About Major Depressive Disorder
Depression is a serious medical illness affecting an estimated 17.3 million American adults every year, 7.1% of all U.S. adults.1 Often debilitating, depression results in a persistent state of sadness or loss of interest or pleasure which interferes with an individual's thoughts, behavior, mood, and physical health. To be diagnosed with major depressive disorder (sometimes called clinical depression or just MDD), you have to experience several distinct symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks.
Depression can be lethal. In fact, each year in the US, nearly 45,000 people die by suicide. Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.2 Suicide has been a persistent problem in Montana — and it’s getting worse. The state saw 25.9 suicides for every 100,000 residents in 2016, nearly double the national average, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that is age-adjusted. Since 1999, that rate has risen 38 percent ranking Montana number 1 in suicides per capita in the nation.3
Overall, women are almost twice as likely as men to suffer from depression; however, some experts feel that depression in men may be under-reported.4 Depression has no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries. About two-thirds of those who experience an episode of depression will have at least one other episode in their lives.
While the exact cause of depression is not known, the leading scientific theory is that depression is caused by decreased activity in the neural networks of the brain that regulate emotion and motivation. Increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain has been found to reactivate these neural networks, or create new networks. This is where TMS can help. By targeting specific neuropathways and stimulating neurotransmitter production, TMS can improve and/or cure depression.