Hi Sunshine, There are many medications on the market to help with bipolar disorder the only problem is finding the right balance for the person as everyone is differant. With bipolar you have extreme highs and lows so the medications need to regulate that as best they can. There is a big differance between having bipolar disorder and having depression because those who have depression dont ever get to a manic phase which is the high mood swing with bipolar. I would encourge her to seek a second opinion as this is always a good idea when dealing with any kind of illness no matter if it is mental or physical.
As for the meds, I find if surprising that she is getting her blood drawn once a week. That isnt necessary for lithium levels. Here is a link where you can read up on what the what the draws are for and perhaps you can better inform your friend regarding this...http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/lithium/glance.html
ECT treatments are usually given to people as a last resort for those who dont or have trouble responding to treatment. It is a very serious thing to consider before starting as it can have long lasting effects. I would most certianly encourage her to seek a second opinion before she even entertains this kind of treatment.
My thoughts are with you and your friend. Please keep us posted