Depression

Types of Therapy for Depression

Depression can affect how people think, feel, and handle daily activities. Physical symptoms, such as changes in sleep/energy levels, loss of appetite, and trouble concentration can manifest as well. Thankfully there are many techniques for treating depression and a majority of people are able to get back to leading a full life. Many people may not realize that there are different types of therapy and they are not a one-size-fits all. Everyone responds differently to therapy. 


Types of Therapy for Depression 

The World Health Organization estimates that 3.8% of the global population is affected with depression, including 5% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years. It is believed that approximately 280 million people of all ages struggle with depression. However, depression does not have to be a lifelong condition. There are currently many different types of therapy for depression that have all been shown to be highly effective in treating depression.

 

Depression Treatment Options

While everyone experiences sadness at different points of their life, depression is more severe in nature. Depression is extreme sadness that lasts for more days than not and has to be occurring for two consecutive weeks in order to be diagnosed. Depression can affect how people think, feel, and handle daily activities. Physical symptoms, such as changes in sleep/energy levels, loss of appetite, and trouble concentration can manifest as well. Thankfully there are many techniques for treating depression and a majority of people are able to get back to leading a full life.  

Depression is not something that people can just “get over,” and it often requires professional help. When a medical professional treats someone with depression they will usually use two conventional methods.

Antidepressants: These are a classification of medication that is used to treat depression and other mood disorders. They work by boosting chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in the brain. Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are the neurotransmitters that most antidepressants target. Antidepressants typically start working within two to four weeks but may take longer. If one type of antidepressant does not have any effect then your doctor might have you try other antidepressants to see if you respond to any of them. Some of the common categories of antidepressants are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), SNRIs (Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors), TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants), MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors), and NASSAs (Noradrenaline and Specific Serotonergic Antidepressants). Generally, antidepressants are non-habit forming, although you should not go off them without guidance from your doctor, as you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them. 

Psychotherapy: This is often referred to as “talk therapy,” as individuals will sit down with a psychologist, licensed therapist, or trained counselor and talk about their mental health conditions or concerns. However, it does involve more than just talking. Psychologists, licensed therapists, and counselors have to go through many years of training to learn how to properly help people. This training provides them with tools that they will pass on to their patients so that they can implement them in their daily life and hopefully overcome and recover from depression. They will be able to help their clients set realistic goals, pinpoint life events that may have contributed to their developing depression, identify distorted thoughts or perceptions, and develop life skills to cope with their symptoms and stresses. Psychotherapy tends to foster the relationship between client and therapist so that the client can feel safe in order to learn how to overcome their negative thoughts and/or behaviors. Not all therapists are the same, as many of them specialize in treating certain disorders. It can also take some time to find the right therapist for you. So, do not feel discouraged if it’s not a right fit the first time.  

Those suffering from depression will usually try a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy to get the maximum benefits. Another treatment option when medication and traditional therapy fail is TMS therapy.

TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation): This is another effective method of treating depression or even treatment resistant depression. It is not usually the first treatment that doctors will use, as therapy and medication often work really well for patients. However, if they are not doing the trick then a patient can be recommended for this treatment, as it has a very high rate of significantly improving symptoms. According to Harvard Health Publishing, about one-third of patients experience a full remission, where their symptoms go away completely.TMS is a non-invasive procedure that involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate the nerve cells in the brain. By stimulating specific areas of the brain that are associated with controlling mood patients can see significant improvement in their depression. To conduct TMS therapy, a specialist will place an electromagnetic coil on your forehead and send magnetic pulses to the regions of the brain that have been mapped out beforehand. 


Does Therapy Work for Depression?

