The following information has been reproduced from the Royal College of Psychiatrists website, and is current as of 09/02/2024.

This information sheet is used nationally and we believe is an authoritative and accurate statement.

Electroconvulsive therapy

This information is for anyone who is considering whether to have electroconvulsive therapy and their families or friends.

You and your doctors need to be sure that you are fully informed when making a decision about whether to have ECT or not. Your doctor will talk to you about this. We hope that this information can support you in making this decision by providing information on:

  • what ECT is and why it is used
  • what is involved in having ECT
  • the benefits of ECT
  • the risks and potential side effects of ECT
  • what might happen if you do not have ECT
  • making decisions about having ECT
  • where to find further information.

Page last reviewed: 5 March, 2024