Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness, it may affect to everyone. Due to biochemical changes – an integral part of depression, it may be triggered by various factors. These changes can alter the communication between the brain nerve cells and the body’s ability to manage stress. According to research, it triggers the overwhelming surge of sadness and other feelings associated with depression.
Several studies show that mood disorder originates in the limbic system. It is the emotional center of the brain which includes the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and the basal ganglia. These parts help regulate the feelings of appetite, aggression, sense of well-being and sex drive.
Several factors like environmental disorders, mental incapability to adapt problems can cause depression. It takes away the joy of physical lifestyles and their positive perspective in life.
Here are the early signs of depression you may notice when you or a loved one are in the early stages of depression:
Family, friends or close people that surrounds us will offer advice that is intended to help but makes you feel judged and alone. Social rejection, associated with post-traumatic stress disorder in one of the vital signs of depression. When people around you give negative comments to your identity or criticize it will lessen the confidence and self-esteem. Rejection is so hard to make you feel happy in life.
Lack of Interest
A sudden or gradual loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed. Loss of interest in many different aspects of your life that were previously important to you at once. Loss of interest over the course of time, it means a characteristic of tardiness. Engaging in activities that you normally find fun to become bored and disinterested, you may stop doing all but the necessary tasks in your daily life that you need to accomplish in order to hold onto your job. Complete lack of interest even in the things you need to do in order to maintain your standard of living.
Changes to your sleep schedule are a common sign of depression. Sleeping longer than usual, a lot less than usual or make sure of both. You may sleep at night normally but have significant trouble falling asleep or waking up on time the next day. It is a problematic night that may affect your ability to stay alert and awake in your daily activities.
Sadness is perhaps one of the most stereotypical signs of depression. Many depressed people do feel a very deep sense of sadness. We need to learn to distinguish between life’s usual ups and downs, trials, afflictions, persecutions, problems and many other things.
You may have severe feelings of sadness over things, events, people, or no reason at all – things that you would normally enjoy no longer lift your mood. A family history of depression and have had depression in the past, serious loss or stress such as the death of a partner, close family member or a friend, unemployment, divorce, frustration, loss in competition, financial crisis, broken families or relationship difficulties can cause deep sadness and leads into life’s comma.
Detachment from the Real World
Detachment is associated with the post-traumatic disorder. You may feel strangely detached from the physical world or detached from your own emotions and experiences. In case of post-traumatic stress disorder, a person may be so detached from the reality that hallucinations occur. It sometimes described as feeling as if someone else is living your life while you are in your room. It is a kind of imaginations and dreams that do not come true and hoping into reality but it is impossible. It is also one of the main signs of depression that encourage people to seek treatment and get a diagnosis. Unlike many other signs of depression, detachment is generally an unmistakable feeling.
Hopelessness can be a negative attitude and not hoping for the best. Hoping to cure in your serious or your chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart attack, stroke and others but not giving the exact medication in cure will lead you to hopeless thinking. Hopeless people often want to be left alone and quiet, which can lead to the idea that they want to die because they believe no one will help them nor that anyone cares. They are people who are a risk and they do not give important the beauty of life that surrounds them.
There are physical symptoms includes body weakness, over fatigue, loss of weight, changes in appetite, stomach cramps, nervousness. Some children with depression can exhibit the character of anger and overactive, in different behavior. Other symptoms are irritable moods, low self-esteem, mental blackness, feelings of emptiness, anxiety, lack of concentration, crying spells, having little interest in doing things, early morning awakening or late sleepers or even do not sleep at all.
Treatment of depression needs of the individual to be cooperative into the account when planning treatment. There are some techniques you can do yourself to combat depression such as healthy living with a balanced diet, getting regular sleep, making time to enjoy an activity every day, regular exercise, positive thinking to achieve goals, and spiritual pursuits. When those don’t work in treating the depression, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy offers a new and unique approach to treating depression. Contact us today to learn how we can help you treat depression one brief session at a time.
Many experts now consider depression as a major health issue. It affects more than 14 million American adults every year. Medical experts believed that it will be the second leading cause of disability in the world by 2020. About two-thirds who suffered an episode will at least have another episode during their lifetime. Depression is an incapacitating illness and treatments methods are often ineffective or intolerable because of its adverse side effects.
Current antidepressant medications and therapies failed to at least a third of people suffering from depressive disorders leaving them with inadequate treatment options.
TMS as an Alternative Depression Treatment
TMS therapy is a relatively new non-invasive procedure that delivers highly focused magnetic pulses to a specific brain region called the left prefrontal cortex. It stimulates the inactive areas of the brain associated with depression. These electromagnetic pulses are similar to the magnetic field of an MRI procedure. The rapid bursts of magnetic energy passed through a coil and directly to the brain excite neurons which rewire the brain to improve mood behaviors.
