Depression is real: Depression is a serious illness affecting more than 16 million American adults. It impacts the lives of over 6.7% of all U.S. adults. Often a debilitating depression results in a state of sadness or loss of interest or pleasure. This state of sadness interferes with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, and physical health.
Depression is deadly: Depression can be a lethal disease. In fact, each year in the US, over 44,000 people die by suicide, 60% of whom suffer from depression.
Not all treatments work: More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. For these patients, they need a new way back to physical and mental health.
Depression results in a persistent state of sadness or a loss of the ability to experience pleasure. Those experiencing depression often lose interest in everyday activities or hobbies that were once enjoyed. According to the standard diagnosis guide (DSM-V) published by the American Psychiatric Association, depression is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure plus four or more of the following symptoms during the same two-week period:
- Significant weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain (a change of more than five percent of body weight in a month)
- Significant increase or decrease in appetite
- Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
- Agitation and restlessness
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive and inappropriate guilt nearly every day
- Diminished ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
If you feel you are experiencing any of these depression symptoms, contact your doctor and speak with them about your depression treatment options. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, also referred to as TMS Therapy, may provide an alternative depression treatment for those who have not benefitted from prior antidepressant medication.
Frequently Asked Questions About Depression
The major depressive disorder affects approximately 16 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.1 It is a condition that lasts two or more weeks and interferes with a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks and enjoyed activities that previously brought pleasure.
The exact cause of depression is not known, but the leading scientific theory is that depression is caused by decreased activity in the neural networks of the brain that regulate mood and motivation. Within these neural networks, specific chemicals are released between neurons to communicate information. These chemicals are aptly named ‘neurotransmitters.’ Previously, inactivity within the mood networks of the brain was thought to be the result of a deficiency of these neurotransmitters. We are now learning that depression is much more complicated than merely being the result of a deficiency of one or more neurotransmitters. A person’s genetic make-up and life history may also determine a person’s tendency to become depressed.
In 2016 a study conducted by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality reported that major depressive disorder will affect approximately 16 million American adults (about 6.7% of the US population) in a given year.
Depression Treatment with TMS
Depression symptoms are most often treated with antidepressant medications. It is believed that antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. These changes have a positive effect on mood and reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, treating major depression is sometimes more complicated and requires more than antidepressants.
Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, they do not work for everybody. This condition is sometimes referred to as treatment resistant depression, or drug resistant depression. Although not a scientific term, treatment resistant depression is real and debilitating for those dealing with it.
Additionally, since antidepressant medications are typically taken by mouth, they circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body, often resulting in unwanted side effects such as weight gain, sexual problems, upset stomach, sleepiness, and dry mouth. More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them.
For these patients, alternative treatments for depression are available. These depression therapies have proven to work in some people that do not receive benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. These treatments include: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Recent research with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has offered a new alternative treatment for depression. Focused stimulation of targeted regions in the brain with pulsed magnetic fields may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters levels. Treating depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation, also referred to as TMS Therapy, provides an alternative depression treatment for those who have not benefitted from prior antidepressant medication.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. It is sometimes referred to as rTMS which stands for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS patients receiving TMS Therapy remain awake and alert during the procedure.
NeuroStar TMS Therapy ® is an outpatient procedure. The typical treatment course consists of at least 5 treatments per week over a 4-6 week period for 20-30 treatments. Each depression treatment session lasts approximately 19-37 minutes, depending on what the doctor determines is the correct protocol. NeuroStar TMS Therapy is:
Non-invasive, meaning that it does not involve surgery. It does not require any anesthesia or sedation, as the patient remains awake and alert during the treatment.
Non-systemic, meaning that it is not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body.
FDA cleared for patients who have not benefited from prior antidepressant treatment.