Shock

The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy

By Kitty Dukakis; Larry Tye
(Avery, Hardcover, 9781583332658, 304pp.)

Publication Date: September 14, 2006

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Description

An important and powerful book about electroconvulsive therapy and its comeback.

For more than twenty years, Kitty Dukakis battled severe depression with every medication and treatment available. But it wasn't until she tried electroconvulsive therapy- ECT-that she began getting her life back for good. Written with award-winning medical reporter Larry Tye, Shock is both the personal story of how ECT dramatically changed Kitty Dukakis's life as well as a captivating look at the science behind ECT, the controversy surrounding it, and the history of its intriguing rebirth in this country.

Shock explores the stigma afflicting ECT-still a treatment that many hospitals do not administer-and debunks long-held misconceptions about how it is performed. Though some continue to view ECT as a dangerous, even barbaric, procedure, as this book explains there is no scientific evidence to suggest that ECT damages the brain. It can cause side effects like memory loss, but they generally are not far-reaching or long-lasting, especially when newer, lower-impact techniques are employed. In fact, the U.S. surgeon general and the National Institutes of Health agree that for severe depression ECT is safe, and often more effective than antidepressants or psychotherapy.

An eye-opening and powerful book about one of the most contentious medical treatments in history, Shock demystifies ECT and brings to life-through Kitty Dukakis's moving account -its impressive capacity to heal. For the millions who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses, it offers real information, practical guidance, and hope.

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