Three Weapons in the Battle Against Clinical Depression
Treatment for depression has come a long way since ancient times when mental health issues were blamed on spirits and demons. Researchers and physicians have developed several tools to help those who suffer from major depressive disorder, commonly called clinical depression. Once a diagnosis has been given, a doctor or mental health practitioner can determine the best course of action. TMS Health Solutions is committed to creating customized treatment plans for those who suffer from major depressive disorder, including those who have given up hope.
For a long time this was the only treatment available for those who suffered from depression that limited their ability to function in daily life. The image of a patient reclining on a couch pouring their heart out to a doctor is a common one, but talk therapy now includes behavioral modification techniques that empower a patient to tackle the negative emotions and self defeating behaviors that perpetuate the cycle of depression. Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT is one such evidence-based technique that can help stop the destructive behavior patterns that are the result of disordered thinking. Another helpful therapy is mindfulness based cognitive therapy, MBCT. It is an eight week program that is clinically proven to reduce depressive relapse.
As many as one in ten Americans take an antidepressant drug for mild to severe depression. These drugs work by increasing the mood-improving chemicals in the brain, namely seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. When a patient does not improve after six to eight week on one drug, the American Psychiatric Association recommends switching to another drug in the same antidepressant class, and if after a six to eight week trial on that drug there is still no improvement, switching to an antidepressant drug from a different antidepressant class. Frequently when a depressive patient shows no improvement on one drug, they find relief from another. Side effects vary with antidepressant treatment, and if they cannot be tolerated TMS Health Solutions has another tool in their arsenal in the fight against depression.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Some patients with clinical depression show no improvement from either talk therapy or medication. Others are unable to tolerate prescription drug treatment due to unbearable side effects or risks. For these patients, an innovative treatment from TMS Health Solutions called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, may be prescribed. TMS is an innovative therapy that is FDA cleared and has been proven to be effective at treating depression. There have been many clinical studies on the ability of TMS to relieve depression, including studies at Johns Hopkins and Stanford. In fact, TMS has been shown to be effective in approximately 60% of patients, which is twice the efficacy rate of antidepressants. There are few side effects and no risk of dependency as with some medications.
TMS therapy consists of electromagnetic pulses that are delivered to the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for mood, and stimulating it can help relieve depressive symptoms. Treatment with this innovative therapy consists of five sessions a week, each lasting 30-60 minutes. Length of treatment is four to six weeks. There is no sedation involved and the patient’s activities are not at all restricted before or after sessions. Some patients report improvement after the first or second week.
A Battle Plan to Conquer Depression
With these three weapons in the battle against depression, there is hope for even the most treatment resistant case. Those suffering from major depressive disorder have hope. The psychiatric services, prescribing and monitoring provided by TMS Health Services can help patients find the perfect combination that will offer relief from depression.