Those who struggle with mental illness, or have cared for someone who does, know that the unpleasant symptoms add additional hardship to an already multifaceted, sometimes trialsome, existence. What’s more, of those who take steps towards recovery by seeking treatment, some do not experience any positive benefits at all. Depression is a very common mood disorder, and some people have a treatment-resistant variety. Regardless of which illness management is choosen, people with treatment-resistant depression continue to experience the side effects of the disease.
Symptoms of Treatment-Resistant Depression
The indicators of treatment-resistant depression are the exact same as those of treatment-responsive clinical depression, though they persist for a far longer duration than what is considered typical:
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Feeling helpless or worthless
- Loss of pleasure in once-enjoyable activities
- Weight loss or gain
- Irritability or agitation
- Cognitive difficulties and trouble organizing thoughts and actions
- Insomnia or oversleeping
Statistics of Treatment Resistant Depression
At any given time, one million people are living with treatment-resistant depression, says PsychCentral. This means that regardless of the medication, therapy or other treatments they try, they experience no symptom relief. This phenomenon occurs for a few reasons, depending on the individual. Those who are depressed and exposed to severe levels of stress on a frequent basis may have difficulties of this kind. Another factor that might make depression more tedious to treat is comorbid psychological conditions. In other words, those who have depression in tandem with another psychological condition that causes similar symptoms (i.e. eating disorders) can contribute to the development of treatment-resistant depression. Similar to this is the possibility that some people may not actually have the mental illness. A few disorders, such as thyroid problems and bipolar disorder, can mimic depression symptoms. When people are receiving medical intervention for the wrong condition, the true problem is not tended to. Yet another theory goes to say that depression is caused by irregular activity in certain centers of the brain. When taking antidepressant medication, those with reactive depression experience a lessening in the severity of symptoms because these areas of the brain are switched off. For those with treatment-resistant depression, medication fails to shut these brain centers down.
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is a relatively new technique created to help alleviate the symptoms of depression. It involves stimulation of the brain through the use of electromagnetic coils. Coils are placed inside of an insulated helmet, so that they can be comfortably applied to the head. Magnetic waves are administered to specific areas of the brain believed to be involved in producing the symptoms of depression. Typically, treatment persists for 15-20 minutes, and is carried out each day for four to six weeks. The treatment is safe, does not require anaesthesia or surgery, and is tolerated well by most people. After a full course of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation depression therapy, results indicated a 32.6% remission rate, notes The National Center for Biotechnological Innovation. The sample size used was 200 [clinically depressed] people.
For those who may be wondering how to cure depression, there is not yet a way to eradicate the existence of the disease as a whole. For people with treatment-resistant depression, this may cause a great deal of frustration. However, this does not mean that these people have no choice but to live with the disease. Those who experience this type of depression should ensure that there is no underlying factors that are making matters worse. As well, deep transcranial magnetic stimulation depression therapy may be a useful tool to consider, as the procedure directly stimulates centers of the brain that are believed to cause the symptoms of depression.
For those seeking Los Angeles depression treatments, Westside Neurotherapeutics can provide dTMS. For more information, contact the company by phone at 310.946.0008 or online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.