ECT AND THE ELDERLY: SHOCKED FOR THE AGED

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Deborah Y. Liggan suffered her first bipolar depressive episode fourteen years ago. It came without warning, and the medication she was prescribed was useless. Only after attempting suicide did she receive electroconvulsive therapy, sometimes called shock therapy. She’d suffer several more bipolar episodes over the next ten years, but each time she was prepared. She knew what worked for her, and so she wasted no time in getting ECT treatments. Between psychotic episodes, she earned a medical degree. In ECT for the Elderly, she explores how ECT has changed over the years so elderly patients considering it will know what to expect. The textbook is also a resource for students, medical practitioners, and mental health workers who want to identify and prepare elderly patients for treatment. Before even thinking about using ECT, she urges all professionals to ask questions such as the following: —Does the patient have an ECT-responsiveness illness? —Does the patient have any medical problems that might require modifications of technique or increase the risks of the procedure? —Has appropriate informed consent been obtained? Find out how ECT is being used to help the elderly with this textbook written by a doctor who has been treated with the therapy herself.

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