What is Depression?
Depression is more than just feeling low or sad from time to time. It is a serious condition that makes it hard for a person to cope with, and take pleasure from, daily life. Depression is often associated with anxiety and affects people of all ages, from children at school and those at work, to grandparents at home. The World Health Organisation has declared depression to be the world’s leading cause of ill heath and disability. Research shows that on average 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some stage of their lives, with over 1 million Australian adults having depression in any one year.
What causes Depression?
Research indicates that depression is not caused from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Depression usually results from a combination of recent events and other long-term or personal risk factors, rather than one recent problem or event.
While we don’t know exactly what causes depression, latest research using sophisticated brain-imaging suggests that it is caused by problems with key networks in the brain that regulate the control of cognition (thinking) and emotions (feelings).
It is important to understand that everyone is different and that it is not always possible to identify the cause of someone’s depression. The most important thing is to recognise the signs and symptoms and find help.
How do we help Depression?
Everyone is different and there is no single treatment for depression that helps everyone. At The Perth Brain Centre we primarily focus on providing drug-free treatment for depression with Behaviour Activation, Psychological Therapy and using:
How does Trans-Cranial Direct Current (tDCS) help depression?
The Black Dog Institute concluded that tDCS was a “safe and effective” treatment for depression after research published in 2012. At The Perth Brain Centre we are pleased to be able to provide tDCS for depression duplicating the treatment programme from The Black Dog Institute, combined with Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (a type of Behavioural Activation Programme from The USA) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Trans-Cranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a very safe therapy that works by using a weak electric current to gently stimulate the brain. Research suggests that in some cases of depression there is less activity in the front left part of the brain (this is can detected using special QEEG Brain Scans), an area responsible for generating positive thoughts. tDCS can target this region of the brain and reduce depression. During treatment people sit comfortably whilst small sponge electrodes are positioned over targeted areas of the brain. The electrodes are held in place using soft velcro straps and deliver a low-intensity direct electric current to the underlying brain. Treatment is safe and does not hurt at all, with most people simply feeling a mild “tingling” sensation.