Treatment for major depressive disorder is often trial and error. What works for several people may not work for the next. Sometimes, antidepressants work right away. Other times, they do not show results at all. For individuals who have tried several different antidepressants, with no avail, there is another option available. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, is an effective and safe non-invasive treatment for major depressive disorder. At Morningside Recovery, we are able to offer clients who may be suffering from severe depression, with TMS therapy.
What Is Major Depressive Disorder?
As human beings, we each experience sadness at one time or another. However, sadness is much different from the feelings that come along with major depressive disorder. People that suffer from major depressive disorder experience intense, persistent feelings of sadness over a long period of time. Having major depressive disorder can greatly impact a person’s life: they may experience mood swings, are often unable to enjoy the things that they used to, their appetite and sleep patterns are affected and they likely have difficulty participating in everyday life activities. If left untreated, major depressive disorder can cause harmful, negative repercussions.
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year. Depression is not just feeling sad every so often, but rather, an overwhelming feeling of extreme sadness that does not seem to go away. It is a real illness that people suffer from every day. Sometimes, people that suffer from depression do not always experience just sadness alone. They may also experience anxiety, feelings of guilt, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, thoughts of death or suicide, restlessness and persistent physical symptoms.
People can experience depression for several weeks, months or even years, in some cases. The cause of an individual’s depression is not always the same. Sometimes, depression can seemingly come out of nowhere. Where other times, depression can be brought on by certain life triggers: losing a loved one, experiencing trauma, battling a chronic illness, big life changes, etc. While there are many treatment options for depression, not every option works for every individual.
Depression is not a new issue — it has been something that people have long struggled with — however, we now have a much better grasp on our understanding of what it is, what causes it, and how we can treat it.
Depression and Addiction
Commonly — rather than turn to a treatment option that may work for them — people turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain they may feel when suffering from major depressive disorder. Roughly, one third of people who suffer from substance addiction also suffer from major depressive disorder. Although those struggling may feel a sense of relief when taking drugs or alcohol, it can actually worsen the depressive state. For example, if a person with depression begins drinking alcohol — which is a depressant — they may actually experience enhanced feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety and more. When it comes to depression and substance abuse, it is difficult to determine what comes first. However, it is clear that substance abuse can cause a person to feel depressed or worsen already existing major depressive disorder. Without treatment, many people fall into the cycle of addiction.
Depression is not a new issue — it has been something that people have long struggled with — however, we now have a much better grasp on our understanding of what it is, what causes it, and how we can treat it. Our understanding of it has grown immensely and still continues to expand. Throughout the years, treatment for depression has become more accessible to those suffering. Along with the benefits that talk therapy can have for some people, antidepressants have also made a huge impact on the treatment of depression. With several antidepressants on the market, many people who suffer from major depressive disorder are able to find the help that they need. However, as previously mentioned, antidepressants are not the right choice for everyone. TMS Therapy, first introduced in 1985, is considered a groundbreaking approach to helping those who have tried antidepressants with no success.
How Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Work?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy is a safe, effective, non-invasive mental health treatment option. During treatment, magnetic stimulation is performed on the brain region responsible for the depression. Often, it brings about significant improvements to patients who may be suffering. The process is simple; clients experience the benefits of an outpatient depression treatment. It does not require hospitalization or anesthesia, and there is no memory loss or systemic side effects.
The therapy is done using a highly concentrated magnetic field, which turns on and off, rapidly. This magnetic field is the same type and strength that magnetic resonance imaging produces, more commonly known as an MRI. The treatment begins by having a client sit down. Then, the treatment coil is placed on the client’s head. Once it is placed on the client’s head, the magnetic field is then focused on specific parts of the brain. Specifically, the magnetic field focuses on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is involved with mood regulation.
Once treatment begins, the magnetic field moves into the brain, producing small electrical currents, which activate neurons within the brain. Many believe these neurons can release neurotransmitters: serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are what help fight off the depressive state. When an individual ingests antidepressants, these same neurotransmitters are artificially provided. However, with TMS therapy, we can directly provide the brain with the neurotransmitters. A round of TMS therapy typically takes 20 minutes per session, five days a week. Depending on the patient, treatment can last for 4-6 weeks.
TMS at Morningside Recovery
At Morningside Recovery, we utilize dual diagnosis treatment. This means that we not only treat addiction, we also treat any underlying mental health disorders that may exist. We see the importance in treating both with an equal emphasis because each have a significant impact on the overall wellbeing of residents. With Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy, we can to treat residents with major depressive disorder, when antidepressants no longer can.
Morningside prides itself on being able to offer residents Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy throughout their recovery journey. We believe it can offer the help that individuals struggling with co-occurring addiction and severe depression need. If you want to learn more about this service, please call us today at 855-631-2135.