your doctor likely will recommend a minimum of six sessions. You may be able to complete three to four sessions as an inpatient and the rest as an outpatient if you experience fast, positive results. Ask your doctor about maintenance sessions – follow-up visits available whenever you need them, which allow you to continue feeling well without interrupting your life and activities.

Am I a Candidate for ECT?

Ask your psychiatrist if you might be a candidate for ECT and whether a referral to Avera Behavioral Health Center is right for you. ECT is offered at locations in Aberdeen, Marshall, and Sioux Falls. Learn more about our services calling 605-322-5950.

Behavioral Health Expertise

Find a behavioral health provider at an Avera location near you.

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Know the Behavioral Health Warning Signs

Pay attention to these behaviors and get assistance right away by calling 1-800-691-4336.

View the Signs

  • Acting withdrawn, sad or overly anxious
  • Extreme difficulty interacting with friends and/or family
  • Significant mood swings
  • Drop in school performance
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating patterns
  • Increased or persistent use of alcohol or drugs
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Threats to self or others
  • Hallucinations, paranoia or delusion
  • Other sudden or extreme behavioral changes

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