Definition of shock therapy in US English:

shock therapy

(also shock treatment)


  • 1Treatment of chronic mental conditions by electroconvulsive therapy or by inducing physiological shock.

    • ‘He received electric shock treatment on a number of occasions and it was while he was in a mental institution, shortly after receiving electric shocks, that he suffered a heart attack and died.’
    • ‘Such language covers a multitude of practices illegal under international law, from holding prisoners indefinitely to physical violence such as electric shock treatment.’
    • ‘She had become increasingly depressed and had undergone every type of treatment from anti-depressant drugs to electric shock treatment.’
    • ‘It is absolutely true that there is a move back towards or electric shock treatment.’
    • ‘Most of the prisoners - arrested since anti-war demonstrations began in mid-January - have been tortured by the use of electric shock treatment and repeated beatings.’
    • ‘The Orphanage was later converted and became a Lunatic Asylum - home to the insane and an electronic shock treatment facility.’
    • ‘The treatments comprised straightjackets, seclusion, insulin shock and electric shock treatment, that was it.’
    • ‘After my mother's last episode, which was especially long and terrible, the psychiatrist suggested shock therapy.’
    • ‘As if that weren't disturbing enough, it seems that electroconvulsive therapy - better known as shock treatment - is making a comeback.’
    • ‘Electric shock treatment (cardio version) under sedation is also occasionally used to stop an episode of SVT.’
    • ‘Subjected to two years of shock therapy treatment, it left her facing a life of mental problems and hospital stays.’
    • ‘Insulin shock therapy inducing seizures by the lowering of blood sugar was used with some success in schizophrenics.’
    • ‘I didn't know the words for electro-convulsive shock therapy, but I don't think that would have helped.’
    • ‘Crazy John is to receive shock therapy or counselling for mental illness.’
    • ‘I suppose I was on three weeks of shock treatment.’
    • ‘Drugs and electric shock treatment are overused and non-psychotic patients are drawn into hospital work forces.’
    • ‘Oh, and the doctors would also have to perform lobotomies and give electric shock treatment.’
    • ‘A former teacher died within hours of being given electric shock treatment to help treat her mental illness.’
    • ‘I'd had the straight-laced Freudian type, the holistic type and the latest one had been a nut for solving things with shock therapy.’
    • ‘When she returns home, Mabel announces that she received shock treatment every day in hospital.’
    1. 1.1 Sudden and drastic measures taken to solve an intractable problem.
      • ‘Conviction led him to initiate economic shock therapy to pull the U.S. out of the stagflation of the 1970s.’
      • ‘Even during the early and mid-1990s, anti-Americanism increased in the former Soviet Union after Western-style economic reforms such as shock therapy failed utterly.’
      • ‘In reality, the shock therapy economists were willing to sacrifice speed in this context so as to avoid government intervention, which they regarded as completely undesirable.’
      • ‘All the countries adopting shock therapy experienced prolonged economic crisis and mass impoverishment, although the depth of the crisis varied from country to country.’
      • ‘We need the War as shock therapy to get the economy on its feet.’


shock therapy

/ʃɑk ˈθɛrəpi//SHäk ˈTHerəpē/