Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and the way you act. Major depression lasts two weeks or more and interferes with your ability to carry out daily tasks and enjoy activities that previously brought pleasure. It affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population age 18 or older in a given year.
Depression causes pain and suffering not only to those who have the disorder, but to those who care about them.
The good news is that with effective treatment, many patients can remain symptom free and can lead normal lives.
Symptoms of Depression
According to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, depression is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing a depressed mood, a loss of interest or enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to diminished activity. Other common depression symptoms include:
- Reduced concentration or attention
- Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Ideas of guilt and unworthiness
- Bleak and pessimistic view of the future
- Disturbed sleep
- Diminished appetite
- Ideas of self-harm or suicide
Treatments for Depression
There are non-drug and drug therapies available to treat depression. Depression is often initially treated with psychotherapy (talk therapy) and antidepressant medication administered together. Although antidepressants can be effective for some patients, they do not work for everybody. Additionally, antidepressants often result in unwanted side effects.
Many patients do not respond adequately to antidepressant medication and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. For these patients, alternative treatments that involve the use of a medical device are available. These treatments include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is used at the Yang Institute to help patients who haven’t achieved results with antidepressants.
If your antidepressants haven’t worked for you, contact the Yang Institute for an appointment to find out if this TMS alternative therapy might work for you.