TMS and Depression
What is Major Depression?
There is no single cause for depression in all people. The most popular theory is related to decreased activity in the neural networks (the brain). These systems are responsible for transmitting specific chemicals to allow neurons to communicate. These compounds are “neurotransmitters.” Doctors and scientists were once under the impression that depression is a result of inactivity within mood networks. Depression is complicated, and no simple answer can diagnose all individuals. Doctors are even learning that certain people are genetically predisposed to suffer from depression.
How many people suffer from this illness?
The Department of Health Care Policy at the University of Harvard school of Medicine, in 2003, released a report that suggested almost 15 million people throughout the United States (this is roughly 7% of the entire U.S. population) deal with depression. This number is calculated based on a yearlong study..
How serious is depression?
Simply put, depression should be taken very seriously (for those dealing with depression and those dealing with depressed people). The National Institute of Mental Health states that depression that is left untreated can ruin lives and even end in suicide. Adverse feelings that a depressed person has reverberates out to friends and family, and so the illness can take a toll on everyone. On average, 30,000 people a year commit suicide as a result of depression. A different national study on depression claims that those suffering from major depression show noticeable declines in their social and work life. Not only does depression ruin lives, but it also is an enormous financial burden for individuals and the United States government. Depression is the second largest disability worldwide. by 2020, the global economy is expected to spend upwards of 83 billion dollars..
What is the cure for depression?
There is no cure for depression, only ways to treat it. A patient tries different treatments regimens until something works. Treatment depends on the individual.
Who is likely to be depressed?
There is no one cause for depression, and so scientists only have rough ideas as to why people suffer from depression. It could be a result of:
- Hereditary- in some cases, depression can be handed down from parents and grandparents.
- Suffering from major illness- suffering from a stroke, cancer, or a heart attack can trigger depressed thoughts and feelings.
- Trauma- there are traumatic events in a person’s life that will cause them to be depressed. Death, loss, and losing a job are common triggers.
- Medication- all drugs are created to help; however, most of these pills or chemicals cause side effects in humans. One side effect can be depression.
How does someone know if he or she or others are depressed?
The APA (American Psychiatric Association) has set standard diagnosis guidelines to help people understand the symptoms of the illness. A depressed person will:
- Sleep too much or not at all (sleep disorder)
- Constantly feel tired and run down
- Constantly feel agitated and aggressive
- Lose the ability to think and concentrate
- Constantly be haunted by thoughts of death and suicide.
If you, or someone you know, suffer from four or more of the above symptoms, you should reach out for help immediately.
How does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Work?
By using pulsating magnetic fields, TMS can stimulate nerve cells in the brain that control mood and emotion. The therapy is designed to increase the brain’s overall neurotransmitter levels. This treatment is encouraged for individuals who do not find any relief from antidepression medication.
NeuroStar ® TMS Therapy can be used to treat major depression in adults who see no benefits from other treatment methods.
Antidepressants are the most commonly used tool to fight depression in adults. The different medications try to alter neurotransmitter levels positively. This change in brain chemistry is supposed to limit depression and anxiety. Although medicine is the standard option, it is not guaranteed to work, and in fact, over four million individuals find little to no relief from antidepressants. Treating major depression is more complicated than just prescribing a vile of pills. Those who do not find relief in pill form are considered treatment resistant to depression. This problem is very real and very prevalent throughout our country. Some people feel less depressed as a result of the pills, but sometimes the side effects are worse than the depression.
Side effects of depression medication includes:
- Sexual problems
- Extreme fatigue
- Upset stomach
- Physical sickness
- And chronic dry mouth
For patients that suffer from these side effects, there are proven depression therapies that can help an individual. The three most common types of treatment are:
- TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)
- ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy)
- VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulation)
Lots of research is being conducted to understand TMS better, and it is providing great results for those who undergo the therapy. Pulsing magnetism is applied to the brain, which lessens feelings of depression and anxiety. Again, this method of treatment works best for those who find no relief in conventional methods of treating depression.
NeuroStar® TMS Therapy is a treatment designed to help lessen major depressive disorder for adults that do not find relief from antidepressant medication. If you have tried medication at or above the minimal dosage, and it does not work, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation could be the solution for you.