As previously indicated, ECT has a place in emergency treatment, and when other treatments have failed. It is currently infrequently used, but tends to have good results in the more severe cases in which it is utilized. ECT is effective in about 80 per cent of patients with severe depression, notably in psychotic cases with delusions or hallucinations. Mild depression seldom responds well to ECT. Prescribing an antidepressant alongside ECT is usually recommended. Benzodi-azepines, used for insomnia or anxiety, should be stopped before ECT is started, as their anticonvulsant properties will interfere with the effectiveness of ECT in producing a convulsion.
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