Interventional psychiatry is a mental health specialty that uses electrical or magnetic stimulation, as well as some drug treatments, to alter brain circuitry and subsequently ease the symptoms of long-term depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders.
You may be a candidate for interventional psychiatry if medication and talk therapy have not helped you.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure that utilizes an electric stimulus that moves through your brain to treat depression and other debilitating behavioral health illnesses. In many cases, ECT may significantly reduce or even reverse symptoms such as severe depression and catatonia.
You may be a candidate for ECT if medication or other treatments have not worked. ECT is done in a hospital setting while you are under general anesthesia. Patients typically receive treatments that are initially a few times per week and then space out to every week for approximately six to 12 weeks.
ECT itself takes about five to 10 minutes, with added time for preparation and recovery. For your first treatment(s), you may be admitted to the hospital, with subsequent treatments as an outpatient.
Preparing for ECT
- Before ECT, you receive medicine to relax you (muscle relaxant). You also receive a short-acting anesthetic to minimize any pain.
- The medical team places electrodes on your scalp to monitor your brain activity and deliver the electric stimulus.
Risks and side effects may include confusion, memory loss, physical side effects and medical complications. These risks will vary by patient. Discuss your ECT treatment plan and its potential risks and side effects with your doctor.
Further information regarding the possible risks and side effects of ECT treatment can be found here: eCFR :: 21 CFR 882.5940 -- Electroconvulsive therapy device.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. These pulsed magnetic fields may have a positive effect on the brain's neurotransmitters levels. TMS may provide an alternative treatment option for those who have not benefited from the use of antidepressant medication.
TMS is an outpatient procedure done in your psychiatrist’s office, and does not require sedation or surgery. You remain awake and alert during treatment, which lasts about 20 to 40 minutes. TMS consists of at least five treatments a week during a four to six-week period.
To make an appointment for Sutter Center for Psychiatry’s services or for more information, please call (916) 386-3645.