Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in US. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. It can happen at any age, but often begins in adulthood.
Depression, especially in midlife or older adults, can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. These conditions are often worse when depression is present, sometimes medications taken for these physical illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression.
When a person is struggling with depression, it is difficult for person to describe it. With depression even thought of facing yet another day is a daunting task. Person loses appeal to all the pleasurable activities in their life. Simple task of getting out bed becomes monumental task of the day. Even mundane small tasks seem impossible. At the same time it is difficult for others to understand. Friends and family, while trying to help, sometimes make it worse by encouraging them to snap out of depression, or cheer up, or stating their life is good. Major depression can be recurring illness where chance of having another episode increased with each depressive episode. Approximately 37% of adults with major depressive episode did not receive treatment, some lack access to care while other don’t recognize depression as a mental illness, thinking it is a weakness, or that it will simply go away.
An estimated 16.2 million adults in the United states suffer from at least one major depressive episode. Out of these, 4.5 million people in the United states do not respond fully to prescription antidepressants. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be depressed.
Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O et al. JAMA. 2003;289(23):3095-105.
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life.
Other types of depression include:
Even though Depression can be devastating, it is also, thankfully, treatable condition. A variety of treatment options are available.
If you think you might suffer from depression, or are having difficulty managing depression, check with your doctor or give us a call for a depression treatment consultation at (520) 639-8576. If you need immediate help, please call 911. To talk with a crisis worker now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Many people have treatment resistant depression, where antidepressants have not helped or helped a little. Up to a third of patients do not respond to several attempts at treatment. Many people are unable to tolerate side effects of medications. Leaving depression in this partially untreated state damages the brain and perpetuates treatment resistance. In these patients, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an excellent new alternative treatment for resistant depression. Also, some people choose this as, not only it is effective, but has significantly less side effects (typically patient feel discomfort at the site of application) and has not systemic side effects (such as weight gain, dry mouth, nausea, decreased sexual drive etc.). Whether or not you have responded to antidepressants previously, TMS therapy can still be effective.
The goal of depression treatment is remission, which is the absence of depression symptoms. With TMS, more than 50% of patients achieve remission and more than 70% have a significant response (50% or more improvement in depressive symptoms). Studies also show that concurrent use of antidepressant treatment with TMS may produce even greater results – 58% remission rate and 79% response rate. If you have undergone shock therapy or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) unsuccessfully, or had significant side effects with it, or choose not to have it done even though it has been recommended, TMS therapy can help, without anesthesia or electrical currents being applied to your brain. In depression, certain parts of the brain are underacting. A gentle magnetic stimulation from the coil passes through the skull and creates stimulation of the brain neurons directly. Unlike antidepressants and other medications, TMS therapy has a long-lasting effect. Some people may need additional treatment months later, while others enjoy long-term relief from depression. TMS is FDA approved for treatment of depression since 2008.