Around five percent of people across the world have depression.
The World Health Organization estimates that about 300 million people suffer from this condition.
It can be an extremely harmful condition if it isn’t properly treated.
Since so many people suffer from it, one could assume that people don’t get the help or treatment they need.
Some patients use antidepressants and have success with those.
Others benefit from counseling with a licensed therapist.
However, what happens to those who are not healed by these methods of treatment?
That’s where PEMF, (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy), comes in.
Research shows that it can be an effective way to provide relief to those suffering under the weight of depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is not just a bad mood.
It isn’t the same as having sporadic mood swings.
This condition isn’t characterized by an emotional response to a difficult situation.
These types of issues are temporary.
Their duration usually only lasts for a couple weeks.
This is where depression is defined. It can last for months or even years.
Depression is an illness that takes time to grasp.
Therefore, it takes a while to learn how to heal. Unfortunately, some patients never do.
Depression can negatively affect every facet of a person’s life.
Their relationships at work, home, and school may suffer greatly.
Social, emotional, and professional aspects of their lives are impacted by this terrible disease.
If they do not get the help they need, it may even lead to suicide.
Types of Depression and Symptoms
Depression falls into categories such as mild, moderate, and severe.
If someone is dealing with a mild episode of depression, they will have trouble maintaining aspects of their personal and professional lives.
However, they usually continue to function in a normal way.
During a severe episode of depression, they usually cannot function at all.
It is almost impossible to manage their lives at work, school, or even at home.
However, some people have limited functions during these episodes.
Regardless, it is extremely difficult for them.
There are two major types of depression.
They include Bipolar affective disorder and Recurrent depressive disorder.
Recurrent depressive disorder is characterized by repeated depressive episodes over a period of a couple weeks.
Its symptoms include suppressed appetite, low mood, low energy, and a lack of interest in normal activities.
How is mania different from depression?
Well, the patient may feel their mood is elevated to extreme heights.
During a manic episode, they feel a boost in energy and self-esteem.
They could become agitated. Their speech could be faster than usual as well.
The back and forth between manic and depressive episodes epitomize this type of depression.
Bipolar affective disorder is similar in one way.
It includes several depressive episodes.
However, it is also characterized by periods of mania.
Causes, Prevention, and Treatment
There are several physical, psychological, and social variables that can lead to depression.
Genetics, life events, and physical health all play a role. Underlying mental health issues may also be a cause.
Preventing depression is possible through the utilization of group therapy, community programs, and individual therapy.
If someone encounters a negative life event, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.
Certain lifestyle factors come into play as well.
Exercise is one of the most natural ways to combat depression.
It releases hormones such as endorphins and serotonin.
These hormones keep people feeling good.
When natural remedies don’t work, antidepressants could be an option.
Therapy also plays a vital role. These treatments often walk hand in hand.
Now, studies about PEMF and depression are having promising results.
Medical experts around the world are starting to recommend it to their patients.
They may enhance their recovery chances by adding it to their treatment plan.
PEMF Therapy and Depression
In first-world countries, depression is one of the leading causes of disability.
30 percent of people who suffer from it do not respond to traditional treatments such as antidepressants and counseling.
Additionally, some people have a negative reaction to antidepressants.
They often turn a difficult situation into an impossible one.
The people who happen to improve throughout their first treatment year often see relapses.
Unfortunately, between 37 and 70 percent of patients experience this.
While studying PEMF and depression, researchers have discovered that patients may see an overwhelming improvement in their mood and emotional health overall.
The study was led by Harvard researchers. It was conducted during 2014.
They created a mobile PEMF instrument that reached frequencies of around 1000 Hz.
The researchers decided to create it after noticing the positive mood-elevating effects it had on bipolar affective disorder patients.
Afterward, they completed their study.
They started by observing how patients suffering from depression were affected by low field magnetic stimulation, (LFMS).
The researchers used a placebo-controlled and double-blind method.
The patients were either suffering from the major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.
A single 20-minute treatment was given to each participant.
Three scales were used to measure changes in their moods after the treatment.
- Hamilton Depression Rating Scale
- Positive and Negative Affect Schedule Scales
- Visual Analog Scale
The group of participants that were given placebos showed zero improvements.
However, the other patients were able to have their moods improved by at least 10 percent!
Researchers concluded that these previously untested electromagnetic fields could be utilized during LFMS stimulation to greatly enhance the moods of patients.
Though PEMF therapy could be used to enhance moods, it isn’t clear how it could be used to treat patients suffering from depression.
However, there are a few theories.
The first says that these low-frequency treatments could cause the neurons in a patient’s brain to vibrate at the exact frequency as the PEMF device.
Consequently, the electrical activity in the brain changes.
This includes neurons and their pathways.
As a result, the way a patient’s brain works could change too.
This may lead to elevated mood and reduced depressive episodes.
Additionally, sections of the brain that are tied to depression and anxiety may be enhanced by better glucose metabolism.
The glucose metabolism enhancement could be a result of PEMF therapy sessions.
Unfortunately, the new instrument they used in the study is not available.
However, low-frequency PEMF therapy could have benefits as well.
This is according to certain neuroscientists.
Thankfully, there are devices that are available and have similar effects.
Many people suffer from this debilitating illness.
It comes in several forms, and none of them are pretty.
Thankfully, there is hope. In addition to current treatments, PEMF therapy is showing promise.
Research continues as people hope for further breakthroughs in the field of depression treatment.