SUN Behavioral Offers Treatment for Medication-Resistant Depression

March 02, 2021 at 23:22

Houston, Texas - People searching for help with severe depression that does not respond to prescription medication have a solution to which they can turn.

SUN Behavioral Houston, located in the Texas Medical Center, offers electroconvulsive therapy treatment (ECT). ECT is a brain stimulation therapy performed by a physician, with the patient monitored closely in a pain-free environment. It is often completed as an outpatient procedure.

Woman with depression

“I have performed thousands of treatments over the past 20 years and have seen firsthand the benefits. While it may seem like a scary procedure, it is important to realize that ECT is one of the safest procedures in all of medicine,” said Dr. Michael J. Barber.

Dr. Barber is the medical director for SUN Behavioral Houston’s ECT program. He stated ECT is shown to be effective for severe depression and suicidal patients, fast-acting, and requires treatments that will be maintained on an extended frequency after the initial series. Medication often takes weeks to determine effectiveness.

This echoes findings from The Consortium for Research in ECT and the Columbia University Consortium that concluded ECT produced remission rates of 86% and 55% (more stringent remission criteria), respectively.

Treatment begins with a series of 10–12 treatments, with several treatments weekly until the series is complete. It may be followed by possible maintenance treatments that occur further apart in frequency. When the proper strategy has effective results, the patient will enjoy an improved quality of life. Work, school, and family responsibilities can be managed during continuing therapy sessions and medications.

Depression is relatively common in today’s world. In 2017, an estimated 11 million American adults aged 18 or older had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment. This means being unable to handle school and work responsibilities due to an incapacitated mindset. In 2019, this condition impacted 4.5% of all U.S. adults, with 17.3 million Americans suffering at least one major depressive episode. It is more common among women than men, with an 8.7% to 5.3% ratio. Sixty percent of adolescents and 35% of adults do not receive any type of treatment for depression.

Genetics are generally perceived to be a contributor to the condition, but a medical condition or substance misuse can also trigger depression.

The clinical definition for a major depressive episode is two weeks or longer in time where a person feels depressed or having little interest in the day-to-day occurrences. Side effects may also include sleeping too much or too little, having difficulties with appetite, concentration, or self-worth.

The benefits of ECT often outweigh the side effects for patients, especially for situations concerning severe depression not responsive to medicine. The benefits include:

Quality of life can be improved.

For those who turn to suicide attempts to escape their symptoms, ECT can be, in fact, truly life-saving.

SUN Behavioral Houston is a 148-bed psychiatric hospital that provides a full continuum of specialized care, including inpatient and day hospital services, for those suffering from mental health illness. To learn more about ECT or any program offered by SUN Behavioral Houston, call 713-796-2273


For more information about SUN Behavioral Houston, contact the company here:

SUN Behavioral Houston
7601 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77054


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