Depression is a complex condition, and addressing depression symptoms often requires the use of one or more treatment options. In some instances, antidepressant medications are used to help alleviate depression symptom, but it’s important to understand the role of medication in treatment.
Antidepressants alter neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood. As such, antidepressants can help increase levels of “feel-good” chemicals in the brain to reduce or eliminate depression symptoms.
Although antidepressants are among the most common depression treatments, they offer no guarantees. To better understand why this is the case, let’s explore three common misconceptions about treating depression with medication.
1. Medication guarantees long-lasting results.
Medication may provide a “quick-fix” or a long term solution to treat depression symptoms. But in some instances, medication stops working after a few weeks or months. And in some cases, medication causes chronic nausea, weight gain, insomnia, and other intolerable side effects.
For people dealing with depression, it helps to learn about the different types of medication. Several “classes” of antidepressants are available, including:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): These increase levels of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that contributes to happiness and sense of well-being. SSRIs are among the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, but may cause headaches, dizziness, sweating, and other side effects.
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): These may be used to treat depression, as well as long-term conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety. Like SSRIs, SNRIs help boost “feel-good” chemical production in the brain. But SNRIs may also cause headaches, dizziness, and other side effects.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs): These also help increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Unfortunately, TCAs produce a greater incidence of increased appetite/weight gain and fatigue, blurred vision, dry mouth and drowsiness as compared to other classes of depression medication, but they can be effective for certain patients.
The first medication prescribed to you to treat depression may help alleviate symptoms, or it may have little to no effect. However, by adopting a proactive approach to depression treatment, you can evaluate different medication options and therapies to determine the best approach for overcoming depression symptoms.
2. One medication is used to treat all types of depression.
Depression symptoms vary, and one medication used to treat some depression symptoms won’t necessarily help treat all types of depression. It may take a while for you to find the medication that works for you. Also, your depression medication may relieve some depression symptoms but not all of them. It’s important to find which medication, perhaps combined with a specific type of therapy or lifestyle changes, will help ensure depression symptom relief. It’s also important to identify what type of depression you have.
If you are considering depression treatment, it is best to meet with a doctor. This enables you to discuss your depression concerns and questions with a medical professional, as well as receive depression resources. Plus, your doctor can offer insights into different types of depression, including:
- Major Depression: Major depression causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness that linger most days of the week for a minimum of two weeks.
- Psychotic Depression: In addition to major depression symptoms, psychotic depression causes hallucinations, delusions, and other psychological symptoms.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder: Persistent depressive disorder refers to depression that lasts two years or longer. It may cause changes in appetite, low self-esteem, and an ongoing lack of energy, among other symptoms.
Each depression therapy program will be tailored to you and your depression symptoms. If a doctor believes medication can help you address your depression symptoms, you may be prescribed a depression medication. A doctor may also recommend the use of a depression medication in conjunction with other treatments.
3. Treating depression with medication is the best option.
Medication is just one of many options to treat depression symptoms and may not always be the best option for each person. Treatments used in combination with medication to address depression symptoms include:
- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy involves meeting with a psychologist, social worker, or other mental health professional to discuss your depression symptoms. “Talk therapy” or counseling can help you identify the root causes of depression and take steps to overcome them. This may include one-on-one counseling or group therapy sessions.
- Exercise: Research indicates regular exercise helps stimulate “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, and in doing so, offers an effective depression treatment. By running, walking, doing yoga, or performing other physical activities on a regular basis, you can often get in shape and help combat depression symptoms.
- Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS): dTMS therapy uses magnetic pulses to help the brain produce “feel-good” chemicals such as seratonin and norepinephrine. It is non-invasive and highly effective. A typical dTMS therapy session only takes about 20 minutes per day to complete.
It can take time to find the right depression medication for you, and sometimes, depression medication causes side effects. Fortunately, there are many depression treatment options available. Seeking out medical support for your depression symptoms is the first step to determine if medication or other depression treatments are right for you.
Should You Evaluate Medication and Other Depression Treatment Options?
The ideal depression treatment option varies based on individual needs and responses. Thus, some people may require medication alone to treat their depression symptoms, while others may need to use medication in conjunction with one or more depression treatments.
Ultimately, there is no reason to wait to address depression symptoms. Schedule a doctor’s appointment, to evaluate medications and other depression treatment options that will deliver long-lasting results.
dTMS Therapy for Depression: What You Need to Know
Deep TMS (dTMS) therapy is quickly becoming a top option to treat depression in combination with medication — and for good reason. Some of the benefits of dTMS therapy to treat depression symptoms include:
- Non-Invasive: The dTMS procedure is performed in a traditional office setting — and without any anesthesia or systemic impact. The only side effect to TMS treatment is a minor headache for some patients in first few treatment sessions which can be treated with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- Minimal Discomfort: dTMS therapy patients report little to no discomfort during and after treatment sessions. They return to work, school, and everyday activities immediately following each dTMS treatment session.
- Available for Treatment-Resistant Depression: dTMS therapy sometimes helps patients who have found that medications failed to address their depression symptoms or did not deliver the desired results.
Achieve TMS is a leading provider of dTMS therapy in the United States. Our dTMS therapy programs involve treatment sessions performed over the course of several weeks and allow patients to achieve long-term depression symptom relief.
We offer free dTMS therapy consultations, too. A dTMS therapy consultation enables you to learn about dTMS as a depression treatment option, ask questions about dTMS, and determine if dTMS therapy sessions are right for you. It also allows us to determine if you are a good candidate for dTMS therapy. To book a free dTMS therapy consultation with Achieve TMS, please call or text us today at 877-285-0822.