“Sometimes I feel like it would be easier if I just weren’t here any more. Like, if I got hit by a semi-truck while on the freeway and died, it would be a relief.”
Depression is a Global Issue
- Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
- Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of all deaths in the United States.
On a worldwide scale, more than 300 million people suffer from clinical depression according to studies by the National Institute of Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization.
Additionally, 60 million of those people have struggled for years with treatment-resistant depression. Meaning, that clinical interventions such as TMS, ECT and ketamine infusions have not brought any relief and people are losing years of their lives.
The numbers are staggering and if left undiagnosed or untreated the risk of suicide increases.
With the most recent public figure deaths like Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the public eye is taking note that depression is a serious clinical, brain health issue — rather than the stigmatized stereotype of just “feeling sad”.
People do not simply “get over” being depressed.
What Causes Depression?
At a clinical level, depression is defined as a chemical imbalance in the brain that is a result of altered levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
How does this happen? Where does it start? And what does that mean in the real world? Well, it can be caused by a number of things:
- Inherited biological genetics, passed down through generations.
- Triggered by a severe traumatic event that begins as a natural situational response and then perseverates into longer-term clinical issues that require treatment.
- A co-occurring symptom of other illnesses such as PTSD or Bipolar disorder.
How to Deal With Depression
So many people say “just reach out” when you are feeling lost, or if you are, God forbid, feeling like your life no longer matters.
But, when someone is depressed, they are in a state of mind where by definition they are incapable in that moment of “reaching” out for a helping hand. Which is why it is up to us to reach out to those we know who may be struggling.
It is equally important, if not more so, to check on our “strong friends”. Those who seem like they have it all together. Those who seem to have happy, fulfilled lives. Those like Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Because, people wear powerful masks.
It is often those who are most tormented in the confines of their own minds who do not wish to burden anyone around them with their internal struggles. Depression is affecting them so much and so deeply that they want to protect those they love from being “infected” with its’ darkness. Also, consider that symptoms of depression include isolation, withdrawal, and in extreme cases cutting one’s self off from nearly all outside connection.
How do you Treat Depression?
The good news is that depression can be treated, however it is important to note that no two cases are the same. Individuals need to find what works for them and develop an integrated treatment plan to support their recovery.
Depression is most commonly treated with medication and psychotherapy. The additional integration of holistic, functional medicine therapies such as neurofeedback can be also be key to long-term recovery from depression.
Neurofeedback Treatment for Depression
Neurofeedback can be a more natural cure to help with depression. Sometimes, it can even be the treatment patients search for to recover once and for all.
Microcurrent Direct Neurofeedback (DNF) is a very effective clinical tool for treating depression because it goes straight to the source in the brain that is driving the symptomatology. Many patients who claim to have “tried everything”, come to direct neurofeedback as a last resort and find the long-term relief they were seeking all along.
Because direct neurofeedback targets the entire brain and nervous system, overall global brain health is improved — which resolves the neuro-chemical imbalances that caused the issues in the first place. This stands to reason because treatment resistant depression is related to several complex factors rather than one specific area in the brain.
Microcurrent Direct Neurofeedback also counteracts and relieves the co-occurring anxiety symptoms that are also often associated with severe depression. DNF reduces the frequency, duration and time of unwanted symptoms.
Longer lasting positive improvements are the result of the brain regaining a neuro-chemical homeostasis and developing a natural resistance to returning to a dysfunctional state. There is a gradual change and improvement resulting in both immediate relief as well as long-term “brain homeostasis.”
Each session activates the parasympathetic nervous system — the nervous system our body naturally uses to calm and bring us back to homeostasis and decreasing the “fight, flight or freeze” response from our sympathetic nervous system.
This creates a solid foundation of heartiness that serves as a protective factor for life-long brain health and prevention of further flare-ups or depressive episodes.
Our message is simple: We fully understand depression is real and we are here to treat, support and help you through it.
If you or a loved one is struggling, please connect with an expert on our team today to discuss treatment options. We are committed to your healing and long term recovery.
Christina holds Bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, San Diego in Neuroscience and Music. Her knowledge of the neurological make-up and interworking’s of the brain, coupled with her leadership in the mental health and medical industries, made her the perfect fit as a neurofeedback practitioner for the Brain RX team.