Psychotherapy is all about treating the individual and helping them to work through whatever they might be struggling with at that time. Therapy is also not a one-time thing. It requires multiple sessions to see any results and several people go to therapy multiple times throughout the course of their life. Therapy also has to be tailored to the individual and their needs. So, every approach is different for each person. Psychotherapy has been proven to work for those with short-term and long-term depression. If you need to find a therapist a good place to start is to ask your doctor for any recommendations. You can also find therapists through the American Psychological Association or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Best Therapy for Depression

Many people may not realize that there are different types of therapy and they are not a one-size-fits all. Everyone responds differently to therapy. Some of the types of psychotherapy that work best for depression are the following: 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This is one of the most popular forms of therapy. This therapy is the combination of cognitive therapy (thoughts) and behavioral therapy (actions). The focus is on identifying and altering negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to someone’s depression. Unhealthy and negative thought patterns usually lead to self-destructive behaviors, which only reinforce the thought patterns in a vicious cycle. Cognitive behavioral therapy consists of five to twenty sessions that are structured and can be held in individual or group sessions. Therapy is accompanied with “homework,” which allows people to practice and work on what they have learned.   

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: This therapy is predominantly based on cognitive behavioral therapy, but with one significant difference. The main difference is that dialectical behavior therapy emphasizes the acknowledgment and acceptance of negative thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Therapists will teach clients how to cope and regulate their emotions so that they are able to learn how to handle difficult and stressful situations. Clients are also taught how to practice mindfulness so that they have all the power. Homework also consists of practicing coping techniques to improve their ways of thinking and behaving.  

Interpersonal Therapy: Developed to help treat depression in adults, interpersonal therapy focuses on a person’s interpersonal skills. Those who have problems with interpersonal connections and struggle with relationships can often feel isolated, which contributes to feelings of depression. By addressing past and present relationships and interpersonal interactions, the therapist can help a person identify the important relationships in their life and how to resolve conflicts. The therapist will help that person to improve their communication and ultimately be able to build stronger social support systems through friends, family, and partners. 

Psychodynamic Therapy: The idea behind psychodynamic therapy is that negative thoughts and behaviors are caused by unresolved past experiences, often occurring in childhood. This is a long-term approach to mental health and the expectation is for clients to talk about anything that is on their minds. Therapists will help a person to identify how past experiences have influenced current negative thoughts and behaviors. By making these associations, a person can work through these issues that are contributing to their depression.

 

Looking for a Therapist?

If you are looking for therapy services for mental health concerns, or if you have any questions regarding our services, call Gemini Health today! Our highly skilled mental health professionals are experienced in treating various mental and behavioral health concerns. They offer both individual and group therapy. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!

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Depression

TMS Therapy for Depression: What To Expect

TMS involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain in order to improve any symptoms associated with depression. This is a non-invasive procedure that should be performed in a doctor’s office by a medical professional. It is usually recommended when the combination of medication and talk therapy has failed to work, as they are typically the first line of defense when someone is seeking treatment for depression. 
 

TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and it is a form of therapy that is specifically used as treatment for severe depression. TMS involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain in order to improve any symptoms associated with depression. This is a non-invasive procedure that should be performed in a doctor’s office by a medical professional. It is usually recommended when the combination of medication and talk therapy has failed to work, as they are typically the first line of defense when someone is seeking treatment for depression. Unfortunately for some, your depression medication may become ineffective due to the body building a tolerance. Studies have consistently shown that TMS therapy does work for those with treatment-resistant depression and can provide long-term relief. It is also FDA approved. So, you may want to look into TMS therapy for depression as a non-pharmacological alternative.  


How TMS is Done 

The concept behind TMS is that certain parts of the brain that control mood are underperforming. Stimulating the nerve cells that are associated with mood and depression will affect neurotransmitter levels, which should improve both mood and depressive symptoms. When having TMS therapy, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the forehead and delivers magnetic pulses to the necessary areas of the brain. The targeted areas are mapped out first as part of your individual treatment plan. This is a rather intensive form of treatment, as it requires multiple sessions over the course of multiple weeks. While every person may have varied results from treatment, typically many begin to experience relief from their depression symptoms within a few sessions. A normal round of TMS will be anywhere between 20-50 minutes, 5 days a week, around 4 to 6 weeks.  

