Depression is a serious medical illness affecting more than 14 million American adults every year1. 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 2000, the economic burden of depression was estimated at $83.1 billion in the United States alone.2 In 2012, the WHO declared depression to be the leading cause of disability worldwide.3
Depression can be a lethal disease. In fact, each year in the US, over 30,000 people die by suicide, 60% of whom suffer from depression.4 Overall, women are almost twice as likely as men to suffer from depression; however, some experts feel that depression in men is under-reported.5 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 that has not improved with traditional medication therapy. Learn about depression treatment options.
More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medications and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. For these patients, additional treatment options are needed.
What are THE symptoms of
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 diagnostic guide (DSM-IV-TR) published by the American Psychiatric Association, depression is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing either 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 discuss your depression treatment options. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may provide an alternative depression treatment for those who have not benefitted from prior antidepressant medication.
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.1 It is a condition that lasts two or more weeks and interferes with a person’s ability to carry out their daily tasks and previously enjoyed activities.
In 2003 a study conducted by the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, reported that major depressive disorder will affect approximately 14.8 million American adults (about 6.7 percent of the US population) in a given year.
HOW SERIOUS IS
Yes. The National Institute of Mental Health maintains that, “Depressive illness can often interfere with normal functioning and cause pain and suffering not only to those who have the disorder, but to those who care about them. Serious depression can destroy family life as well as the life of the ill person.” A national study of depression found that nearly all the respondents who reported a major depressive disorder also reported that their social and/or work lives were negatively affected by their illness.1 In 2000, the economic burden of depression was estimated at $83.1 billion in the US.2 In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared depression to be the leading cause of disability worldwide.3 Depression can also be a lethal disease. Each year in the US, over 30,000 people die by suicide, 60% of whom suffer from depression.
IS THERE A
There is no known cure for depression, but with effective treatment many patients can remain symptom free.
ARE SOME PEOPLE MORE LIKELY
TO BECOME DEPRESSED THAN OTHERS?
Yes, depression is known to be hereditary so depression may occur in some people who have a particular genetic makeup that make them more likely to develop depression. However, the exact nature of these genetic characteristics is not known. Other factors may contribute to an individual’s likelihood of experiencing depression. Some of these risk factors include:
- Individuals suffering from certain medical illnesses such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders
- Individuals experiencing a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful change in life pattern.
- Individuals taking certain medications that may increase vulnerability to depression
- Both the use of substances of abuse and the withdrawal from these substances can induce depression
- The experience of trauma, at any time of life, has been found to increase the likelihood of experiencing depression
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT APPROVED
TREATMENTS FOR DEPRESSION?
Depression is most often treated with psychotherapy (talk-therapy) and antidepressant medications administered together. Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, they do not work for everybody. Additionally, since antidepressants are typically taken by mouth, they circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body, often resulting in unwanted side effects. More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medications and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. For these patients, alternative treatments are available which usually involve the use of a medical device. These treatments include: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).
TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. These pulsed magnetic fields may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters levels. Treating depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), may provide an alternative depression treatment for those who have not benefitted from prior antidepressant medication.LEARN MORE ABOUT TMS
Kessler, RC, et al. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun: 62 (6):617-27.
Greenberg, PE, et al. The economic burden of depressive disorders in the United States: How did it change between 1990 and 2000? Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2003; 64 (12): 1465-1475.
Heron, Melonie, et al. Deaths: Final Data for 2006. National Vital Statistics Reports, 57 (14). April 17, 2009.
Kessler, RC, et al. The epidemiology of major depressive disorder; results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). JAMA. 2003; 289(23): 3095-3105.