The medical industry has to rethink or revive its approach to depression or mental health. According to the latest reports, by 2030, depression is likely to be a significant cause of disease burden from a global perspective.
The U.S is no exception. Depression so far remains the most common mind-brain illness. It represents about 99% of such diseases. The term depression is an elaborate one. The term includes bipolar disorders, associated mood swings, post-delivery symptoms, post-traumatic depression, anxiety, etc. Depression, if left untreated, may lead to suicidal tendencies.
Statistics regarding depression hint at the urgency to tackle the rising cases.
Substance use disorders and mental health affect around 13% of the world’s population worldwide. It is quite alarming that the numbers are expected to increase in the future.
Covid-19 has been and remains the primary factor in any discussions or updates about mental health. The sudden spread of the pandemic, imposed restrictions, lack of medical care, uncertainty about the pandemic-impacted situation, the forced changes in lifestyle, and financial and emotional stress have all contributed to depression across the globe.
A Quick Look at the Statistics
The statistics regarding the U.S alone say that about 59% of U.S residents have had mental illness due to the corona virus.
Almost more than 51.5 million adult U.S residents are thought to have some kind of mental illness of varying intensities. They could be mild, medium, or even severe, demanding urgent medical attention. This percentage would amount to roughly 20.6% of the American population.
The latest statistics also show that female patients are more prone to mental illness than men.
In some cases, anger surfaces as the most common symptom. Yet, anger is not immediately seen as an evident symptom, and in most cases, the condition often remains undiagnosed or partially diagnosed. Moreover, when left unattended, the underlying illness may aggravate.
Surveys also confirm that anger is primarily observed in male patients suffering from mental health or depression, anxiety, and other conditions.
The other commonly noticed symptoms include overeating, fatigue, physical aches, and engaging in activities that involve high levels of risk.
However, statistics conclude that it is not necessary that people suffering from depression may experience these symptoms together. Every individual leaves a different case history of depression.
The U.S features in the list of top 5 nations with the most number of depression cases. The other names include Greenland, Iran, Australia, and New Zealand. (says information from Guardian)
These statistics are more than sufficient to have a different or, rather say, a well-defined or well-researched approach towards treating mental health and its various forms. As a result, medical professionals must think of new ways to redefine the process.
The current mental health treatment options are different and quite evolved. Nevertheless, several meaningful changes are happening in the medical depression treatment arena. Maybe the attempts to fasten the process are based on the active incorporation of technologies.
Last year saw many changes in this regard. Here are some unique insights into what really is happening in technology-powered treatment for mental health.
The Incorporation of Technology into the Treatments
Like many other sectors in the medical world, the treatment for depression is much more advanced. The incorporation of advanced technologies is the most notable trend. The previous year has been highly significant to this sector with the evolution of newer technologies.
Tdcs or the Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Here, two electrodes on the head pass a weak current through the brain. As a result, specific areas of an individual’s brain are stimulated. Stimulating a patient’spatient’s brain via this method has been helpful in dealing with anxiety, depression, or pain management.
Here is a simple example of how new methods are incorporated into the sector. Video games are increasingly being leveraged by medical professionals involved in treating depression. ”EndeavorRx” so far remains the only video game treatment for mental health. The therapy was approved in 2020 and has secured approval by the FDA as a treatment method.
Medical professionals have found this approach advantageous enough to improve the attention span of kids aged between 8 to 12. The target group involved children who have ADHD. Available only with a medical prescription, this video game-based treatment has succeeded in more than 73% of participants who reported an enhanced ability to focus and pay attention. Besides, no significant adverse reactions were shown by any of the participants.
The current market may have a single treatment option. However, the success of EndeavorRx is undoubtedly a motivating factor. As a result, the upcoming years are expected to witness the emergence of similar game-based therapies.
Similar to video games, some applications could carry out tasks such as patient intake and carrying out the initial diagnosis.
Artificial intelligence deserves special mention among the technologies that are being actively leveraged in contemporary ways of dealing with depression.
This therapy needs to be considered only if suggested by a medical professional. Pregnant women are advised to stay away from its use.
Voice recognition software is another important aspect here. The best use of voice recognition is to analyze speech patterns or changes in patients’ voices as warning signs of possible behavioral changes.
The online tracking facilities allow patients to record their daily statistics for analysis. Such colossal data is an excellent tool for understanding any adverse reactions and behavioral changes through AI technologies.
Deep TMS by BrainsWay is an FDA-approved treatment option for MDD or major Depressive Disorder. This technology stimulates the prefrontal cortex. As a result, it enhances a patient’s mood.