electroshock therapy n.
See electroconvulsive therapy.
The passing of an electric current through the brain to induce a brief seizure. This therapy is still used to treat major depression when other methods, such as drugs, are ineffective or not well tolerated by the recipient.
Note: Although this treatment has been controversial, the careful use of anesthetics and muscle relaxers in combination with a more controlled use of a lower electric current has reduced the problems that were associated with it in the past.