How Long After ECT Can You Drive (And why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Week

Technological developments are significant for everyone as it affects one person in any way whether directly or indirectly.

Medical science being the one that today has a cure for everything and every disease, medical science is not based only on physical treatment but also on mental health problems.

Mental health is a significant concern in today’s generation as many people suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. To treat them, science and technology have a curable process to do so.

Mental health issues are treated majority by physiatrists and medicines to numb the brain damage, or in extreme psychiatric conditions, the doctor passes electrified wire through the brain.

How Long After ECT can you Drive?

ECT stands for Electro conclusive Therapy, which is defined as passing electric currents at a safe limit in the brain to treat many psychotic symptoms, which re-channels many brains activity and release of the chemicals.

The ECT is a lengthy procedure and can affect many activities; the process completes 12 sittings; as usual, the system starts with a personal medical history and previous records.

The doctor conducts a test to know the patient more and any other medical conditions like diabetes, light or sound sensitivity or any brain surgery. A medical examination is a crucial step.

The reason is when an electric current is passed through the body; every person reacts differently. After the medical test, the patient is given local anaesthesia to numb the pain and perform the surgery while they are unconscious. 

After the patient is made, sit in a chair with belts, and cotton rolls are placed between the jaws to prevent shock. 

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The electrodes are connected onto the head, and a mild frequency of the current is passed.

The frequency is adjusted depending on the patients and their reaction to it.

But more the current more the time to recover.

A muscle relaxant is given before the surgery to numb and neutralises all the brain activity and muscles, making the person feel relaxed and loose; as the brain is open and no contractions are detected, the current can pass through in a significant way.

Number of SittingsRecovery Time
1 to 51 week
6 to 102 weeks
11 to 124 weeks

Why Does it Take so Long to Drive After ECT?

ECT is a treatment of passing an electric current through the body and the brain to change the brain’s chemical composition and re-channel the thinking and thoughts; due to exposure of the brain to current, many activities come to a halt driving.

Driving requires a constant focus, and the brain controls the functioning, but after an ECT, it is advisable not to drive for weeks depending upon the treatment and the person.

Two major factors play a role in the recovery of a person and returning to everyday activity like driving, cooking, swimming etc. However, both the factors are interrelated and counted as the degree of the psychopathic condition and the number of sittings.

If the psychotic condition of the person is normal, then the recovery can be soon as the sittings are also less and the exposure to electricity is also acute.

Since the direction is less, the brain’s chemical composition is more minor, but the thought is only re-channelized.

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But if the condition was not good and the exposure to electricity was significant, then the brain’s chemical is affected. Many activities may be challenging for them to perform since the brain cannot channelize to thinking and react immediately, but with time the person gets normal.

ECT also carries many risks or common side-effects that bring headache, nausea, constant pain in the jaw and acute or short-term memory loss.

Conclusion 

ECT stands for Electro conclusive Therapy, which is defined as passing electric currents at a safe limit in the brain to treat many psychotic symptoms, which re-channels many brains activity and release of the chemicals.

The ECT is performed to correct the thinking and stop releasing the unwanted chemicals that lead to mental health issues in the very first place.

The ECT can bring everyday activity to a halt like driving, cooking, swimming etc.

Two significant factors play to calculate the recovery time: the amount of sitting for the ECT and the degree of the psychotronic conditions. However, both the factors are interrelated.

References

  1. https://focus.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/foc.6.1.foc155

2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1967-35022-000

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