Roughly 1 out of 3 American adults are affected by depression. Despite the many drug treatment options that are available, we still face around 30% of patients who don’t respond to drug treatment. Fortunately, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy shows very promising results for those suffering from depression and other mental health disorders. Generally, the effects of HBOT on depression and anxiety show improvement equal to psychotherapy. One of the reasons for that is due to the fact that HBOT restores adequate blood flow in the brain, which is vital for mental health.

How does HBOT help with depression?

People with depression often have insufficient blood vessels supplying oxygen and other important nutrients which feed brain cells through the blood. This lack of oxygen and nutrients begins to cause brainwave imbalances. This is why brain scans reveal that low oxygen levels and blood flow are commonly linked to mental health/brain health issues, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, addictions, and more. When brain cells don’t receive enough oxygen, they start producing too little or too much of the chemicals they are supposed to, specifically serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline. Brain imaging studies show that people who have had HBOT have marked improvement in blood flow to the brain. HBOT treatments can actually cause new blood vessels to grow in the brain, allowing the body to create new stem cells which actually turn into new brain cells.

What symptoms of depression are improved due to HBOT treatments?

Following HBOT, patients reported a substantial decrease in depression and anxiety, with substantial improvement in perceived quality of life and suicidal tendencies. HBOT can significantly enhance nerve function and activities of daily living. HBOT can also help patients to overcome resistance to psychopharmacotherapy. Therefore, in combination with HBOT psychotropic medications can be more effective.