We’ve all been sick or injured at some point – a case of strep throat here, a sprained ankle there. It’s no fun while it’s happening, but our bodies eventually heal and we return to our normal lives.
But what happens when we don’t feel better? For some people, this is the everyday reality. People with chronic illness feel unwell or uncomfortable nearly every single day of their lives. After a while, the combination of feeling unwell – plus the knowledge that it is a long term situation without a quick fix – can take a toll on their mental health.
What Is Chronic Illness and How is it Linked to Depression?
A chronic illness is one that lasts for a long time and often cannot be cured completely. Some examples include diabetes, arthritis, lupus, some types of cancer, and heart disease. The illnesses themselves can cause pain or make you feel sick or fatigued. Sometimes, the treatments can make you feel sick, too – or they can interfere with your daily life. Everyday tasks that once felt easy can become incredibly challenging or even impossible when you suffer from a chronic condition. A typical day can be downright exhausting, and even disheartening.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. It is estimated that up to one-third of individuals with a serious medical condition have symptoms of depression.” This is because “people who have chronic illnesses must adjust to both the illness and its treatment. The illness may affect a person’s mobility and independence, and change the way a person lives, sees him- or herself, and/or relates to others.”
Chronic illness and depression feed off each other in a vicious cycle: “Depression caused by chronic disease often makes the condition worse, especially if the illness causes pain and fatigue or it limits a person’s ability to interact with others. Depression can intensify pain, as well as fatigue and sluggishness,” according to WebMD.
So how likely is it for someone with chronic illness to experience depression? These are the rates of depression among populations with specific conditions¹:
- Heart attack: 40%-65% experience depression
- Coronary artery disease (without heart attack): 18%-20% experience depression
- Parkinson’s disease: 40% experience depression
- Multiple sclerosis: 40% experience depression
- Stroke: 10%-27% experience depression
- Cancer: 25% experience depression
- Diabetes: 25% experience depression
- Chronic pain syndrome: 30%-54% experience depression
Compared with the nationwide averages (10-25% of women and 5-12% for men), the rates of depression among people with these illnesses are significantly higher.
What About Injuries?
Injuries with a long healing process can also lead to depression, especially for athletes whose lifestyle and sense of self revolve around their sport. For someone who is accustomed to training every day, socializing with other athletes, and competing (either against others or against personal benchmarks), being sidelined for weeks or even months can be a devastating blow.
Statistics on depression in injured athletes are not readily available. A New York Times article notes as much: “It is hard to pin down how common depression is among injured athletes; research in this field of sport psychology is limited. But one study of 343 male college athletes from a variety of sports found that 51 percent had some symptoms of depression after being injured, and 12 percent became moderately to severely depressed.”
Maintaining Mental Health Despite Physical Discomfort
If you suffer from a chronic illness or a long-term injury, you don’t have to accept depression as part of the package – and you don’t have to add any more medications to your treatment regimen. There is another way to get relief.
Alpha-Stim® is an FDA cleared medical device clinically proven to safely and effectively treat depression. Two electrodes, worn on your earlobes, deliver a tiny current of electricity to your brain, in a modality called cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). The patented waveform of electricity restores balance to your brainwaves, making you feel better. Treatments are painless and done in the comfort of your own home.
Since Alpha-Stim is not a drug, there is no risk of addiction or lasting side effects. There is also no risk of overuse – you can use it as often as you’d like. In fact, results with Alpha-Stim are cumulative: the more you use it, the better you’ll feel, and the less you’ll need it. Alpha-Stim can safely be used in conjunction with your other treatment modalities. And not only does it cost less than medications, but it works better, too!
On top of its efficacy at treating depression, Alpha-Stim also brings relief from acute, post-traumatic, and chronic pain. Two handheld Smart Probes deliver relief directly to the site of your pain. Results are long lasting and often immediate. Not only will your mood improve, but your pain levels will, too. In fact, Alpha-Stim is so effective that the professionals at MD Anderson Cancer Center rely on it to bring relief to cancer patients.
Having a chronic illness can seem like a heavy burden; it can make you feel powerless and defeated. There is no shame in acknowledging that you are struggling. It’s important to know that there are still ways you can feel better. You don’t have to accept depression as part of your life; you can take control.
We understand that managing a chronic illness can be exhausting enough on its own, which is why we encourage you to try Alpha-Stim for 30 days. If it doesn’t bring you relief, you can send it back. Why wait another day? Get started today, and take back control of your mental wellbeing.
Alpha-Stim® is an FDA cleared, handheld medical device that has been proven time and again to effectively treat acute, post traumatic, and chronic pain, as well as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Alpha-Stim uses cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), delivered through a patented waveform via two earclip electrodes, to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) delivers pain relief directly to the source of discomfort via two handheld Smart Probes.
The safety and effectiveness of Alpha-Stim is backed by over 100 independent clinical research studies. Unlike with medications, there is no risk of addiction or lasting side effects.
Alpha-Stim is available by prescription in the United States and over-the-counter in other countries. Get started today!