A Common Disorder
Depressive disorders are the second most pervasive psychiatric conditions in the world (second only to anxiety disorders). They affect approximately 19,000,000 American adults. During their lifetime, 5 - 12% of men and 10 - 15% of women will have at least one episode of a major depressive disorder. More than half of these people will have additional episodes of depression during their lives. Twenty percent of patients visiting primary care physicians exhibit depressive symptoms.
The effects of depression are staggering. A recent study sponsored by the World Health Organization and the World Bank found major depression to be the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and worldwide. Eighty percent of suicides are carried out by persons who are in a depressive state. Fifteen percent of people who have significant mood disorders commit suicide.
Even though 80-90% of people with major depression can be treated successfully, only about one-third of those seek help. The primary reason for this reticence is the stigma associated with admitting to emotional difficulties. Only 38% of Americans believe that depression is a "health" problem. These people view depression as a personal weakness, not a medical illness.
Missing the Mark
The medical profession itself sometimes struggles with accurately diagnosing major depressive disorders and other mood orders. It has been reported that of those people with mood disorders that have sought help, 29% took over 10 years before receiving a correct diagnosis. 60% of patients reported receiving an incorrect diagnosis before receiving the correct diagnosis. This problem is due in large part to the fact that there is a high degree of variation among people with depression, in terms of symptoms, course of illness and response to treatment. This variability poses a major challenge to clinicians attempting to understand and treat depression without the use of objective diagnostic testing tools.
Finally, Help & Hope
CereScan’s brain SPECT imaging can be of major assistance to physicians in their diagnosis and treatment of depressive disorders. It can identify the parts of the brain that are generally believed to be involved in depressive disorders and determine whether they are working properly. With this information, physicians can better correlate the patient's clinical symptoms and arrive at a diagnosis that is supported by objective diagnostic evidence. It has been our experience that the ability to visualize one's brain processes most often helps patients accept the existence of the diagnosed condition and enhances patient compliance with their treatment plans.
No matter what your brain based concerns are, our staff and physicians are dedicated to help you feel better. If you have questions, would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, please call us at 866-722-4806 or complete our contact us form.