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Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) at Hampton Behavioral Health Center

While significant advances in the treatment of mental illness have been made in recent years, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) remains one of the most successful treatment options for many types of mental illnesses when other interventions are ineffective. Our behavioral health center is located in South Jersey, a convenient drive from Central New Jersey and greater Philadelphia.

ECT may be beneficial for individuals who suffer from severe depression, suicidal impulses, mania, schizophrenia or other mental illnesses. It may also be appropriate for patients with treatment-resistant neurological disorders. ECT may be recommended when other treatment methods have not been successful in relieving symptoms, the patient poses risks to his/her health or the health of others and requires immediate treatment, the medications available pose unacceptable health risks or if the patient has responded positively to ECT in the past.

What is Electroconvulsive Therapy?

Electroconvulsive Therapy is a treatment for adults 18 years and older who suffer from severe episodes of major depression, persistent suicidal ideation, mania and some types of schizophrenia and who have either not responded to medications or whose symptoms are too severe to permit medication trials. The procedure occurs two to three times a week for a total of six to 12 treatments.

Is ECT Effective?

Electroconvulsive Therapy has been proven to be a useful treatment method with more than half of severely treatment-resistant patients achieving remission, according to the National Institutes of Health. Still, there is no guarantee that ECT will be effective. Your doctor will discuss with you why ECT inpatient or ECT outpatient therapy is being recommended and what alternative treatments may be available.

Is ECT Safe?

Prior to Electroconvulsive Therapy, patients will undergo a physical and psychiatric evaluation to ensure that the treatments can be administered in the most effective manner. Medications may be adjusted to minimize risk and maximize effectiveness. However, all treatments have risks and side effects. The most common side effects of ECT include muscle aches, nausea, short-term memory loss and headaches.

Am I Eligible for ECT?

There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary. In order to ensure that ECT is the appropriate treatment option, our staff will request medical clearance from our internal medicine consultant and a referral from a patient’s treating psychiatrist prior to scheduling the procedure. Patients will also attend an information session to learn about the benefits, risks and possible side effects of ECT.

How Does ECT work?

At Hampton Behavioral Health Center, Electroconvulsive Therapy is performed by a team of medical professionals specifically trained in its delivery. This team consists of a psychiatrist, anesthesiologist and nursing staff. The psychiatrist commonly delivers the ECT stimulation. The anesthesia team administers general anesthesia, medications and monitors the patient’s medical status throughout the procedure. After the treatment, nursing staff will continue to monitor the patient’s progress until they return to the inpatient or outpatient unit.

What to Expect after ECT?

While Electroconvulsive Therapy is an extremely effective treatment, it is only one component of a complete treatment regimen. After your ECT course, medications will likely be required as maintenance therapy to help prevent a return of your illness. ECT cannot resolve other problems associated with personal relationships or how an individual copes with the stressors of life. Other interventions such as psychotherapy may be recommended.

Just as patients respond differently to different medications and therapy interventions, ECT can be administered in a variety of ways based on an individual’s needs. Hampton Behavioral Health Center offers ECT on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.

Levels of Care

By offering multiple levels of care, Hampton Behavioral Health Center, as an ECT treatment center, is able to better serve our patients and their family members wherever they may be on the journey to recovery.

In addition to Electroconvulsive Therapy, we offer Partial Hospitalization (PHP), inpatient services, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and more. Each one of these services can help our patients reach their goals and be provided with the tools necessary to live a happier, healthier life.


There are risks associated with any treatment procedure and individual results may vary. Please consult the dedicated professionals within the ECT program at Hampton Behavioral Health Center to assess if you are a candidate for ECT treatment. Our Medical Staff will also consult with you on the risks and benefits of ECT treatment if you are a suitable candidate.

*ECT is for persons 18 years or older

Help is Only a Call Away

Our staff is dedicated to providing the immediate help an individual might need. Hampton Behavioral Health Center’s Access Center is staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week with specially trained assessment coordinators to provide confidential level of care assessments. Call 800-603-6767 today.