While TMS therapy should not be painful, there may be some side effects that patients may experience. TMS is considered a safe (and generally well-tolerated) treatment with mild side effects. Some patients may experience light headaches and some mild skin irritation. These symptoms should only be mild to moderate, and the doctor may just need to adjust the level of stimulation. You may be able to treat these mild side effects with over-the-counter pain relievers. Rarely, there can be a few serious side effects that may occur. One of the most serious side effects is the potential for seizures, and why this treatment is not an appropriate option for those who suffer from epilepsy or have a history of seizures. 

Before you partake in TMS therapy you will need to have an evaluation to see if this is the right option for you. This will include both a physical and psychological exam. During the exam, you need to be sure that your doctor knows if you are pregnant, have any metal implants anywhere in your body, are on any medications, have any illnesses or injuries of the brain, or have any other health conditions.  


Why You Should Consider TMS Treatment for Depression 

If you have never heard of TMS before then it might sound a little scary at first. A frequently asked question is if it is the same thing as Electroconvulsive Therapy or “shock therapy,” which was invented in the late 1930s and has a very controversial history. Do not worry though because they are not the same thing. ECT has been known to trigger serious effects like memory problems and seizures. TMS therapy, on the other hand, only provides mild stimulation and is considered a safe practice, as it is non-invasive and FDA-approved. Since it does not require you to go under general anesthesia, like ECT does, it also eliminates any risks of the negative side effects of anesthesia.  

Depression can be very debilitating and rob you of the joys of everyday life and major milestones. It is not something that can be completely cured but there is hope that it can be managed and you can function in life again, with an increase in mood, rather than being possibly bed-ridden. Conventional medicine and talk therapy can do wonders for people, but it is not for everyone and it can fail. TMS therapy for depression has a very high success rate, although the exact science behind why it does work is still not fully understood. If no other treatments have worked then it is worth it to try TMS for the possible benefits you stand to gain if it’s successful.   


What Gemini TMS Can Do for You 

Gemini TMS understands the suffering individuals experiencing chronic depression go through, and we are there to help.   

When you come to Gemini TMS you will have the opportunity to have a free consultation with the therapy team to determine if you are a good candidate for TMS. Once you have been approved you will work together with your therapist to determine an individualized treatment plan that best suits your mental health needs.  

Before the first treatment begins the professional will conduct something called mapping. This is a process that determines the location of the brain that they will need to target and the level of “dosage,” that is best for you. To do this, the professional will use the TMS device to send quick electromagnetic pulses to your motor pathway until your fingers or hand twitches (again this should not be painful). Your dosage should be assessed again as you progress with the therapy and it can always be changed at any point if need be.   

For your appointment for TMS therapy, you will be escorted to a private treatment room, where a TMS specialist will make you feel comfortable, and set you up to receive treatment. Patients remain awake through treatment. As previously stated, TMS therapy does not require anesthesia, and individuals are able to drive themselves to and from sessions. The first appointment will be the longest. During your session, you will be sitting in a chair and since you will be awake you can do things, like reading, watching tv, or listening to music. You may also choose to wear earplugs to keep yourself calm and create a quiet environment if that’s what you prefer, as the machine does make some noise. There is no hospitalization or recovery time and you are free to go straight home afterward. 

TMS therapy alone can help you manage your symptoms. However, it can also be used in conjunction with medication and talk therapy if you continue with those courses of treatment.  

If you are ready to schedule an appointment for your first consultation, call (301) 363-1063 to speak with our highly qualified staff.

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Depression Therapy
Anxiety

Therapy for Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are some of the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions. Millions are affected globally. Daily stressors and difficult life experiences cause many to suffer from anxiety and depression. Anxiety is the body’s inherent reaction to stressful or fear inducing situations.  TMS therapy for depression

When anxiety becomes so heightened that it becomes debilitating, it is considered an anxiety disorder. 40 Million adults suffer from anxiety or an anxiety disorder every single year.  

