Depression has been around probably as long as man has been. It was known as melancholia or ‘black bile’. A chemical imbalance of transmitters in the brain was thought to be the cause of most Depressive Disorders. Depression continues to plague people and new and more effective treatments are becoming available all the time. We will take a look at just a few of the historical treatments of Depression.
During the 1950’s, studies found that the presence of Risperine isoiazed could result in changing the monomine neurotransmitter levels and that they had an effect on systems of depression. It was also considered that there might be other causes of Depression.
The suspected causes included the belief that Depression was hereditary. Also, it was believed that both the environment and biology may be responsible for Depression. Other causes of Depression that were considered were medical conditions, diet deficiencies, and the abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
Historical treatments of Depression offered only two options: antidepressants and ECT - Electroconvulsive Therapy also known as shock treatments. A patient is given a general anesthetic and a muscle relaxant. Electrodes are placed on the scalp and controlled electrical pulses are delivered which initiate a seizure in the brain. The patient’s muscles are relaxed and there is usually only a slight movement in the hands and feet. After a few minutes, the patient awakes and remembers nothing about the procedure or the events surrounding it. Often, the patient is confused after the procedure is done.
Antidepressants addressed the chemical imbalance of the brain. They were effective for most people. The side effects from antidepressants were serious, causing all kinds of side effects - even death. Many antidepressants left patients lethargic and had sedative effects.
A treatment that is not historic, but has the potential of making history is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS. This treatment involves a doctor using a hand-held magnetized coil that is electrically charged. The coil is passed over the patient’s scalp and the pulse penetrates the skull and stimulates the brain. This procedure is currently experimental. There is potential for this procedure to become extremely precise and be able to target very exact parts of the brain for treatment.
Historical Treatments of Depression are being updated and replaced by current research that is being done. This is probably the best time for those suffering with any form of depression because of the continuous advances being made.
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John Gibb is the manager and owner of various health websites. His latest addition is Natural Depression Alleviation