What to Expect during Electroconvulsive Therapy

An outspoken champion of mental wellness, Julie Hersh speaks openly about her experiences with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and how the treatment has benefited her. Julie Hersh has discussed ECT on a variety of outlets, including the popular Dr. Oz Show.

Despite ECT’s high effectiveness rate (often cited as 80% as compared to 30% for antidepressants), many patients who might benefit from ECT are not offered the procedure. ECT has been widely vilified in film and in literature because of its early history. Several decades ago, ECT was administered without anesthesia or muscle relaxants, creating a frightening image of a victimized patient thrashing about. Hersh contends this image persists because it’s good theater, but today’s reality is dramatically different. Patients, under anesthesia, don’t experience any pain. Although some negative side effects may occur, often the benefits of recovery often far outweigh the side effects.

Individuals interested in Julie Hersh’s experiences with ECT can learn more on her blog, Struck by Living, found at