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 Some Republicans who are vociferously pro-Trump sound, in conversations about the Party’s future, more like Restorationists who regard him as a temporary jolt of shock therapy. Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker, "The Republican Identity Crisis After Trump," 23 Oct. 2020 Psychiatric treatments of the past, such as lobotomies or shock therapy, failed to adequately protect patients. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "Psychedelic treatment for depression is on sale for the first time," 16 Oct. 2020 Sunak’s decision not to extend a blanket furlough plan leaves unemployment headed for levels not seen since Thatcher implemented her shock therapy. David Goodman,, "Covid Hastens an Overdue Reckoning for U.K. Economy," 5 Oct. 2020 The US Food and Drug Administration published a final rule Wednesday to ban the devices after years of pressure and complaints from advocacy groups and family members of people who've been treated with shock therapy. Gina Yu, CNN, "FDA bans electrical shock devices used on people with developmental disabilities," 5 Mar. 2020 Researchers at Brigham Young University, which is owned by the church, allegedly used electric shock therapy to attempt to cure homosexuality in the 1970s. Tara Law, Time, "Why the LDS Church Joined LGBTQ Advocates in Supporting Utah's Conversion Therapy Ban," 1 Dec. 2019 Along with his sullen young assistant, Fiennes visits the asylums of the West Coast performing lobotomies and electric shock therapy. Los Angeles Times, "Classic Hollywood: Jeff Goldblum’s long, strange Hollywood journey," 25 July 2019 Since rising to power last year after months of political violence, Mr. Ahmed, a former intelligence officer has sought to deliver shock therapy to one of the world’s most entrenched one-party systems. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Ethiopia, in the Midst of a Political Crisis, Foils Coup Attempt," 23 June 2019 The Perfection Years of shaving her head for shock therapy can do quite a number on a gal’s hair. Joey Nolfi,, "The best wig reveals of 2019 so far," 24 June 2019

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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The first known use of shock therapy was in 1917

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Cite this Entry

“Shock therapy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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

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