Since then, we have not only removed (most) of those negative conspiracies and treatments. We've let the people free, so to speak. We have done research, made medications, and discovered new ways to help those with mental illnesses find relief. We have come leaps and bounds from the beginning, with no where to go but forward.
Today I was reading an article about new treatments for depression that are trying to make their way to the public's hands. And I can't lie, none of them sound all that promising to myself. I can't see myself waiting in line to try ANY of these out. And a few of them sound like steps backward. I feel like a few are dabbling into the past, and they didn't work then. Why would the work now? There are five major treatments that are trying to break into the market.
Vortioxetine – The FDA has already approved this variant on serotonin reuptake inhibitors for adults suffering from major depressive disorder. Sold under the brand, Brintellix, research indicates the drug may also help to improve memory.
Ketamine – Used as an anesthetic in human and veterinary medicine, Ketamine has been found to work quickly at reducing the symptoms of depression. In one study, a single intravenous dose of Ketamine relieved symptoms of depression in more than half of 72 depressed patients. Ketamine also offers hope to treatment-resistant patients who have previously failed to respond to anti-depressant therapy. In the study, a single dose of Ketamine not only worked rapidly to relieve
depression, but the results lasted up to 5 days or more. Even though it hasn't been approved by the FDA, experts from the National Institute of Mental Health, it’s expected to be on the market by 2017.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) – TMS involves a series of brief magnetic pulses to the brain, which are administered through an electromagnetic coil adjacent to a patient's head. The pulses stimulate certain circuits in the brain which are linked to depressive symptoms that are underactive in depressed patients. The goal of TMS is to activate these targeted areas of the brain to alleviate depressive symptoms and restore the brain to normal functioning. TMS is especially helpful for patients who do not respond to medication.
Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) – CES administers small electric pulses across a patient’s head using a portable, battery-powered device that can be used at home. Approved by the FDA, CES provides relief from symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression. It is also approved for treating
Deep brain stimulation – Unlike other brain stimulation treatments, deep brain stimulation involves the surgical placement of a battery-operated neuro-stimulator, which is used to treat a variety of neurological symptoms. The implant is similar to a pacemaker. It's effective for patients with Parkinson’s disease, but is currently being tested for its effectiveness in treating depression.
While Electro-shock therapy has undergone a makeover since it's first introduction, it's still widely debated. While it can and does have some success stories, it comes with a heavy dose of side effects. Memory loss, relapses, headaches, upset stomachs, and muscle aches. Treatments are also given up to three times a week for 6 to 12 weeks.
With these new treatments for depression, a few can't help but pique my interest. I bet you can guess which ones. While I see the thought process behind them, I guess it worries me. History always repeats itself.
Are those last three "treatments" just a stepping stone heading back into the days of people being locked up because they are different? There's already a rise in stigmatism when it comes to mental illness (and many other things too). Even though we have learned so much about mental illness, there are still a heavy percentage of people that will do anything to NOT talk about it. They want to keep it to themselves or not have anything to do with someone with a mental illness. Despite all the information readily accessible, you hear about it constantly on the news how a situation dealing with a mentally unstable person was handled poorly, and sometimes deadly.
I think about my own recent experience. I went to the ER on my own accord to get help, and I ended up with police officers outside my door 24 hours a day and very few people would even look me in the eye. Do you know how horrible that feels? To be locked away in a room with no windows, without your own clothes, no family to talk to, and no idea what is going to happen to you? It's scary. I was already mentally unstable, you're not helping me at all.
That's how some of these new treatments make me feel though. Like we are heading down a path of scared "normal" people and those that need help are locked away in a building where the only "help" is getting electroshocked into sanity. These are just more reasons for us to stand up, speak out, and tell the world we are not to be feared. We are just like them. We don't need to be electrocuted to be deemed normal. We don't need to have parts of our brains removed to be calm. We don't need to hide the fact that we need medicine to help us. We don't need to be marginalized.
We need to be listened to. We need to be supported. We need to be free of society's stigmatism...