Depression is a mood disorder that affects an estimated number of 300 million individuals worldwide. It causes disability and can put the life of a person in danger. Even though it is completely normal for a person to experience depressing moods infrequently, when these moods and emotions do not pass, the individual can develop depression. Understanding what symptoms may signal the presence of depression is important, as this can help an affected individual recognize the disease and obtain treatment early on.
Alpha-Stim devices have been increasingly recognized as a therapy that provides effective relief of symptoms that are linked to depression. Numerous research studies have been conducted and found these devices to be effective in reducing the burden of depression, as well as to relieve accompanying symptoms such as anxiety.
Possible Complications Of Depression
The most serious risk associated with depression is suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that an average of 44,965 people in the United States die each year from suicide. This, however, is not the only concern among patients with depression. The disease can cause a number of both physical and mental complications that may ultimately harm the general wellbeing of the patient.
One scientific paper explains that depression is often seen in patients who experience chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. A connection has also been made between irritable bowel syndrome and depression. The relationship between these diseases are complex but still needs to be noted.
Patients who suffer from depression are also considered to be at risk of gaining excess weight, leading to obesity. Obesity, in turn, puts the patient at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and many other harmful diseases.
Depression also increases the risk of drug and alcohol abuse. The disease causes social phobia, panic disorder, relationship difficulties, problems at work, anxiety, social isolation, and even self-mutilation in some patients.
Conventional Treatment Options For Depression
Numerous options can be provided to a patient once they have been diagnosed with depression. These usually include pharmaceutical drugs and psychotherapy. A combination of these treatments offers a more significant relief of the symptoms the patient is experiencing. In some cases where symptoms are milder, only a single treatment option would be provided to the patient.
The most common antidepressants prescribed to patients with depression include Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft. Other options include Luvox, Cymbalta, Paxil, and more. The problem with these drugs is that they cause a range of side-effects in many patients. These side-effects often include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, drowsiness, sleepiness, and nervousness.
Alpha-Stim For The Treatment Of Depression
Alpha-Stim uses Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation to address common mental symptoms in patients, with a large focus on relieving anxiety. The technology has also been effectively used to alleviate pain symptoms in patients. Some studies have also provided evidence that Alpha-Stim devices are effective at treating depression and yields no side-effects in treated patients.
The device has two clips that are attached to the patient’s earlobes. Once attached, microcurrent electrical pulses are sent through the patient’s brain. The patient starts to feel more relaxed during the treatment session. Each session lasts between 20 and 40 minutes, and the device is used daily for best results. In some patients, daily sessions are not needed, but rather occasionally when the patient feels depressed.
These devices can be used alongside antidepressants and psychotherapy. No side-effects have been associated with the use of Alpha-Stim technology in the treatment of depression, and studies have proven that the technique is well-tolerated by the patient.
One study tested the effectiveness of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation on depression symptoms among officers at a sheriff office. The researchers found that improvements in depression symptoms, as well as anxiety, were experienced by 73% of all subjects treated with an Alpha-Stim device. Improvements were observed in different depression-related symptoms, including self-deprecation, emotions of inadequacy, lack of motivation, and dysphoria.
Another study monitored the effects of using these devices on children with a diagnosed depressive disorder. Patients involved in the study were also diagnosed with anxiety. All patients were between the ages of eight and 16. Treatment lasted for up to 15 minutes. One group was treated with an Alpha-Stim device, while another group was treated with a sham device. After the study was completed, mean anxiety scores and mean depression scores among the group that was treated with the Alpha-Stim device was significantly reduced. The sham device group did not experience any significant results.
Depression is common, and the symptoms caused by the disease can range from mild to life-threatening complications causing a person to commit suicide. Treatments are readily available in the form of antidepressants. Certain lifestyle changes have also been proven effective in relieving the severity of depression-related symptoms. Scientific studies and clinical trials also suggest that the use of Alpha-Stim devices is an appropriate option for patients with depression, as it was found to relieve the severity of the symptoms experienced by affected patients.