shock therapy


Definition of shock therapy

: the treatment of mental illness by the artificial induction of coma or convulsions through use of drugs or electric current

called also shock treatment

Examples of shock therapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In this strategically vital nation of 100 million, a charismatic young leader is delivering shock therapy to one of the world’s most entrenched one-party systems. Matina Stevis-gridneff, WSJ, "Ethiopia’s Young, New Leader Shakes Up One-Party System," 17 July 2018 Hamilton, who lives in Central Pennsylvania, was admitted to the mental health unit of her local hospital, and after a few days she was transferred to Geisinger Medical Center, where she was given 12 electro-shock therapy treatments. Devin Tomb, Good Housekeeping, "“At 54, I Don’t Feel As Hopeful”: The Untold Story of Suicide in the U.S.," 21 Sep. 2018 Hard to believe now, but Russia’s leadership wanted to use shock therapy after the collapse of the Soviet Union to create a market economy and align closely with the West. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s the economy, stupid,’ and the bad luck of George H.W. Bush," 4 Dec. 2018 This gradualist recipe, intended to avoid the upheaval of past economic shock therapies, relied heavily on fresh credit to plug the deficit. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "‘Gradualism Is Dead’: Argentina Faces Pressure to Hasten Economic Overhaul," 29 May 2018 Ryan’s original 2008 Roadmap for America’s Future, his first budget plan, was a prescription for libertarian shock therapy applied to basically the entire federal government. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Paul Ryan paved the way for Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party," 11 Apr. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Mr Macri has attracted attention for his effort to stabilise and open Argentina’s economy while avoiding shock therapy. The Economist, "Mauricio Macri fights Argentina’s tradition of handouts for votes," 22 Mar. 2018 Marzonie said conversion therapy is often associated with aversion therapy, an extreme form of the practice that involves inflicting pain or physical discomfort such as electro-shock therapy. NBC News, "Conversion therapy or 'identity workshop'? Church program causes uproar," 26 Feb. 2018 Try electric shock therapy, drugs that render men impotent, or maybe even a lobotomy. Jane M. Von Bergen,, "Honoring a gay psychiatrist credited with declassifying homosexuality as illness," 1 Oct. 2017

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

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First Known Use of shock therapy

1917, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Mar 2019

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The first known use of shock therapy was in 1917

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More Definitions for shock therapy

shock therapy


English Language Learners Definition of shock therapy

: a treatment for mental illness in which the patient is given electric shocks

shock therapy


Medical Definition of shock therapy

: the treatment of mental illness by the artificial induction of coma or convulsions through use of drugs or electric current

called also convulsive therapy

— see electroconvulsive therapy

More from Merriam-Webster on shock therapy Encyclopedia article about shock therapy

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to boil down or concentrate

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