Everyone has bad days, bouts of sadness or feels down occasionally. Luckily, for some, these feelings of hopelessness often alleviate and pass relatively quickly. However, a growing number of Americans are not as fortunate. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 25 million Americans will have an episode of major depression this year alone.1
Indeed, depression is one of the most common mental health conditions experienced by Americans; which is precisely why October has been named National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. During the entire month, TMS Neuro Health will aim to promote Depression Awareness and help to break the stigma surrounding depression once and for all. In addition, this year’s annual National Depression Screening Day will be October 9th. We hope to reach individuals across the United States with mental health education and help to connect them with different support services.
It’s important to understand that depression is in no way a one-size-fits-all condition. It is a complex disease with a variety of causes, symptoms and forms. As such, depressed patients are often treated using different methods. Below are a few examples of the different forms of depression and a few of their respective treatment options:
Major Depression- Patients with severe depression experience symptoms that interfere with work, sleep, study, eat and the ability to enjoy life in general. Major depression is usually treatable and doctors may recommend patients use antidepressants and or talk therapy to alleviate symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder- Also known as manic depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is less common than major depression and is characterized by cycling mood changes. Mood stabilizing medications can help to minimize the highs and lows of bipolar disorder. Psychotherapy can also be helpful.
Dysthymia - Dysthymia is a mild but long-term form of depression. Depending on severity of dysthymia symptoms, patients can be treated with certain types of anti-depressants including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants.
Treatment Resistant Depression – Some forms of depression can be effectively treated with psychotherapy or medications as mentioned above. However, for about one million patients with depression, even several trials of medications and therapy combinations simply do not work. Treatment resistant patients often struggle with severe depression that is difficult to treat successfully. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation also known as TMS therapy can help with this specific form of depression.
Depression is not a selective disease. The devastating symptoms of depressive illnesses can affect anyone; from the rich and famous to the middle class to the homeless. What’s more, said symptoms can arise at any age and affect any race or ethnic group. With that in mind, please participate in helping us raise awareness of depression and mental health screening this October. You can do your part by sharing our blogs on social media and keeping the conversation about depression an open one.
October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, how will you do your part in helping to raise awareness? Reply below or tweet us @TMSNeurohealth