Major depression is a serious medical illness that affects approximately 16.1 million Americans.8 Depression can cause ongoing sadness that changes how a person thinks, feels, and acts every day. While medication can help manage symptoms for many people, it is estimated that approximately 4 million patients do not benefit from taking standard antidepressant medication.8
- Women are more likely than men to suffer from depression15
- Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide15
- Depression has no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries16
- Researchers estimate that by the year 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disease burden—impact on length and health of lives—worldwide15,17
What causes depression?
While the exact cause of depression is not known, the leading scientific theory is that it is caused by an imbalance of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that send signals between brain cells.
While antidepressant drugs work for many people, some still do not receive adequate treatment.8 For these patients, the effects of depression can still be debilitating. These patients need a proven, safe depression treatment option.
Depression Frequently Asked Questions
What is major depression?
How prevalent is depression?
Is depression a serious disease?
Is there a cure for depression?
Are some people more likely to become depressed than others?
- Individuals suffering from certain medical illnesses such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders
- Individuals experiencing serious personal losses, difficult relationships, financial problems, or any stressful changes in life pattern
- Individuals taking certain medications that may increase their vulnerability to depression
What are the symptoms of depression?
- Reduced concentration or attention
- Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Ideas of guilt and unworthiness
- Bleak and pessimistic view of the future
- Disturbed sleep
- Diminished appetite
- Ideas of self-harm or suicide
If you feel you are experiencing any of these depression symptoms, contact your doctor and ask about your depression treatment options.
What are the current approved treatments for depression?
Many patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medication and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them.8 For these patients, alternative treatments that involve the use of a medical device are available. These treatments include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).8
What is transcranial magnetic stimulation?