Many people who are diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety (and vice versa). These mental health conditions can, and do, occur simultaneously. When the brain circuits that regulate the emotions connected with fear and apprehension, begin to fail, anxiety disorders start to manifest.  

Treating anxiety can vary for many. Sometimes medication and talk therapy can prove successful. But when people experience cooccurring mental health conditions, it may not be enough.  

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an FDA approved treatment for chronic depression. The region of the brain that controls depression symptoms also control anxiety symptoms. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been recognized by clinicians as a promising treatment for individuals suffering from anxiety.  

Many have begun incorporating TMS treatment as part of their anxiety management.  

What Is Anxiety?  

When anxiety is experienced consistently it can greatly hinder your daily life. Anxiety may manifest different depending on the person experiencing it. However, there are several common symptoms of general anxiety. They can include: 

  • Rapid breathing 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Difficulty with concentration 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Restlessness 

What does anxiety do to the brain? The region of the brain that controls your response to a stimulus fails to function appropriately. This region also controls depression symptoms experienced by an individual. A small event may be experienced disproportionately.  

The brain begins releasing “fear” chemicals through the body, causing the body to respond viscerally. Anxiety can be overwhelming and overpowering on your rational thought process.  

Types Of Anxiety 

Anxiety disorders are not limited to one sensation or one environment. There may be specific “triggers” that induce an anxious reaction. Some common types of anxiety disorders are: 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A disorder that is characterized by its chronic reoccurrence. Manifests persistent and excessive anxiety and worry that is disproportionate to the circumstances surrounding the feelings. 

Specific Phobias: A disorder that produces major anxiety when exposed to a specific situation or object with a deep desire to avoid it.  

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): An anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a traumatic or frightening event. Events or individuals that remind the person of the initial trauma may “trigger” an anxious outburst or response. 

Social Anxiety Disorder: A disorder that is characterized by excessive self-consciousness in normal every day social situations. It may be limited to public speaking or attending parties. But it may also encompass all types of social interaction.  

What Is TMS? 

If you are suffering from anxiety and looking for an effective treatment, TMS can help. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (or TMS) is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation. The nerve cells that are connected to anxiety and depression are stimulated, effecting and altering the brain’s neurotransmitter levels.  

TMS therapy is an intensive approach which has shown to activate regions of the brain that have become dormant. The treatment requires several sessions over a period of time, with relief being provided after a few.  

TMS is a a non-drug treatment that helps provide relief from severe depression and anxiety without the physical side effects associated with medications. This therapy is an outpatient procedure that allows patients to maintain their daily routines while receiving treatment for their anxiety.  

Patients are not prevented from participating in their daily routines from their TMS treatment for anxiety. Patients can utilize TMS treatment for anxiety by itself or in conjunction with a medication regimen and talk therapy. Each person is different and the nature of their anxiety can vary.  

TMS Therapy For Depression 

TMS has proven to be an effective tool in psychiatry. Initially TMS was incorporated as a mental health tool for those suffering from treatment-resistant depression. Many who have utilized TMS as part of their depression treatment have experienced largely positive results.  

But because so many people who experience depression also experience anxiety, TMS treatment for anxiety also provides a new hope for these individuals. This brain stimulation encourages the anxiety-inducing region of the brain back to health by activating the same neural networks.  

The brain circuits that are activated when experiencing anxiety cause a “fight or flight” response in the corporal body. The different regions of the brain communicate and release these “fear hormones” and produce anxiety symptoms.  

TMS concentrates its magnetic field treatment to specific regions of the brain. These targeted areas are responsible for these fear symptoms. TMS manipulates the neural activity that releases these anxiety hormones.  TMS therapy for depression

The mental health professionals who conduct the therapy will determine the strength of the magnet and identify the most effective way to target this treatment to the brain’s specific nerve cells. Many patients experience a mild tapping on their scalp from the magnetic impulses, but the sensation is not a painful one.  

