The process is completed by placing electrodes on the sides of the patient's head (on either both or just one side) and sending a small electric current through the brain. This lasts for about half a second. The patient is also made unconscious before the treatment for safety reasons.
It is used mainly for people suffering from depression. It is generally only used when anti-depressant drugs have had no effect.
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Electroconvulsive therapy Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.