Depression, whether it be clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a serious but very common mood disorder. The symtoms can affect an individual's lifestyle by changing the way an individual feels, thinks, and how they treat others. Depression is more than just feeling sad, but rather it is profound sadness and a sense of dispair. The symptoms of depression usually last longer than two weeks. This is caused by the chemical imbalances in the brain that control our mood. In this area the neurons are most likely pooly functioning which disregulates the communication between other nerve cells or nerve circuits leading to an increase difficulty to regulate our moods. There are many types of depression that develop under certain circumstances such as:
- Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia) is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.
- Postpartum depression is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.
- Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
- Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
- Bipolar disorder is different from depression, but it is included in this list is because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they reported that Depression is a common mental disorder and that globally, more than 265 million people of all ages suffer from the symptoms. If left untreated, it can lead to suicide and other health implications. Fortunately, depression can be prevented and treated. Health care providers can offer treatments such as behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral theapy (CBT), or antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). However, not all of these treatments are effective for every individual even after months and even years of multiple different treatments. This can often lead to treatment resistant depression. In these cases, healthcare providers will typically suggest electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or even deep brain stimulation (DBS) which are both invasive to the body.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a relatively new treatment that is very noninvasive and does not affect the body in the same degree as the two treatments aforementioned above. TMS is FDA approved and is covered by most insurances. The side effects of this therapy is little to none, this includes mild headaches and tapping on a localized location on the brain. If you are interested, click on the services tab on our website to learn more about TMS or you can give us a call to book an appointment.