Inpatient Behavioral Health Services
Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Page Content
Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute
Many people have severe depression, bipolar disorder, or other serious mental illnesses that don’t respond to medication or psychotherapy.
As part of one of the largest psychiatry programs in the country, UT Southwestern Medical Center’s specialists offer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a safe, effective treatment that can help manage symptoms.
The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute brings together transformative research and patient-centered care to improve the lives of patients today and those of generations to come.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment that sends a brief electrical stimulation through the brain while the patient is under general anesthesia. ECT causes changes in brain chemistry that can substantially improve symptoms of certain mental illnesses.
Although ECT might not work for everyone, it can often be successful when other treatments, such as medication or therapy, haven’t worked. ECT has been extensively studied and is endorsed as an effective treatment by the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Psychiatric Association, and the U.S. Surgeon General.
At UT Southwestern, our team has extensive experience and advanced training in administering ECT that patients can rely on. Each year, the experienced physicians in the Department of Psychiatry treat hundreds of patients with ECT. Specially trained faculty physicians administer this treatment on an inpatient or outpatient basis at Zale Lipshy University Hospital.
At UT Southwestern, we use ECT to treat people with certain mental illnesses who are experiencing severe symptoms. Conditions we treat include:
Learn more about the conditions we treat in our adult psychiatry program.
Patients will undergo evaluation and testing (lab work and an electrocardiogram, or ECG) to assess their general health and determine whether ECT is a good option for them.
Most patients can receive ECT as an outpatient procedure but might need to be hospitalized for some of the related treatments, depending on each case. Learn more about the care we provide in our inpatient psychiatry units.
The decision to undergo ECT should involve the patient, the family, and the physician. As with any medical treatment, it is important to carefully consider the risks and benefits of the procedure.