electroshock therapy


Definition of electroshock therapy

: the treatment of mental illness and especially depression by the application of electric current to the head of a usually anesthetized patient that induces unconsciousness and convulsive seizures in the brain

called also electroconvulsive therapy

Examples of electroshock therapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The practice sometimes included severe methods like institutionalization, castration and electroshock therapy. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Hundreds of religious leaders call for end to LGBTQ conversion therapy," 17 Dec. 2020 Patients were physically restrained and often given inhumane treatments, such as electroshock therapy and lobotomies. Gulnaz Khan, National Geographic, "These are the most haunted places in the United States," 31 Oct. 2020 In 1972, [Senator George McGovern’s Vice-Presidential running mate, Senator Thomas] Eagleton had to disclose that he had been hospitalized three times for depression, and had had electroshock therapy on two of those occasions. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Illness and the History of Presidential Health," 6 Oct. 2020 Films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest cemented the public perception that mental-health treatment (especially electroshock therapy) was thinly veiled torture. Mona Charen, National Review, "Stepping around Human Misery," 31 Jan. 2020 In one example from 1972, Thomas Eagleton lost his spot on Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern’s ticket when it was revealed Eagleton had undergone electroshock therapy for depression. Skyler Swisher, sun-sentinel.com, "‘No shame in saying I have PTSD.’ State Rep. Emily Slosberg opens up about diagnosis," 3 Dec. 2019 But Garcia’s mother had no interest in returning to the country where her husband was forced to work in an internment camp and received electroshock therapy. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 10 Best Podcasts of 2019," 30 Nov. 2019 The Milgram Experiment was a medical treatment involving electroshock therapy. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "David Harbour is Dropping Secret Clues About "Stranger Things" Season 4 on His Instagram," 25 Sep. 2019 Fisher’s honesty about her bipolar diagnosis, and her accounts of electroshock therapy, drew needed attention to mental-health issues. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "A new biography dishes about Carrie Fisher’s tumultuous, bittersweet life," 14 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'electroshock therapy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of electroshock therapy

1942, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about electroshock therapy

Time Traveler for electroshock therapy

Time Traveler

The first known use of electroshock therapy was in 1942

See more words from the same year

Statistics for electroshock therapy

Cite this Entry

“Electroshock therapy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electroshock%20therapy. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for electroshock therapy

electroshock therapy


Medical Definition of electroshock therapy

More from Merriam-Webster on electroshock therapy

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about electroshock therapy

Comments on electroshock therapy

What made you want to look up electroshock therapy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!