As a non-invasive procedure, TMS does not involve any major surgeries, insertion of intravenous lines or any kind of medications that may harm the body. There is no sedation or anesthesia involved during TMS session treatment.
An Effective Treatment
Over recent years, experts have discovered newer treatment parameters and more precise targeting locations for TMS. Several studies show that TMS can be an effective treatment not only during the course of 4 to 8 weeks sessions but also having these improvements persist beyond that time.
How TMS Works
TMS uses a computer program connected to a small electromagnetic coil which delivers short but rapid bursts of magnetic pulses directly on the left prefrontal cortex of the brain. However powerful these electromagnetic pulses, it does not affect the entire brain. The electromagnetic pulses of TMS can reach about 2 to 3 centimeters into the brain right underneath the treatment coil.
This treatment coil is placed on top of the patient’s head that believed to be linked with mood regulation.
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As electromagnetic pulses reach deeper into the brain, they produce tiny small electrical currents. These electromagnetic currents activate neuron within the brain which believed to release important neurotransmitters.
In October 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of TMS treatment for the major depressive disorder. This revolutionary treatment option received approval for its safe and effective therapy, particularly for treatment-resistant patients.
One of the studies about TMS shows that the procedure was a significant alternative method to preclude impending relapse in 32 of 38 patients or about 84%. This strongly suggests that the efficacy of TMS is seen in the majority of acute treatment-resistant patients. The reintroduction of TMS later in the medical management of depression can safely and effectively prevent relapse.
No Major Side Effects
TMS does not have any major side effects unlike its counterparts of conventional depression treatments. This new innovation does not produce common side effects like memory loss, sleepiness, sexual problems, or weight gain. It serves as an ideal major depression treatment because it does not elicit side effects of conventional medications like drug abuse.
As a non-systemic procedure, it does not require any sedation or implantation of other depression treatments like those of deep brain stimulation.
Today, TMS is widely acclaimed for its treatment of major depressive disorder but other studies are underway to prove its efficacy to other mental disorders. Different types of research are being conducted each year to explore possibilities of TMS as a treatment for a wide range of different brain disorders like Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Cognitive Impairments, and Tinnitus.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a mental disease that is led by -as the name lays out- obsession and compulsions. These obsessions are intrusive thoughts, urges, and triggers that get in the way of everyday life. It can get so extreme that it not only intrudes, but can completely control a person’s entire life.
Intruding Thoughts and Compulsions
While most people have compulsions and intrusive thoughts, we can usually tame them on our own. Even the more persistent thoughts can be tamed by simply engaging the thought and creating closure. With OCD, these thoughts cannot easily be tamed. The brain’s own warning system triggers out of their control. There’s no clear logic to the impulses, making treatment not necessarily difficult, just complex.
Psychotherapy is one option to take to figure out a person’s triggers or the source of their psychological conditions. This therapy can train the brain to combat their impulses by gradually introducing them to their fears.
TMS to Treat OCD
There’s a new way to treat OCD that does not need drugs. It’s the non-invasive procedure of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It is a simple process, but the effect is complex.
With Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, an electromagnet is placed on a patient’s head. A machine generates finely tuned charges electricity to activate the magnet. It then delivers precise electromagnetic waves in pulses.
The electromagnetism excites neurons, causing them to either fire or react as if they have received a signal. One of the common reactions is the ticking sound you feel and the tapping sensation on your head. The strength of the electromagnetic pulse is increased until they see a vivid reaction like involuntary blinking or light twitching of your fingers. The procedure is painless, with most of the discomfort only due to the “fear of the syringe needle” effect.
When the neurons are activated, it can trigger patterns your brain naturally makes on its own. This includes the natural release of Dopamine, also known as the “Reward and Satisfaction Chemical”. This effect is one of the reasons TMS is used to treat persistent and severe depression.
Clinical trials have shown success in treating OCD. Present clinical trials are paving the way into turning TMS into a proper treatment. They are testing the treatment by exploring the brain and finding out where the “inhibitory” part of the brain is.
OCD is an “excitatory” disease. This means that the brain abnormally activates neurons that cause the compulsions and obsessions. By stimulating the inhibitory parts, it can help the brain release the chemicals required to slow and halt the “excitatory” effects of OCD.
The clinical trials were so far successful. They produced relevant data that suggests stimulation of the inhibitory functions of the brain helped suppress the impulses and inhibitions. Like psychotherapy, TMS is training the inhibitory parts of the brain to work normally. This will allow the brain to achieve proper homeostasis or proper chemical balance.
Research into the brain’s inner workings is advancing every day. We keep discovering and rediscovering methods, and even discover new parts of the brain which we thought didn’t exist. Combined with our exponential advancement in technology, TMS procedures can address more precise parts of the brain. Eventually, we can find a way to bring new life to people shackled by their mental diseases.
To learn more or to find out if TMS is right for you, Contact Us at your earliest convenience.