Bringing the Text to Life
In the vernacular, it's called shock treatment. Nurse Ratchet's cure du jour when McMurphy went manic in the 70s movie classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Since then, however, the therapy has ramped up some respectability, especially as a treatment for severe depression. You sign up for 8-12 sessions in which electric current is sent through the brain. A seizure results which in turn induces the desired therapeutic effect.
Side effects are possible. Steve Dworak (real person, not real name) felt better after the treatments but lost portions of his memory. He has no memory of his oldest son's early childhood, for example.
Would you be willing to exchange loss of memory for a loss of depression? Not Jeffery Smith, author of Where the Roots Reach for Water (New York: North Point Press, 1999), an account of a journey with depression.
Smith considered electroconvulsive therapy, but decided against it. Roughly 20 percent of people suffering from depression...