Depression Treatment Options


depression treatment

I've been asked countless times what I recommend the treating depression over the past 20 years.That is why I've written this article about the top 4 treatments that you probably haven't heard of and which actually work.

I'm leaving out SSRIs and any type of cognitive behavioral therapy, which I believe is invaluable because most people will know of these. All treatment options are sorted in no particular order and I do recommend you read the full article.

I'll also be mentioning the upside and downsides to the treatments throughout.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS)

This is my number one choice for depression treatment. It's efficiency in the treatment of depression is well-documented.

The technique is based on delivering a very small electrical current to the forehead. You have two wires coming from a TDCS unit. A positive, usually a red wire, called the anode, is attached that to a wet sponge and place it on the upper forehead. And a black wire, or what they call a cathode, usually is attached just above the right eyebrow. Both are held in place with a headband.

The current apparently modulates or stimulates electrical activity of the nerve cells in the part of the brain that has positive effects on mood.

Downsides

It can be a little messy with the wet sponges but it's worth it. Just wrap a towel around your neck to avoid any drips from the sponges and you'll be fine.

Upsides

It works fast and the effects last. I noticed the difference within a week and a huge difference within three weeks. I was using it maybe four to five times a week for about 15 minutes to start off with and I did that for about three weeks. Then after that just to top-up once a week for 15 minutes.

It's also cheap. The brand I use and highly recommend after try a couple out is the Omni stimulator. It has a huge warranty, works great and it is simple to use.

Ketamine

Ketamine is better known as a horse tranquillizer and a party drug. It sounds kind of scary, however, scientists have noticed that a very precisely controlled dose of ketamine can improve the symptoms of depression within a day. Scientists have also identified the receptors in the brain tissue are targeted by ketamine. But it have not yet fully discovered the mechanism by which ketamine helps with depression.

I've personally tried this under strict supervision and I can state that I did notice a real difference. However, this treatment is really hard to come by. There are trials happening in different parts of the world if you want to look into them. But, like I said, you may have a difficulty in finding them.

Downsides

It would be very easy to abuse this drug and the side effects are pretty severe. For example, hallucinations and memory loss.

It's also really hard to find places that are using this treatment and it didn't last for longer than a few weeks in my personal experience.

Upside

I found an almost immediate lift in mood within an hour. One thing I will say, however, is that it did feel a little artificial at first and I was slightly dizzy. If you know of any we're doing trials in ketamine, please let me know.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Another treatment that I thought was pretty useful, although it has shown varying results from study to study. TMS is a technique conducted by the use of the device, which creates a magnetic field around specific parts of the brain. This magnetic field is thought to modulate the symptoms of certain mental disorders including depression

It's not really known how it works in regards to depression, but they do apply the magnet to the upper left forehead like they do with the positive TDCS sponge.

It's actually thought that it may stimulate the hippocampus, which can reduce in size when a person is depressed and that might be the reason why people feel better after treatment.

I participated in a trial on TMS here in Australia over a three-week period. At the time of treatment you hit like loud clicking. It was actually not too bad but it was it was an annoyance when you're actually getting the treatment done.

Downsides

By the end of each 45 minute treatment it felt like I taken a hard knock to the head. It also can be really expensive in the USA and trials if available can be hard to get into depending on which part of the world you live.

Upsides

I did think there was some change. I honestly can't say that about a lot of treatments. I spoke to some people that swore by this treatment; So, it's worth looking into.

5-HTP Supplement

5-htp is a naturally occurring essential amino acid that the body can't fall by itself. It increases the levels of serotonin in the brain. It's thought that the lack of serotonin is often responsible for depressive disorders, although that is being debated currently. The end result of 5-htp supplementation is similar to that of taking any depressants. Although their mechanisms of action in the brain are different.

I've used 5-htp in the past. I did find it to be helpful and I definitely can recommend this supplement. One thing to be aware of is that if you're on antidepressants when taking this, it can lead to serotonin syndrome, which at worst can cause you to go into a coma.

Just a warning! Don't even think about taking a supplement if you are on any SSRI.

Downsides

It's better for mild depression. It also cannot be used with any depressants.

Upsides

This supplement is readily available. However, I do warn against buying generic brands online.

A lot of these treatments are unknown or unheard of for a lot of people. There's a lot of people out there that may be on SSRIs that might not be working for them. Or they're trying some other forms of therapy and they're just not getting the results that they wantl

By no way I am dismissing SSRIs. I think they have their place. But I also think there's other valuable treatments that are out there that people must know about.