I want to use today’s blog to cover the breaking news that Time magazine broke today. Via its online edition, “One of the most common ways to treat for severe depression has been electroconclusive therapy (ECT), where electric currents are passed through the brain to trigger brief, intentional seizures to stabilize brain chemistry. New research published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests, however, that a new method—ultra-brief pulse right unilateral, or (RUL) ECT—may have fewer negative side effects, like confusion, and memory and heart problems. The study used data from 689 patients with a median age of 50 from six countries. “Our analysis of the existing trial data showed that ultra-brief stimulation significantly lessened the potential for the destruction of memories formed prior to ECT, reduced the difficulty of recalling and learning new information after ECT and was almost as effective as the standard ECT treatment,” saud Colleen Loo, professor at the University of New South Wales.”
WOW! ECT with fewer negative side effects. Well, depression is a complicated issue and can be caused by various life events as well as genetics. Some people truly are hardwired for depressive tendencies and the simple solution, like ECT, may not be applicable to everyone. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Mental health issues will never have a blanket approach when it comes to complex issues, like depression, because it takes the human element out of treatment. We are people, not components.
While programs like my ‘Burning the Candle at Both Ends’ are very good for helping alleviate ordinary stress, these programs should be stepping stones or milestones- but not used when comprehensive treatment – like for severe depression- is needed. So while today’s breaking news does offer hope for those battling with depression, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment option. The research and findings are still new and there are other ways to also help someone combat depression, like Gestalt therapy and addressing the here and now while also comforting yesterday.
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