Depression is a common mental illness that afflicts many in our society; about 16 million annually. Its more common for women but depression can affect any one at any age and usually starts in adulthood. As with other mental illnesses, the stigma alone is enough to discourage many from seeking treatment. Education is needed to spread awareness of what depression really is; a serious but very treatable mental disorder that is not caused by an individual’s personal weakness.
Most people associate depression with something stressful occurring in someone’s life, such as the death or loss of a loved one, some type of abuse or financial issues. Although this may be the case in some situations, in others there is no discernible cause. So while stressful events can bring about a depressive episode and genetics may create a predisposition, no one as of yet has been able to pinpoint anything that actually causes it.
Depression can be broken down into different types dependant on various factors. Daily feelings of low self esteem and sadness for two or more weeks are symptoms of major depressive disorder. Persistent depressive disorder can last for years but daily symptoms aren’t as severe. Seasonal affective disorder occurs when the amount of sunlight lessens and postpartum depression afflicts mothers after childbirth.
Depression is experienced and dealt with in many different ways. General symptoms include continuous sadness, worthlessness and sometimes no feelings at all. Other common symptoms are sleeping a lot, fatigue, moodiness, weight loss, and no interest in things once enjoyed. Many people who suffer with depression don’t show any outward signs; this is referred to as high functioning depression.
The impact for those suffering from depression is not only mental but physical as well. Symptoms include headaches, difficulty breathing, stomach issues and tension.
Depression is a major cause of suicide and suicide is at a very high rate for youth, second only to accidents. Feelings of hopelessness and other general symptoms sometimes become too overwhelming.
Depression is impacting our economy as well in that it is the main cause of disability for people between the ages of 15 through 44, costing as estimated $80,000,000,000 in work output and health care.
Research for depression is severely underfunded. The death toll for suicide, which is directly related to depression, is equal to that of breast cancer but funding for breast cancer research is almost 100% more than that of depression.
Depression is a very treatable illness even in severe cases, although its best to start as early as possible. Treatment usually includes medication and some type of therapy. For those that aren’t successful with traditional treatments, neurofeedback is an alternative therapy which is drug-free and non-invasive.
Established in 2004, Neurocore evolved into a nationwide authority in applied neuroscience. They operate nine brain performance centers in Michigan and Florida. Neurocore Brain Performance Centers offers assessments and training programs that assist children and adults with concentration, sleep and managing stress.
Neurocore utilizes advanced technology to record the brain’s electrical activity. The data acquired is then analyzed to discern the causes of symptoms and development of a program based on that. Some of the tests and methods used in building a profile are the electroencephalogram (EEG), heart rate variability (HRV), integrated visual and auditory continuous performance (IVA), and a behavioral checklist.
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