Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD), manifests itself differently in everyone. Some of us are genetically prone to experiencing the disorder during our lifetime. Others experience clinical depression as a result of traumatic events or stressful school, work, or personal environments. Changes in brain chemistry and hormones can also cause the onset of clinical depression episodes.
Becoming aware of what causes clinical depression can help you identify the presence of clinical depression in your life and in the lives of friends and loved ones. This post will examine the various treatments that are available if you find yourself suffering. If you think you may have clinical depression, please reach out to a medical professional.
One of the more traditional treatments for clinical depression is psychotherapy. By speaking with a medical professional about the symptoms that are causing mental stress, medical professionals can help determine what treatments can best help reduce symptoms. A trained therapist will use different treatment approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. Individual, couples, family, and group therapy are all forms of “talk” therapy that have shown success treating major depressive disorder.
Antidepressants relieve clinical depression by targeting neurotransmitters—such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine—in the brain. The number of antidepressants has grown over the past 20 years to accommodate the numerous sources and causes of clinical depression. Along the spectrum of antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors—SSRI’s—are used initially in treating clinical depression, because they usually have less drastic side effects and are considered safer than their more intense contemporaries.
There are natural ways to address your clinical depression, but these methods should not be used to self-manage major depressive disorder without a doctor’s supervision. With that being said, an excellent way to improve, or possibly prevent, episodes of clinical depression is exercise. When we exercise our bodies produce higher levels of endorphins, which can improve our mood functions. Further, eating foods that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can increase serotonin in the brain and also help us regulate our moods.
One of the more intense types of treatments is electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. This treatment is reserved for those with life-threatening clinical depression. Now administered with anesthesia, patients undergoing ECT will have electric currents that intentionally trigger brief seizures to pass through the brain.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS therapy is a new form of treatment for clinical depression that is showing promising results. Cleared by the FDA in 2008, TMS treatment uses electromagnetic energy to painlessly stimulate nerve cells in the patient’s brain. TMS therapy targets the prefrontal cortex—the area of the brain responsible for many functions, including regulating mood behavior. This part of the brain is under-active in people suffering from depression, so TMS therapy stimulates it to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
While certain antidepressants produce similar effects through chemicals, TMS therapy stimulates these areas of your brain without the unwanted side effects of such medications. Treatment over the course of several weeks not only stimulates existing neural circuits, it also encourages new neural circuits to form, creating lasting relief from clinical depression. TMS is showing success with those who suffer from treatment-resistant depression. Unlike electroconvulsive treatment, TMS is a non-invasive, outpatient treatment that does not require sedation or anesthesia.
There is No One-Size-Fits-All Treatment
No two patients’ clinical depression will ever be the same. For this reason, none of these treatments can guarantee success for someone suffering from the mental illness. Courses of treatment often include a combination of two or more of the treatments listed in this article. The success of your treatment often depends on the expertise of your medical professionals. If you are in central California, you should consider visiting a TMS therapy office in one of their 7 office locations.
About TMS Health Solutions
Established in 2007, TMS Health Solutions is a premier, comprehensive care treatment center that specializes in the administration of TMS. Dedicated to helping their patients along the path of clinical depression recovery, TMS Health Solutions professionals will put together a customized treatment approach that will address your personal needs and symptoms. Do not let clinical depression get the best of you. If you believe you or someone you know has clinical depression, please seek treatment sooner rather than later. Depression and mental health conditions are treatable and TMS Health Solutions is here to help.