What is Depression?

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.


There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include Persistent depressive disorder, Postpartum depression, Psychotic depression, Seasonal affective disorder, and Bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of Depression

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood

  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism

  • Irritability

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities

  • Decreased energy or fatigue

  • Moving or talking more slowly

  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

  • Appetite and/or weight changes

  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Depression Facts & Stats

  • 300 million people around the world have depression.

  • 6.2 million adults in the US have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.

  • 50% of all people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

  • 15% of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

  • 44,000 Americans die by suicide each year.

The PTB Approach

Mental Health

Objective Indication

Laboratory tests are not very helpful when it comes to diagnosing depression. In fact, talking with the patient may be the most important diagnostic tool the doctor has. To effectively diagnose and treat depression, the doctor must hear about specific symptoms of depression. A doctor may use a series of standard questions to screen for depression.


Research suggesting that EEG-related technologies can provide a complementary view of brain function alongside standard screenings and assessments measuring depression. EEG studies have found a link between hemispheric asymmetry in frontal regions of the cortex and depression symptoms. 

Depression and F3/F4 Alpha Power

EEG studies have shown a link between hemispheric asymmetry in frontal regions of the cortex and depression symptoms suggesting depression is meaningfully related to relative frontal EEG asymmetry at rest (F3/F4 <1).


Research shows an atypical pattern of resting frontal cortical asymmetry can serve as a risk factor for the development of depression or other emotion-related disturbances where hemispheric specialization for cortical systems mediates motivational and emotional processes.



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