Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2014 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 > The Role of ECT in Suicide Prevention
Journal of ECT:
doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3182a6ad0d
Commentary

The Role of ECT in Suicide Prevention

Fink, Max MD*; Kellner, Charles H. MD; McCall, W. Vaughn MD

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Abstract

Suicide is a leading cause of death among psychiatric patients, and a leading cause of death from all causes in people younger than 30 years. The rapid relief of severe depression, mania, and psychosis by electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is accompanied by the rapid reduction in suicide drive. Electroconvulsive therapy use is, however, inhibited by fear of electricity, unreasoned prejudice, legislative restrictions, and the limited availability of trained professionals and adequate facilities. This review assesses the experience with ECT in persons with suicide risk and recommends the consideration of ECT in treatment algorithms to reduce suicide rates.

Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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