Clinical Depression

Worldwide, clinical depression is the most common disability.

Clinical depression (also called major depression) is a psychiatric disorder that “saps” an individual’s ability and desire to do what he or she used to. They would feel extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, and even thoughts of death. They would also be unable to concentrate, sleep sufficiently, eat right, and feel pleasure.

To treat it, technology has resulted in some actual medications. Tricyclic antidepressants were formulated in the 1960s till the 1980s. There were also the monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as the phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and isocarboxazid (Marplan).

In the past decade, there have been selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), venlafaxine (Effexor), and nefazadone (Serzone). The guideline in taking these kinds of antidepressants remain the same over the years, though: Medications–prescribed, over-the-counter, or herbal supplements—should never be mixed without a doctor’s advice; nor be borrowed from another person.

There is also a safer and more effective treatment for clinical depression now. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) enables a small amount of electric current to pass through the brain and cause a seizure to control mood, appetite, and sleep. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) also functions the same but is only opted if the clinical depression (1) has lasted for two years or more, (2) is severe or recurrent, or (3) is not alleviated after four treatments.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), on the other hand, uses a magnet instead of an electrical current to activate the brain. It was developed in 1985 and was approved last October 2008 by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States.

“The Internet has made it possible to deliver telemedicine care economically to areas and populations with limited access to specialist or culturally and linguistically congruent care.” ~National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the FSU College of Medicine

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