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The truth about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) - Helen M. Farrell

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In 1982, a young nurse was suffering from severe, unrelenting depression. She couldn’t work, socialize or concentrate. One controversial treatment changed everything: after two courses of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) her symptoms lifted. So what exactly is electroconvulsive therapy and why is it so stigmatized? Helen M. Farrell details the history and evolution of ECT.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Helen M. Farrell
  • Director Igor Coric
  • Narrator Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Senior Animator Igor Coric
  • Animator Nemanja Petrovic
  • Producer Milica Lapcevic
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Script Editor Eleanor Nelsen
  • Fact-Checker Laura Shriver
Avatar for Nouur Graceffa
قبسيلاغىالبا
01/15/2019 • 
 1 Response
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Avatar for VARNIT Mittal
01/21/2019 • 
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Avatar for Michael Perkins
I'm no neurologist, but if depression stems from parts of the brain not "firing" the way they should or secreting the right amount of serotonin, hormones or neurotransmitters then it's clearly out of balance. If the ECT truly resonates at a consistent frequency throughout the whole brain, then I could see a sort of harmonic balancing effect as the electricity evenly spreads to all corners and avenues to "unclog". Either way, just what popped into my head when I heard how this worked. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. My Ex underwent this *********** involuntarily and now I feel much better about that. Her memory loss falls on the months to years side though, any chance of that being a deliberate goal to move past the trauma?
01/27/2019 • 
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Avatar for kathy cintron
ECT was invented in Italy in the 1930s.
04/11/2019 • 
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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Helen M. Farrell
  • Director Igor Coric
  • Narrator Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Senior Animator Igor Coric
  • Animator Nemanja Petrovic
  • Producer Milica Lapcevic
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Script Editor Eleanor Nelsen
  • Fact-Checker Laura Shriver

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