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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:

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 22, 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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