Using electrotherapy on mental illnesses


The widely and commonly held belief is that psychiatric conditions more anxiety and depression disorders are generally found within the brain. In fact, scientists are currently on course discovering the specific brain areas attributed to different mental conditions. An accurate example is the post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD which has been studied to involve too much activity within the amygdala, a region for processing fear, as well as limited activity in specific frontal lobes parts (Leiby). The evidence currently used in studying the specific brain areas involved in psychiatry is through brain imaging, usually involving various imagery ways of looking at the brain.  It is from this conception that electrotherapy has been developed, more so with technologies like PET imaging as well as functional MRI for measuring the level of brain activity, when at rests or when an individual is performing certain tasks (Mitra et al. 136). The need for using electrotherapy stems from the fact that just explaining a mental health condition to the professional is never enough to identify the problem with the brain (Katsnelson 39). Although it is possible for professionals to point out that the mental health issue from conversations with their clients, sometimes, it is difficult to understand why the mental health issue is occurring, and as such, the individual’s health is at stake. Hence, methods like electrotherapy helps in identifying the exact brain activity from which experts can use the information to determine the specific brain areas or regions responsible for the mental health problems like PTSD, thus, a recommended process for mental health treatment.

Using electrotherapy is subject to numerous benefits but first and foremost, the fashion and manner of its function is a consideration for its adoption for treating PTSD. During the process, small electrodes get place outside of the person’s head, and then attached to a computer (Katsnelson 39). The work of the compute is for measuring electrical impulses within the brain as well as the entire portions of the brain at work. From the test, the client is then ask to perform individual brain activities more so problem solving and from this, changes in the electrical activity can be measured due to the behaviors being assessed. Moreover, even when the patients are not performing the recommended tasks, the tester can record what the person is doing within every moment, and from this, it is possible for the interpreters to measure the functioning of the brain cells (Leiby). One of the advantages of this type of testing, as recommended by psychiatrics, is that there is no much reliance on the cooperation from the patient (Mitra et al. 136). In this case, it can be most effective with individuals who are hostile because they will not have the idea that they are taking the test, and as such, even those unable to participate reasonably can be accessed because the brain has the ability of trading electrical impulses, whether one is willing to engage in the test or not.  The process can also be favored by a patient since the client is not subjected to painful needs or being exposed to intrusive medical interventions (Smith 31). The implication is that electrodes are extremely small and as such, easy to ignore and the speed of the test is quick thereby very convenient to the client.

For the psychotherapy field, electrotherapy used for  treating mental health disorders, especially serious conditions like PTSD has been attributed to numerous benefits. From the research perspective, experts have recommended that by measuring the electrical activity within the brain, it becomes much easier to identify the etiology of mental illness (Katsnelson 38). The implication is that some of the mental health disorders like PTSD impacting behavior are rooted in the messages that the brain cells are sharing with one another regularly. Therefore, when the signals for communication have been changed, it affects the manner in which the disease is treated.  For instance, Smith (32) suggests that any of the unusual electrical activities from individuals suffering from schizophrenia is equally a clear indication that other siblings of the person are equally at higher risks of suffering the mental disease. Hence, from the research evidence, it is argued that positive electrotherapy tests can allow for the provision of treatments and as such, preventing any full-blown disorders like PTSD from forming. Other findings or research from scholarly community have indicated that young children taken through electromagnetic therapy have shown strange electrical activity from various regions of the brain in comparison to healthy children of which the scans are providing the experts with the possibility of diagnosing autism in early life (Mitra et al. 135). Therefore, the findings are very indicative of the possible benefits of electrotherapy to be used for mental illnesses. The tests are highly useful because they allow the psychiatrics and mental health therapists to identify the disorder in time, therefore, a possible development that should be included into mental health treatment.

As of currently, there are some developments that have been documented, especially the success of using electrotherapy to treat war veterans from PTSD. There is the story of Jon Warren ran on 2013 on how he was freed from the symptoms (Leiby). He has attested to the effectiveness of the treatment because as of currently, he does not worry about any memories of being in Iraq. In his argument, electrotherapy has been a success which set the brain frequencies right and as of currently, the war veteran can proudly embrace the military service he had in Iraq. In his argument, he has indicated  that the treatment has helped in keeping the memory in the right place and as such, not going back allowing the events to control his behavior and thought pattern.  Accordingly, the individual had suffered from a traumatic brain injury during the blast and as of currently, crediting the recovery to magnetic resonance therapy or MRT, a unique procedure from which energy is pulsed from magnetic coils into the patient’s cortex (Leiby). Although as of currently, the treatment has been regarded as unproven, vets have been reciting their stories of miraculous cure, and as such, how the procedures transformed their lived into tranquility barely believed by friends, families and even themselves (Leiby). Therefore, from such testimonies, it is quite evident that electrotherapy has a bright future as an alternative to treating mental health disorders and as such, could be the best alternative to the current treatment options for serious conditions like PTSD.

The need for using electrotherapy comes from currently promising research recommendations. However, the only problem is that there has not been a consensus on the amount of magnetic power to be applied. Although the technology became as a simple invention, the continued use of it in therapy is showing signs of major developments (Ganado). Conversely, one of the benefits of the technology is that it cannot be used entirely but could be applied alongside other treatments, therapies or medication. The implication is that individuals suffer from different disorders which at times, require a combination of treatment methods to arrive at the best results.  In addition, as of currently, there is a handful of evidence that has confirmed the effectiveness of electromagnetic therapy, some studies showing effectiveness as high as 80% with positive attractiveness to many patients (Ganado). One of the obstacles of the treatment is the price or costing but with the support from the government, it can be made much available to the citizenry. In addition, the World Health Organization has predicted that depression is set to be the worst disorder affecting the world. For instance, 350 million people have depression, thus, making it a necessity for investing in technologies that will act as quick solutions for the concern, both economically and health wise (Ganado).

In conclusion, electrotherapy is currently a support for treating mental health disorders or concerns. The essence of the treatment is that it helps in measuring the imbalance in the brain activities responsible for behavioral change. Research is currently showing promising signs of the technology. In addition, it is less painful, quick and as such, likely to be preferred by many patients. Testimonies from war veterans who have received the treatment and gotten cured from PTSD is equal evidence to ascertain the effectiveness of the treatment. Other than that, depression is set to become a pressing issue in the coming years. Therefore, the world needs to invest into technologies like electrotherapy in treating mental health disorders.

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  1. Ganado, Philip Leone. “Electromagnetic pulse treatment gives PTSD patient new lease of life.” Sunday, September 4, 2016. Web. 30 December 2017.
  2. Katsnelson, Alia. “Hopeful currents.” Psychology Today, vol. 48, no. 1, Jan/Feb2015, pp. 38-40.
  3. Leiby, Richard. ‘Brain zapping’: Veterans say experimental PTSD treatment has changed their lives. January 12, 2015. Web. 30 December 2017.
  4. Mitra, Sayantanava, et al. “Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia.” Industrial Psychiatry Journal, vol. 25, no. 2, Jul-Dec2016, pp. 135-144.
  5. Smith, Fran. “The addicted brain. (Cover Story).” National Geographic, vol. 232, no. 3, Sept. 2017, pp. 30-53.
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