Depression is a serious medical illness affecting more than 16 million American adults every year, 6.7% of all U.S. adults1. Often a debilitating disorder, depression results in a persistent state of sadness or loss of interest or pleasure which interferes with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, and physical health. Learn more about depression symptoms.
In 2010, the economic burden of depression was estimated at $210 billion in the US2and depression was the second leading cause of disability, accounting for almost 20% of all years of life lost to disability and premature death.3
Depression can be a lethal disease. In fact, each year in the US, over 44,000 people die by suicide, 60% of whom suffer from depression.4, 5 Overall, women are almost twice as likely as men to suffer from depression; however, some experts feel that depression in men is under-reported.6 Depression has no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries. About two-thirds of those who experience an episode of depression will have at least one other episode in their lives.
While the exact cause of depression is not known, the leading scientific theory is that depression is caused by decreased activity in the neural networks of the brain that regulate emotion and motivation. Increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain has been found to reactivate these neural networks, or create new networks. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that send signals between brain cells. Depression is most often treated with antidepressant medications. It is believed that antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters. TMS offers additional treatment options for people struggling with depression despite traditional medication therapy. Learn about depression treatment options.
More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. For these patients, they need a new way back.
Depression results in a persistent state of sadness or a loss of the ability to experience pleasure. Those experiencing depression often lose interest in everyday activities or hobbies that were once enjoyed. According to the standard diagnosis guide (DSM-V) published by the American Psychiatric Association, depression is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure plus four or more of the following symptoms during the same two-week period:
- Significant weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain (a change of more than five percent of body weight in a month)
- Significant increase or decrease in appetite
- Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
- Agitation and restlessness
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive and inappropriate guilt nearly every day
- Diminished ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
If you feel you are experiencing any of these depression symptoms, contact your doctor and speak with them about your depression treatment options. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, also referred to as TMS Therapy, may provide an alternative depression treatment for those who have not benefitted from prior antidepressant medication.
Depression symptoms are most often treated with antidepressant medications. It is believed that antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. These changes have a positive effect on mood and reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, treating major depression is sometimes more complicated and requires more than antidepressants.
Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, they do not work for everybody. This condition is sometimes referred to as treatment resistant depression, or drug resistant depression. Although not a scientific term, treatment resistant depression is real and debilitating for those dealing with it.
Additionally, since antidepressant medications are typically taken by mouth, they circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body, often resulting in unwanted side effects such as weight gain, sexual problems, upset stomach, sleepiness, and dry mouth. More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them.
For these patients, alternative treatments for depression are available. These depression therapies have proven to work in some people that do not receive benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. These treatments include: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).
Recent research with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has offered a new alternative treatment for depression. Focused stimulation of targeted regions in the brain with pulsed magnetic fields may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters levels. Treating depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation, also referred to as TMS Therapy, provides an alternative depression treatment for those who have not benefitted from prior antidepressant medication.