By increasing the neural activity an individual can begin to experience relief from their crushing anxiety symptoms. TMS therapy for anxiety has proven successful for many. This stimulation-based therapy helps improve the brain’s functionality and ability to regulate emotions.  

Is TMS Therapy For Anxiety Right For You? 

If you are suffering from anxiety that interferes with your life it is important to consult with a mental health professional. They will provide you with an evaluation and provide you with recommendations on how to treat and manage your symptoms.  

TMS therapy for anxiety can only be recommended by a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist will be able to thoroughly evaluate your mental health history and the effects of your anxiety symptoms on your life. If they determine you are an appropriate candidate for this treatment, they will be able to guide you in your individualized TMS treatment.  TMS therapy for depression

TMS is an innovative solution that provides individuals with tangible relief from their symptoms.   Patients experience the normalization of their neurochemistry and improvement in their anxiety. TMS is a non-pharmacological procedure that does not require any sedation and allows patients the freedom of being able to drive themselves home (before and after). The magnetic stimulation directly treats the “source” of your anxiety (i.e., your brain). Patients can utilize TMS as a singular treatment or combine it with their regular medication regimen and talk therapy. When traditional attempts at managing anxiety have not worked, you should consider incorporating TMS as part of your treatment. 

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Depression

Covid and Depression

 To say COVID-19 has brought a disruption to our lives is an understatement. Communities across the country have been trying to facilitate working from home, social distancing, lockdowns while juggling childcare needs and virtual school. It has not been easy for many. We have added stressors to our daily lives that we never anticipated.  

We’ve had to restrict our movements, our interactions with others, and have had to be hyper-vigilant about our movements. After months of practicing social distancing, the isolation has begun to take effect on the psyche of many Americans.  

And many, understandably, are not ok.  

Sometimes nonchalantly referred to as “Covid Depression,” many are feeling its heavy burden. For many who had not previously experienced symptoms of depression (let alone mental illness) it may feel like an isolating and frightening time.  

But what about those who were already suffering from chronic depression? Depression affects millions of people over the world. Many people were treating their symptoms with talk therapy and medication. Most have found that the COVID-19 restrictions have heightened the body’s depression and anxiety.  

The pandemic has triggered a mental health crisis for many 

The constant financial anxieties, isolation from loved ones, and worry about personal health have undoubtedly taken its toll. Persistent worry about making ends meet and not being able to rely on traditional support systems like friends and family, those suffering from depression have found their symptoms magnified and their typical methods of coping, failing.  

When the symptoms are getting worse, it is important to reach out to a mental health professional to help you explore options. Prior to the pandemic, many struggled with treatment resistant depression. The pandemic may have transformed those feelings into an unending pit of despair. Treatment resistant depression has become even more terrifying for them.  

It is critically important to reach out to a mental health professional when you find yourself struggling. If your traditional treatment methods like talk therapy and medications have not worked, it may be time to look for a more innovative option.  

And that option may be transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. TMS targets inactive brain regions (that are directly responsible for mood) with magnetic pulses, stimulating brain cells and improving brain function.  

This allows for the nerves to revive and grow. These pulses allow for mood enhancing signals to be sent through the body, providing relief from stubborn depression. TMS therapy directs a concentrated magnetic field to precise locations of the brain to lift the clouds of depression. It also encourages the brain to create serotonin to improve mood and relieve symptoms. 

Consulting with a psychiatrist about this innovative treatment can help determine if you would be a good candidate. This progressive treatment has provided hope to many looking for relief from their stubborn depression.  

TMS therapy requires several treatments in an office for a period of time. While TMS has demonstrated it can alleviate depression, and unintended benefit (in the age of COVID) is that the patient is provided a change of scenery with visits to the office.  

While we do not know how long the social and emotional ramifications of COVID (and its restrictions) will last, the important thing is not to ignore your symptoms. Your mental health matters.  

Reach out to a mental health professional for an evaluation today. 

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