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Depression - Other Treatment

Brain stimulation

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be used to treat severe depression or depression that doesn't get better with medicine and counseling or therapy.

Other types of brain stimulation have not been well studied and may be expensive. They usually are considered only if other treatment doesn't work. They include:

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  • Deep brain stimulation. A device that uses electricity to stimulate the brain is put in your head. It is used for Parkinson's disease but has not been well studied for depression.
  • Vagus nerve stimulation. A generator the size of a pocket watch is placed in your chest. Wires go up from the generator to the vagus nerve in your neck. The generator sends tiny electric shocks through the vagus nerve to the brain.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation. An electromagnet is placed on your head. It sends magnetic pulses that stimulate your brain.

Complementary therapies

Complementary therapies are sometimes used for depression. Always tell your doctor if you are using any of them. These therapies include:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 11, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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