NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy Survey Finds Majority of Americans Don't Feel Very Equipped to Discuss Depression With Loved Ones

MALVERN, Pa., May 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Neuronetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: STIM) -- NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy, the established leader in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) -- a non-drug, non-invasive depression treatment -- today announced results from its national survey, conducted in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, that uncover insights on awareness, knowledge and perception of depression in America. The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of NeuroStar Advanced Therapy among 2,010 U.S. adults. NeuroStar's survey found that a majority of Americans (73 percent) don't know that depression is a brain disorder and therefore, may be unaware of the root cause of this debilitating disease that impacts more than 17 million adults in America.(1) Many (82 percent) admit they don't feel very prepared to have a conversation with loved ones about depression, a major barrier to fostering an open dialogue on the disease.

While depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S.,(1) and one that has been part of worldwide dialogue, even among notable celebrities, NeuroStar's survey results reveal less than 1 in 5 Americans (18 percent) feel very equipped to reach out to a loved one if they think their loved one is suffering from the disease. Moreso, more than half of Americans (56 percent) believe one of the biggest barriers preventing people from reaching out to a loved one they think might be suffering from depression is that they are unsure of how to bring it up in the first place. Additionally, only about a quarter of Americans (27 percent) are aware that depression is a disorder of the brain.

"Our survey findings not only reinforce the incredible need for education on the topic of depression, but also underscore the importance of ensuring Americans feel equipped to have these potentially life-saving conversations about mental health," said Chris Thatcher, CEO and President of Neuronetics, Inc. "There is an entire month of the year dedicated to breaking mental health stigma, but Americans simply don't feel equipped to do that it seems. Not only will we remain steadfastly committed to transforming the lives of those who are suffering from depression this month and every month, but we will work hard to ensure this important education and dialogue continues."

With more than 2.3 million treatments delivered, NeuroStar was the first TMS device to receive FDA clearance in 2008 and is a proven treatment for adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that are underactive in depression.(2,3) It is widely covered by major insurance plans and available by prescription, where it is typically administered daily in a doctor's office for four to six weeks in just under 19 minutes.* Unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), NeuroStar is non-invasive and allows patients to resume daily activities immediately following treatment sessions. As a non-drug treatment, it is also free from systemic side effects often associated with antidepressant medications.(4)

Key survey findings spotlight:

Americans do not fully grasp depression as the debilitating disease it is.

    --  While nearly 9 in 10 Americans (87 percent) believe cancer is a very
        serious health condition, less than two-thirds (65 percent) say the same
        about depression.
    --  There are very real differences between a depressed and non-depressed
        brain based on brain scans of the two groups, yet only about one-quarter
        of Americans (27 percent) know depression is a brain disorder.

There are barriers and concerns about bringing up depression with family and friends, and some would even go as far as to put themselves in an uncomfortable situation instead of addressing the topic.

    --  Few Americans (18 percent) feel very equipped to reach out to a loved
        one about depression if they thought they were suffering from it, and
        perhaps this is why nearly 1 in 5 (18 percent) would rather accidentally
        call someone by the wrong name than have a discussion with a loved one
        they think might be suffering from depression.

Platforms like television can negatively impact people's portrayal of and experience with mental health.

    --  One-third (34 percent) of Americans think recent portrayals of
        depression in movies and TV shows have had a negative impact on how
        people view the illness.
    --  Of those who have ever been on social media, more than 3 in 5 Americans
        (63 percent) say social media posts have brought them down, and of those
        who ever watch TV, two-thirds (67 percent) say that TV shows have
        brought them down.

"There is a big misconception that depression means you're always sad, something that was not the case for me. I didn't fit people's stereotypical image of depression; they didn't see how I could be depressed," said patient advocate Kelly Hagan. "We need to do a better job of understanding and talking about depression. My clinical depression is completely in remission thanks to NeuroStar, and now as a mental health advocate, I encourage others to start a discussion with loved ones in the hopes that we can break the stigma together."

To get involved in the conversation during Mental Health Awareness Month, follow NeuroStar on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and access additional resources on YouTube. For more information about NeuroStar Advanced Therapy, visit

About the Survey
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of NeuroStar Advanced Therapy from April 18-22, 2019 among 2,010 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Jennifer Bullock, Senior Communications Manager at NeuroStar.

About NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy
NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy is the established leader in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a non-invasive form of neuromodulation. NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is the #1 TMS choice of doctors, and widely available across the United States.

NeuroStar is reimbursed by most commercial and government health plans in the United States, including Medicare and Tricare. In addition, there are programs in place, such as NeuroStar Reimbursement Support, to help patients and providers obtain coverage and reimbursement for NeuroStar Advanced Therapy.

NeuroStar is indicated for the treatment of MDD in adult patients who have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode. In an NIMH-funded, independent, randomized controlled trial, patients treated with TMS using a clinical-trial version of the NeuroStar TMS System were four times more likely to achieve remission compared to patients receiving sham treatment (P = 0.0173; odds ratio = 4.05).(5) The most common side effect is pain or discomfort at or near the treatment site, which usually resolves within one week. It is contraindicated in people with non-removable conductive metal in or near the head.

NeuroStar® is a registered trademark of Neuronetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:STIM). For more information and full safety and prescribing information, visit

(1 )National Institute of Mental Health. (2019). Mental Health Information: Major Depression.
(2) Post A, et al. (2001) J Psychiatric Research. 35:193-215
(3) Liston C, et al. (2014) Biol Psychiatry. 76(7):517-26
(4) Janicak PG, et al. J Clin Psychiatry, (2008)
*Treatment time may vary depending on a doctor's recommendation.
(5) George MS, et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry, (2010)

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SOURCE Neuronetics, Inc.