I was half watching the news yesterday morning when I was jolted out of my chair by news that teens some younger than sixteen years old are being given Electroconvulsive Therapy for depression, which is shocking to me. The story was reported in a Sunday paper and had reported one in six NHS trusts had used ECT on under-18s despite links to brain damage. It can cause permanent memory loss, so it suggests it may do permanent damage. We know younger brains are more vulnerable to drugs, for example, so they are likely to be more damaged by ECT. This new development of giving ECT to people under 18 is extremely worrying as their brains are still developing.
The news report said NICE guidelines recommend patients are offered talking therapy before ECT, but the research shows some NHS trusts were using ECT up to 12 times as much as others,leading to question whether all trusts are using talking therapy before turning to ECT.
The news report was extremely interesting but also shocking learning that this was going on in hospitals in the U.K to Children.