Depression is a serious mental illness that affects your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. While the experience of depression is different for everyone, most people report that while depressed they feel unhappy, irritable, unmotivated, and unsatisfied. Depressed individuals often endure a loss of self-esteem, decreased interest in most activities (including ones they previously enjoyed), lower cognitive function, increased lethargy, and excessive guilt.
Treatment for Depression (Major Depressive Disorder)
Depression does not go away without treatment in most people. It is common for depressed patients to undergo several therapies before they find something that works for them. If you’d like to explore TMS depression treatment in NYC, Dr. Woo and the team at Madison Avenue TMS & Psychiatry will be with you every step of the way. We are dedicated to guiding patients and helping those suffering from depression in New York City feel less alone.
Our team will serve as your resource during your TMS treatment for depression. If you have any questions about your treatment for depression, side-effects, TMS therapy costs or other available depression treatments, please don’t hesitate to ask.
There are many ways to treat depression and relieve its accompanying symptoms. It’s important to note that all patients are different and not all depression treatment is right for everyone. You may prefer one method over another, while someone else may prefer to use multiple methods. While combining treatments for depression is quite common, it’s important to speak with a physician before doing so. Some common treatments for depression include:
There are many different types of medications that may be prescribed to someone suffering from depression. Your doctor can help you determine which medication is best for you, but it is important to take all medications as prescribed while also being vigilant to any side effects. If any serious side effects, like suicidal thoughts, are experienced, it is important to consult your doctor immediately.
Also called “talk therapy,” this treatment involves talking to a professional about your symptoms as well as other depression-related issues you are experiencing. These therapies can often help a sufferer better understand their condition, how it affects them, coping methods, ways to support positive thoughts/behaviors, and to help them regain satisfaction.
Many patients continue to undergo therapy for depression while receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation at Madison Avenue TMS & Psychiatry. All patients are encouraged to continue seeing their preferred mental health professional, however, we are happy to provide a referral to a trusted psychotherapist in NYC for anyone that would like one.
Brain stimulation therapies
- TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation)- Usually used for patients who haven’t had success relieving their symptoms through medication or psychotherapy. During TMS, a treatment coil placed on the scalp uses magnetic waves to gently stimulate areas of the brain that are associated with feelings of depression. There is no recovery time associated with TMS, and patients can return to work and other daily activities immediately following a treatment session.
- ECT (electroconvulsive therapy)- Usually used in the most serious cases of depression and when the sufferer is determined to be at a high risk for suicide. The patient is hospitalized and placed under anesthesia for the procedure, where an electrical current is used to medically induce a seizure in the patient and stimulate the areas of the brain associated with feelings of depression. ECT does not require surgery, can be performed in an inpatient or an outpatient setting, and is always performed in a hospital.
Symptoms of Depression
Some of the most commonly reported symptoms of depression are:
- Feeling hopeless, worthless, empty, or sad
- Episodes of tearfulness, anger, and irritability
- Suicidal thoughts
- Constant or near-constant anxiety
- Increased difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and restlessness
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Prolonged fatigue
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
The symptoms above can range from mild to severe. If you observe three or more of the symptoms mentioned above for more than two weeks, it is possible that you are experiencing depression. To know for sure, reach out to a professional for a formal diagnosis.
Types of Depression
There are many different kinds of depression that manifest in different ways. A few of the most commonly recognized types of depressive disorders are:
- Major depressive disorder- Depressive symptoms that last over 2 weeks.
- Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)– Depressive symptoms that last over 2 years.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder– Depressive symptoms that occur in women shortly before their menstrual cycle.
- Substance/medication-induced depressive disorder- Depressive symptoms that occur as a result of the patient consuming a substance (i.e. illegal drugs, toxins, other medications, etc.)
Causes of Depression
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a naturally occurring illness experienced by many of us, caused by a change in the signals sent and received by brain cells. Depression is often brought on by stress, trauma, genetics, hormones, and/or changes in the body’s biochemistry, but the nature of the disorder can cause sufferers to feel isolated, blame themselves, and ultimately have a hard time reaching out for help.
Consequences of Depression
While depression is treatable, many people with depression never seek treatment, which could result in serious consequences for one’s physical and emotional health. Depression can raise your risk of developing chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.(1) Some people turn to substances, such as alcohol or drugs, to cope with the symptoms of depression. This coping behavior can increase one’s risk of addiction.
Getting professional help and the care you need early-on can help improve the likelihood that you’ll respond to treatment and reduce the risk of relapse (return of symptoms).
If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, seek mental health or emergency services immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of treatments are used for depression?
There are many treatment options available for depression. The most common are medication and talk therapy, but TMS is also clinically-proven, safe, and covered by insurance.
If the patient’s symptoms are severe and other treatments haven’t worked, ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) may be recommended. It’s safe, proven effective, and 100% painless.
Many patients supplement their treatment regimen with natural treatment options, such as exercise, which provides a temporary mood boost and improves energy levels. Herbal supplements, such as St. John’s Wort, are not proven to be effective in the treatment of depression and are not FDA-approved, thus we do not recommend them as a patient’s primary depression treatment.
What is the most effective treatment for depression?
There’s no one answer to this question. The best and most effective treatment for you may be different than what works for someone else. In general, the first depression treatments that your healthcare provider will recommend will usually be medication and talk therapy. These treatments are highly effective, but a minority of patients won’t see any improvement from them, or may see improvement but have trouble tolerating the side effects of antidepressant medication. TMS is a highly effective treatment option for these patients.
Are there any new treatments for depression available?
TMS is one of the newest clinically-proven treatments for depression, having been approved by the FDA in 2008. It’s been demonstrated effective in over 30 peer-reviewed studies. If you’re looking for a new option and haven’t tried TMS yet, contact us online to learn more.
How much does it cost to go to therapy for depression?
The cost of therapy will vary depending on your location, your therapist’s qualifications and areas of expertise, and your insurance coverage. If you’re paying for therapy out of pocket, know that many therapists offer sliding-scale pricing based on your income.
Therapy may not be effective for every depression patient. If you’re interested in TMS in New York City, our practice can accept most major insurance plans, and we offer flexible payment plans if you’re not able to pay with insurance. Learn more about the cost of TMS and insurance coverage for TMS.
1. National Institute of Mental Health. Chronic Illness and Mental Health: Recognizing and Treating Depression. Publication Date Unknown. Revised 2021. Link. Accessed July 14, 2022.