Empowering Talk Radio

New Treatments for the 350 Million with Depression

New Treatments for the 350 Million with Depression

According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people worldwide have depression.  That’s a whole lot of sadness and pain…but the good news is that there are new treatments being offered and in development to help.

Medications that work differently than those currently on the market are giving sufferers new hope.  While depression can rob someone of feeling hopeful, feelings of despondency can escalate if you are one of the estimated 50% of all the clinically depressed people who seek help, but get no relief.  But, don’t despair those numbers are improving!

The new medications that are being developed are finding a connection between inflammation and depression that brings new hope to many.  Researchers are also finding new ways to treat depression caused by trauma.  They are doing this by putting research mice in their cages and setting up a situation where one mouse bullies the other.  I talk on my Podcast about how I envision one mouse bullying the other…say, maybe, the one mouse calls the other one fat, or stupid or ugly…or maybe shoves them around the cage? I don’t know, it just sounded funny to me, but what do I know about mouse research and mouse bullying? Seriously, I apologize if I offended anyone with my silliness because depression is no laughing matter, and I get that!

Other newer methods for treating depression are TMS – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation where electromagnets are used to activate areas of the brain known to regulate mood.  Some reports are that this has had positive results upward of 75%.  Promising!  There is also a procedure being done that provides deep brain stimulation with a pacemaker-type device implanted in the brain.  This has shown positive response rates in the 90th percentile. I told you things were looking hopeful!

Then there is the old standby of ECT – Electroconvulsive Therapy, the treatment made famous in the 1975 movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, that provides relief where medications do not.  Don’t let the images of Jack Nicholson writhing on the treatment table while getting ECT dissuade you from this very effective treatment. Todays ECT is a very sedate process that has helped many.  Moviemaking is not real life and your Doctor can help you understand how Jack gets kudos for his acting in this role!

Whatever treatment you and your Doctor decide to implement, half the battle is seeking treatment.  The top five reasons people don’t seek treatment are:

  • Thinking they will snap out of it
  • Don’t want to take medications
  • Don’t feel sad all the time
  • Feelings of embarrassment and shame
  • Fear having to address painful issues that may be at the root of their depression.

Depression is a serious illness.  Of the 350 million who suffer with it, about 1 million suicides are linked to depression.  If you need help, know that you are not alone, and get help.  Do it for yourself and for the people who love you. You deserve to feel better and live life more fully!

Listen to The Joan Jerkovich Show podcast: New Depression Treatments; Job Loss; Make Your Dreams a Reality