TMS to Treat Depression
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is becoming a more common way to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression. TMS is a non-invasive form of deep brain stimulation in which...Read More
Posted: September 9th, 2022
Bad days can ruin a perfectly good mood! We’ve all had bad days when everything seems to go wrong, and we just want to give up. Whether it’s losing your job, health issues, kids out of control, divorce, car wreck, or natural disasters, there’s no doubt about it…life can be hard sometimes! Stress can build up and wear us down to the point of exhaustion. Unexpected tragedies can send us reeling. And we’ve all laid in bed in the morning wondering if we can possibly face another day.
It’s healthy to feel sad when we lose something or someone. When our boundaries are crossed, anger is the natural response. It’s okay to be afraid when our well-being is threatened. These are all warning emotions to help us improve negative situations. They give us a clear signal to take notice and ACT. Usually, we can do something to make it better. The guy in the photo above can rebuild his house (hopefully he has fire insurance). We can usually get medical help for that health diagnosis. We can apply for a better job than the last one. Like the movie, “What About Bob?”, we can “take a vacation from our problems”, so we don’t lose it.1 The point is that hard challenges come and go. They’re temporary and can usually be helped and improved or just endured at the very least. Our good mood can be restored when the fires from a bad day blow over.
We can usually mentally survive just about any kind of difficulty, as long as we see an end in sight. But for those who suffer from depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it feels like there is no end in sight. The bad days feel like they will last forever, every minute of every hour, day after day that never ends. Depressive disorder is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. While sadness and grief come and go in temporary waves, mood and pleasure decrease continuously with depression. Feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common. These thoughts can lead to wanting to end one’s life due to feeling worthless and undeserving to live or even cope.2
Depression is a serious medical condition marked by extreme sadness or despair that lasts for at least two weeks and interferes with the activities of daily life. Usually, depression develops over a long period of time, leading to a downward spiral of feeling sad and hopeless. Specific types of depression include perinatal depression, psychotic depression, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder. Common symptoms of depression include:3
Are you going through a temporarily rough time in your life or does clinical depression seem more like the case? To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must have five depression symptoms every day, nearly all day, for at least 2 weeks. One of the symptoms must be a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities. 3 If you think you may have depression, talk to your medical or mental health professional. You can also take this preliminary QUIZ, 4 which includes some of the questions a professional would ask to make a correct diagnosis.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. About 21 million U.S. adults (8.4%) had at least one major depressive episode in 2020. It affects people of all ages and all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.5 Research shows that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.3 It does not have one specific cause and can happen for many different reasons. Some of the major contributors to depression include: 5,6
Fortunately, with early detection, diagnosis and a treatment plan consisting of medication, psychotherapy and healthy lifestyle choices, many people can and do get better. Between 80% and 90% of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.2 The key is to get a specific evaluation and treatment plan. Safety planning is important for individuals who have suicidal thoughts.5 After an assessment rules out medical and other possible causes, a patient-centered treatment plan can include any or a combination of the following:5
Physical and mental health strongly rely on each other for overall wellness. One affects the other. Strengthening and nurturing our bodies can also do the same for our mental health. Here are the three pillars of physical health, which can help prevent and even reverse depression:
In many cases, significant improvement can be made in 10 to 15 sessions with the help of a licensed mental health professional. Depending on the severity of the depression, treatment can take a few weeks or much longer. Two of the most common evidence-based therapies for depression are cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy.16
Brain chemistry may contribute to an individual’s depression and may factor into their treatment. For this reason, antidepressants may be prescribed to help modify one’s brain chemistry. Antidepressants may produce some improvement within the first week or two of use, yet full benefits may not be seen for two to three months. Psychiatrists usually recommend that patients continue to take medication for six or more months after the symptoms have improved. Generally, antidepressant medications have no stimulating effect on people not experiencing depression.2 Like all drugs, depression medication may cause side effects. Careful consideration and monitoring with your mental health professional will help to find the best medication and dosage for you. Learn more about the common types of medication used to treat depression. 17
For people who suffer from severe depression or psychosis, brain stimulation can be beneficial. It involves activating or inhibiting the brain directly with electricity or magnetic waves by trained medical professionals. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is the longest studied brain stimulation therapy for depressive disorder with psychosis. Other experimental methods include Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST), and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).
If your depressed mood lasts for more than two weeks or is seriously interfering with your ability to function at work, with your family, and in your social life, consult with a mental health professional as soon as possible. Call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255 or call 911 if you experience thoughts about suicide, hurting yourself, or hurting others. Never stop taking your medications or start an alternative therapy without approval and supervision.
Mind Spa recommends our mental health treatment for individuals with depression. Our licensed therapists and medical professionals are dedicated to providing patients with safe and effective mental health treatment that teaches them how to properly heal their symptoms. Contact Mind Spa today for personalized treatment options (720) 822-3838.
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