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Word Count: 712
Electroconvulsive therapy also known as ECT is a type of psychiatric shock therapy ECT involves the induction of a seizure in a patient by passing electricity through the brain In the 1930s Ugo Cerletti the Italian psychiatrist came up with the idea for treating human beings with Electroconvulsive therapy He was observing the barbaric act of slaughterhouse hogs being electrocuted into unconsciousness so that it was easier for workers to slit their throats He then thought that it could also apply to human beings as a treatment for mental illnesses ECT may be used in people with symptoms such as delusions hallucinations or suicidal thoughts Doctors found this method of psychiatric therapy especially useful when other treatments such as psychotherapy and antidepressant medications had not worked It has also become useful for the treatment of other psychiatric and neurological conditions such as schizophrenia and Parkinsons disease The aim of ECT is to induce a bilateral grand mal seizure which lasts at up to 60 seconds A grand mal seizure is when the brains neurons are forced to speed up to their maximal rate which is often four to six times that of the normal ECT results in a drastic fall and increase of blood pressure causing severe circulatory stress on the heart ECT also causes heart tissues to be starved of nutrients which can cause improper heart function Endorphins the bodys pain killer are released to reduce the severity of seizures The bodys glandular system responds to electric shock by flooding the body with many major hormones including adrenalin growth hormone thyroxine prolactin and oxytocin In 1975 the film One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest a story based on Ken Keseys novel was released In the movie Jack Nicholson played the unforgettable character Randle P McMurphy McMurphy is given unwanted and unnecessary electroshock treatments in the story His fellow patients are portrayed as lobotomized-looking hollowed out souls Many people came to view ECT
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