Stellate Ganglion Block for Depression

The stellate ganglion block (SGB) is a treatment that has started to become known for its ability to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and symptoms related to the disorder, including depression.

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SGB for Depression

Stellate ganglion nerve block was more widely accepted as a treatment for PTSD and depression starting in 2008 thanks to published research, although the history of the nerve injection stems back about one hundred years.    

To learn more about the benefits of Stellate Ganglion injections for Depression, select an option below:


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What Is Depression

Depression is very difficult to live with. It often robs people of the joys they have in life and leaves them unable to participate in any hobbies they have or even struggling to complete regular daily activities, such as brushing their teeth. Major depressive disorder is more than the occasional bout of sadness that everyone has as part of the human experience. The National Institute of Mental Health describes major disorder (or clinical depression) as a serious mood disorder that causes severe symptoms that affect how you think, feel, and handle daily activities.  

In order for major depressive disorder to be diagnosed, depression symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. The World Health Organization estimates that 3.8% of the global population is affected with depression, including 5% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years. It is believed that approximately 280 million people of all ages struggle with depression. Depression symptoms can be a persistent feeling of sadness, guilt, hopelessness, apathy, irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in activities, insomnia, loss of appetite, inability to focus, and fatigue. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and major depressive disorder are often comorbid, meaning they occur at the same time, and have overlapping symptoms. About half of those who are diagnosed with PTSD are also suffering from major depressive disorder.

Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment for Depression

If you have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder then your doctor may recommend a stellate ganglion block injection as a treatment option. 

Stellate ganglion nerve blocks are a type of injection that uses local anesthesia to numb the nerves known as the stellate ganglion nerves. These nerves are located in the front of the neck and make up part of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is part of a larger system, known as the autonomic nervous system, which are the nerves that control involuntary actions like breathing and sweating. The stellate ganglion nerves connect to the amygdala in the brain, which is an almond shaped structure that deals with the way people express emotions. The SGB block reduces the response of the amygdala and allows the brain to reset. It also reduces the production of stress hormones, which contributes to depression, and disrupts stress signals being sent to the brain. 

Stellate ganglion nerve blocks have been shown to be a safe and effective option, with few risks. The risks associated with SGB treatments are bruising at the site of injection, infection, soreness at the site of injection, and fever or chills. The chances of these side effects occurring are very low and chances of serious side effects are even lower. Results can usually start to take effect around thirty minutes after receiving the injection and can last anywhere from months to years. 

Consider Other Mental Health Services

Major depressive disorder can negatively affect multiple aspects of a person’s life and cause problems for them at work, in school, or in their family life. Mental health services can have a major impact on a person and can truly help them to overcome their depression.  

Gemini Health, one of our sister offices we partner with, provides therapy services to those who are interested in getting treatment for major depressive disorder. Gemini Health offers a free consultation, where you will receive a mental health assessment with a professional therapist. This consultation should only take an hour and the therapist will make a recommendation for different therapy approaches based on your specific needs and wants. A person-centered plan is designed to help you meet your goals while providing effective treatment. Once this is done then you may start the type of therapy that has been recommended for you. 

Gemini Health offers the following variety of treatment options, which incorporate evidence based practices: 

• Outpatient Therapy: This form of therapy allows patients to access services while still living at home and continuing to go to work, unlike inpatient therapy which requires a patient to move into a facility.  

• Tele-Counseling: This form of therapy allows patients to access services virtually. This therapy is definitely ideal for those who may struggle with getting transportation or live too far away. 

• Intensive Outpatient Therapy: This form of therapy treats a variety of conditions and is a good option for those battling addiction, depression, anxiety, or trauma. 

• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A popular type of talk therapy that focuses on changing thoughts and behavior to improve depression symptoms. This therapy teaches people the coping skills they need to handle their symptoms and overcome their depression. 

Gemini TMS specializes in a treatment known as transcranial magnetic stimulation, which is a non-invasive treatment that relieves severe depression. Typically, TMS therapy is used for treatment resistant depression, which is a form of depression that has not responded to traditional methods, such as antidepressants and therapy. During TMS therapy, a specialized cap is placed on a person’s head and magnetic pulses, which are painless, are sent to targeted areas of the brain to stimulate the nerve cells that control mood and depression. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an FDA-approved treatment for depression and it can also be used alongside talk therapy and medication. If you wish to schedule an appointment for your first consultation, call (301) 363-1063. 

Start Getting Treated Now

If you find yourself suffering from the effects of depression and think SGB is the solution for you, call Pain and Spine Specialists today! We are a team of highly qualified providers who will properly evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment. Let us help you return to a fully functioning life, free from pain. Call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia) and schedule an appointment today. 

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