What is Major Depression?
Major depressive disorder is a condition which lasts two or more weeks and interferes with your ability to carry out daily tasks and enjoyed activities that previously brought pleasure. This condition affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older.
The exact cause of depression is not known, but leading research in neuroscience points to inflammatory changes, dendritic pruning and dampened firing of neural networks due to alterations in glutamate, NMDA receptors and AMPA receptor activity. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that send signals between brain cells. Your genetic make-up and life history also contribute to your tendency to become depressed.
In 2015, an estimated 16.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults and doesn’t even begin to include all of the people with chronic depression, dysthymia, or bipolar depression, which can drag on for years.
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 2015, the economic burden of depression was estimated at $210 billion in the US alone — yet only 40% of this was associated with the cost of depression itself.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide according to the World Health Organization (2017).
And depression can be lethal. Each year, over 800,000 people died worldwide from suicide. In the US, there are 123 suicides a day, and each year 44,965 of us die by suicide. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for adults, and the second leading cause of death among adolescents.
No, but there are now innovative and extraordinary, life-saving, effective treatments like Ketamine Treament and we offer it here, in our beautiful office — not in a hospital or clinic. You or your family can have the best possible chance to become symptom free and remain well.
There are many factors which can predispose certain people towards depression more than others. However, the exact ways these factors link to and precipitate depression are still being researched and debated. Some of these risk factors include:
- Suffering from certain medical illnesses such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders
- Hereditary predispositions to depression passed through genes.
- Experiencing a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful change in life pattern.
- Taking certain medications that may increase vulnerability to depression
According to DSM-V, the standard diagnosis guide published by the American Psychiatric Association, depression is diagnosed when a person experiences either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in things, plus four or more of the following depression 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’re experiencing any of these depression symptoms, contact Dr. Calabrese for an appointment to whether your are a candidate for advanced treatment options that can get you back to your best self.
Depression is most often treated with psychotherapy (talk therapy) and antidepressant medications administered together. Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, they don’t work for everybody, they only work about 1/3 of the time; another 1/3 of people will respond if we add on or switch medication. But fully 1/3 of people with depression don’t get the help they need from the medications they take.
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 people don’t receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medications and/or can’t tolerate the side effects they cause.
If this is you, or someone in your family, alternative treatments are available which involve the use of a medical device instead. These treatments include (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. These pulses can activate large neural networks in the brain and improve neuroplasticity. Treating depression with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation takes much longer, than ketamine treatment, is more time consuming, and requires an appointment every day, Monday-Friday, for up to 8 weeks. In our experience, many patients do not begin to feel better until after they have had 21-23 treatments.