Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for Depression
Depression is common suffering for millions of people in the world including teenagers, adults, old people, and even children. According to a recent study, depression cases in adults increased from 8.5% to as high as 27.8% in 2020, while further rose to 32.8% by the end of 2021 (approximately 1 in every 3 adults). It is not taken seriously by people, but in actuality, it is a factor that badly affects life quality and reduces performance. Moreover, it stimulates certain physiological and hormonal problems if left untreated. It can be incapacitating in professional life and simple tasks may appear unmanageable.
The professional aid to come out of depression can be a life-changer, but the starting point is hard to determine, and also knowing that you are undergoing depression is tricky. Taking the initiative to eliminate it, returns normal life to the individual. The impact of depression goes beyond your personality and equally affects the people you deal with at home, the workplace, and in society. It can be categorized as (I) clinical depression, (II) anxiety disorder, (III) persistent depressive disorder, (IV) seasonal depression, and many more.
In the USA, 10 million people suffer from seasonal depression every year, especially in fall and winter. Though the symptoms disappear when the season changes but their lives are significantly affected. Proper care along with medication can help people to avoid it.
Common symptoms of depression include:
|· Sadness||· Low energy|
|· Lack of interest||· Difficulty in concentration|
|· Loss of appetite||· Weight gain|
|· Hopeless feeling||· Anxiousness|
|· Irritability||· Restlessness|
|· No interest in hobbies or routine tasks at the office or home|
|· Forgetfulness and difficulty making decisions|
|· Recurrent thinking of suicide or death|
|· Unexpected physical pains and aches without any medical diagnosis|
The major causes of depression are difficult to specify. It may be due to genetic, environmental, biological (hormonal such as thyroid problem), or physiological reasons (vitamin deficiency). In addition, the severity of symptoms also varies from person to person.
How is Depression Treated?
Depression is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. Approximately, 80-90% of people getting the right treatment at right time respond positively. The first step is to take an interview with the depressed person, followed by some hormonal tests. After preliminary tests and examination, the physician recommends visiting a psychologist or psychiatrist. The following possible treatments can be given depending on the severity of the case.
Ø Medicine: Chemicals released by the brain cells are the main contributing factor to depression. To treat neurotransmitters’ overexpression, antidepressants are prescribed. The effect is monitored in the first week and if the condition gets better then treatment is given for six months.
Ø Psychotherapy: The therapy includes 10-15 sessions of psychological counseling.
Ø Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): In severe cases, ECT is given, when the person is not responding to counseling and medication. It refers to a brief electric stimulus to trigger neurons to function normally.
HBOT as Antidepressant
HBOT is done in specialized chambers (hyperbaric chambers), with high oxygen concentration and elevated pressure between 1.5 to 3 ATA. The users get these therapy for 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on the condition and get an experience of an oxygen-rich environment. After each session, the body cells get nourished with oxygen and nutrients and a cascade of physiological effects starts inside the body, resulting in better metabolism and improved body performance, particularly in the brain. Brain cells need a high amount of oxygen as compared to other body cells and oxygen-rich blood plasma decreases the swelling, inflammation, and tissue damage. Anxiety and depression negatively affect neuronal health, while HBOT reverses the effects of mood fluctuations and chemicals released due to it. Stem cells get mobilized and neurotransmitters released by neurons give a relaxed and happy feeling.
A recent study investigated the efficacy of HBOT combined with a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSIR), “escitalopram” in treating general anxiety. The combinatorial therapy was found to be more effective than escitalopram alone. Another research focused on the effects of HBOT for treating depression in incomplete spinal cord injury (ISCI) patients. The HBOT positively affected the patients within eight weeks, reduced their depression, notably improved neuronal function, and enabled users to perform daily tasks. Unlike therapeutic antidepressant drugs, HBOT is not addictive, its effects do not lessen with time, and it does not cause any nausea or sleepy feeling (like other medicines). Furthermore, HBOT in conjunction with psychological counseling works best to relieve stress.
When Should you Choose HBOT?
It is recommended that depression patients first seek psychological aid. Once the severity of the case is studied by a psychologist and medication is prescribed, it is safe to consult your advisor for HBOT. It is analogous to a workout or physical activity with an enhanced effect, nourishing the brain tissues and developing a healthy microstructure.
Oxyhelp Hyperbaric Chambers
HBOT can be taken at home or under the supervision of a medical professional. No matter whether the user prefers therapeutic chambers or home-based chambers, Oxyhelp hyperbaric oxygen chambers are the right choice. The chambers are manufactured in Europe, while different spare parts are acquired from famous companies in the USA, Spain, Germany, and Japan. The high-quality design, antibacterial interior, automatic operating procedure, easy handling, and certified components make these chambers win the trust of users. The users can easily pressurize and depressurize the chambers within seconds and the system is well adapted for trouble shooting.
In a nutshell, HBOT can successfully diminish depression and anxiety and is comparable to rehabilitation therapy (psychotherapy). Anyone dealing with the winter blues or seasonal depression can be benefited from HBOT. It not only improves brain function but also modifies the microenvironment for neurons by neovascularization. Improved brain function and microstructure of the brain result in positive biological responses that lessen depression and anxiety.