The Museum of Medicine and Health : ECT Head Shocker

The Museum of Medicine and Health

<p style='text-align: justify;'><b>Content warning: As a historical item, aspects of the development and past use of this object reflect the prejudices of the era, which are offensive, oppressive and may cause upset. This is not condoned by The University of Manchester, but we are committed to providing access to this material as evidence of the inequalities and attitudes of the time period.</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Electro-convulsive (ECT) shock electrode set, with an earth pad. The electrodes, placed on the sides of the head, delivered electric shocks to the brain. ECT therapy has a controversial history, once used to treat a wide range of mental conditions and to control what were then considered behavioural abnormalities, disproportionately in female patients. Today, ECT still has a place in psychiatric treatment but is limited to treating only patients with severe depression or catatonic schizophrenia. Modern ECT machines deliver carefully controlled charges to a fully anaesthetised patient.</p>

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