A case study published on February 13, 2012 in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documents the case of a man helped with chiropractic who was previously suffering from major depression and other issues.
The authors of the study note that, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is defined as having one or more Major Depressive Episode(s). A Major Depressive Episode according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, is a, "Period of at least 2 weeks during which there is either a loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities or a depressed mood". Although there is much debate about the classifications of such disorders, the authors cite their sources and note, that MDD affects anywhere from 10-25% of women and 5-12% of men within a community sample.
In this case a 28 year old man went to the chiropractor specifically for help with Major Depressive Disorder. The doctor observed that due to the severely depressed nature of his disorder, he was unable to fill out his initial intake form without assistance from his mother. His history showed that his first major depressive episode occurred when he was 17 years old. He showed a loss of interest in pleasure in almost all activities, and suffered severe weight loss. Four years after his initial episode, he was diagnosed with MDD. Over the next several years multiple medications were used which did not help the situation and created additional health issues.
The initial chiropractic examination revealed a very thin man with postural abnormalities. Muscle tests showed multiple areas of weakness and palpation of the spine showed areas of sensitivity. Additional specific chiropractic examination procedures were used and revealed positive findings. The patient was asked to score his condition from 0 to 10 with zero being no symptoms of depression. He initially scored himself as a 7 out of 10.
Care was initiated using specific chiropractic adjustments over a regular period of time. The patient showed progressive improvement. A little over a year after starting care the patient reported a marked resolution of all depressive symptoms on the subjective depression scale. The authors reported that the man regained his ability to, "...interact and communicate, which he was unable to do effectively when he first began care." It was also noted that he was able to discontinue all medications and he even quit smoking after having smoked two packs per day for ten years.
In their conclusion the authors commented on the positive improvement that the patient had made under chiropractic care by stating, "This case of a 28-year-old male with MDD was a good example of a case that did not respond well to traditional medical care." The authors continued noting the improvement with chiropractic care by adding, "The patient also experienced an improved quality of life as demonstrated by resolution of all depression symptoms, cessation of smoking, improvement in his diet and exercise regimen, and an overall sense of well-being."