"Clinical depression has become one of America's most costly illnesses," states Mental Health
America, a website that details depression in the workplace. With more than $51 billion in lost
productivity or absenteeism and $26 billion in direct treatment costs annually, the article says
depression has catapulted to one of the most costly diseases, along with heart disease and AIDS.
"Traditional psychotherapy has a poor track record with depression and as do the many antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Effexor and Zoloft to name but a few. The side effects for so many are intolerable with weight gain, dry mouth, loss of libido, sleeplessness and the list goes on," said William Shryer, DCSW, LCSW, Clinical Director of Diablo Behavioral Healthcare.
NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy and Treatment, is an FDA-approved
procedure that uses an electro-magnet to stimulate neurotransmitter production -- it awakens the neurons. Blackhawk TMS, a subsidiary of Diablo Behavioral Healthcare and Mindful Health Solutions, is the first clinic on the I-680 corridor to use this breakthrough technology, Shryer said proudly.
"TMS seems to work when people have failed to respond to typical antidepressants," said Shryer. "It doesn't have any cognitive side effects such memory impairment or sedation. It's non-invasive and it provides help when medications fail. The remission rates, that is, the cure rates for depression continue to rise, as the use of this new technology is better understood."
This cutting-edge treatment requires daily treatment of about an hour for up to six weeks, about the same time it takes for antidepressants to become effective if it were swallowed. TMS is ideal for patients who have failed to see improvement on previous medications. The procedure is even safe enough to use on pregnant women, many of whom go on to experience postpartum depression, Shryer noted.
The psychiatrically supervised, painless procedure uses a device about the size of a hair dryer to target the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain known to be underactive in depression sufferers. NeuroStar uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons in this area, causing them to become active and release neurotransmitters or chemical messengers, which is what medications try and do. This is a more focused, risk-free technology.
For more information on Blackhawk TMS Center or NeuroStar, call 925/648-4800 or visit www.behaviorquest.com.