An estimated 10 percent of U.S. adults struggle with depression. For these individuals, feelings of sadness and hopelessness are persistent and color their daily lives and social interactions. Depression is about more than just feeling sad.
Chemical changes within the brain of an individual who is depression frequently also result in one experiencing disruptive feelings and emotions including anxiety and restlessness. Additionally an individual may believe that he or she is worthless and that life in general is hopeless.
These negative emotions are often reinforced and exacerbated by repetitive thoughts which make it difficult to impossible to function normally. Thankfully, for many, both prescription medications and behavioral and cognitive therapies are effective in helping manage these adverse symptoms. However, traditional prescription drug and cognitive therapies aren't effective for everyone. For those who are not able to find relief through traditional treatment methods, daily life can become a constant struggle as an individual’s personal relationships and ability to work are negatively impacted.
Medical scientists are constantly trying to study and develop new treatments for depression. Increasingly, scientists have focused on how to help treat those individuals whose symptoms persist despite trying numerous prescription drugs. For these individuals, new research indicates that treatments that focus on what's called transient hypofrontality or "the deactivation of large swatches of the pre-frontal cortex,” may hold the key.
Several studies have and are being conducted to determine both the short and long-term benefits of treatments that induce transient hypofrontality. Treatment methods include the use of nitrous oxide or laughing gas, psilocybin or what's commonly referred to as magic mushrooms and ketamine which is a popular club drug.
For the millions of people who struggle to find relief from debilitating depression symptoms, these types of new and alternative treatments may finally bring relief and hope.