The Power of Communication

When a person has depression, communication can be a challenge. They wanted to express their needs in a more effective way but usually end up being passive-aggressive.

How You Communicate Can Make a Difference

The symptoms of depression can be overwhelming, to the point of interfering with one’s ability to communicate effectively. This is why a loved one’s support, understanding, and skill in effective communication is important.

A supportive communication can help manage their feelings of discouragement, disinterest, and helplessness.

How to Respond

To better communicate with your depressed loved one, there are certain things we need to keep in mind.

  1. Find ways to reach out

A common misconception among depressed individuals is that they wanted to be left alone. It’s the least thing that these people want.

Leaving them alone can make them feel abandoned, leading to more negative thoughts and feelings about themselves.

If you find your depressed loved ones isolating themselves, find ways to reach out. Be friendly and engaging and make them feel that they’re not alone with what they’re going through.

  1. Remind them that they are loved and accepted

Depressed people know that their symptoms can bear a weight on their relationships. Hence, it’s important to remind them that they’re not a burden, that they are accepted and loved for who they are. This is very crucial especially on their dark days.

  1. Be prepared

Being prepared means choosing a quiet place, where are there are no or less distractions, to have a talk. It also means lending your two ears, to actually listen and not just hear words.

Be empathetic and show kindness during conversations. It’s tough for some depressed people to open up.

If they just want to be with you and not talk, be okay with it. Wait for them to talk.

These are just some of simple ways to communicate with a depressed person. It may take a while to master these skills but it will be worth it.

Comparing Side Effects of Different Treatments

Over 14 million American adults suffer from depression. However, only a fraction of this figure seek help.

Unfortunately, not everyone who seek treatment had experienced significant improvement in their condition. About 30 percent who tried the traditional treatment route had unsatisfactory results.

TMS as an alternative treatment

The good thing is, there are now alternative treatment methods that can help provide relief from the debilitating effects of mental health conditions like depression.

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is one of those alternatives.

It’s a non-invasive and FDA-approved treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. It uses a device to deliver pulsating and localized magnetic fields, causing an activation of a subset of nerve cells.

A lot of patients who have tried the TMS therapy can attest to its effectiveness.

Why people love the TMS therapy as an alternative?

Compared to the traditional treatment methods, TMS therapy doesn’t cause undesirable side effects. Unlike antidepressants, TMS therapy doesn’t lead to systemic effects like gastrointestinal upset, sexual dysfunction, and weight gain. These are the most common complaints of people who are put under pharmacotherapy.

In several studies, it has been shown that TMS therapy work really well with patients who were unsuccessful with the traditional treatment methods or couldn’t tolerate the side effects of pharmacologic therapy. If this is your case, we can help.

The History of TMS Therapy

For the past years, TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy has become popular especially among those who weren’t successful in traditional treatment methods for depression and anxiety disorders.

But did you know that the concept of TMS started over 100 years ago?

The History of TMS

In1880s, the physics behind TMS was discovered by a man named Michael Faraday.

Faraday created a magnetic field by running electricity through a coil and found out that it can also affect conductors within close proximity, such as another coil or neurons in the brain. However, it was only in mid-1900s when researchers started looking into the effect of repetitive TMS (rTMS) for treating patients with depression.

After over a decade of studies and long review, the first device for rTMS was approved by FDA.

At the same time, a new device that can affect deeper structures of the brain is under study (deep TMS or dTMS).

It took years for the dTMS device to be approved by FDA (a study was presented in 2009 but the first dTMS device was released in 2013).

With positive results from previous studies, more clinics are now adapting to the use of TMS for depression and other mental health disorders.

TMS Over Traditional Treatment Methods

A lot of people prefer TMS over medications or ECT because it doesn’t have systemic effects like nausea, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction. And unlike ECT, it doesn’t lead to any cognitive impairments.

If you want to know more how TMS can benefit you, feel free to contact us and talk with one of our providers.

Developing Healthy Habits for Life

Having a healthy lifestyle is only possible when you start transforming your knowledge on how to live healthy into a daily habit.

Why is it important to develop good health habits?

Habits are who you are. These are things that you do daily without thinking too much about it. As you’re doing them on a regular basis, they became part of who you are.

Establishing health habits early on can help build a good foundation in your life. They can help you reach your goals and avoid unnecessary wasting of time. Plus, they are more powerful than motivation. For example, you may not feel like working out but since it becomes a habit, you do it without thinking too much about it.

Establishing Healthy Habits

The good thing with habits is that you can build or change them.

Whether it’s working out or eating healthy, you can start building healthy habits that can benefit you in the long run. This also goes to say that you can break any unhealthy habit you have.

Below are some hacks to help you get started:

  1. Give yourself 66 days to stick to a habit
    Contrary to what many people believed, it actually takes more than 21 days to establish a new habit and make it sick.  The 21-day rule is a myth and is believed to have originated in a study among patients who underwent plastic surgery.

 

  1. Follow a system
    In his popular book, The Power of Habit, journalist Charles Duhigg mentioned about the system in building a habit. You have to have a cue, a routine, and a reward.

 

  1. Change your ‘all or nothing’ mindset
    Don’t quit if you mess up for a day or more. Missing an opportunity or opportunities won’t break the process. Just pick yourself up and try again the next day.

Staying Healthy During TMS Therapy

For patients who are unsuccessful in traditional treatment methods for depression and anxiety disorders, TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation offers hope.

What is TMS therapy?

TMS is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation. The devices used in TMS therapy are operated completely outside the body. They use powerful magnetic fields to stimulate certain parts of the brain, which are believed to help in improving the patient’s symptoms.

Over 50 percent of people who were unsuccessful with traditional treatments for depression and anxiety disorders experienced meaningful response from TMS therapy.  A lot of TMS patients feel better for several months after treatment stops.

What happens during TMS therapy and how to stay healthy?

TMS treatment uses magnetic pulses. So, before the therapy starts, you have to remove any magnetic-sensitive objects such as jewelries and credit cards.

It’s not unusual to hear clicking sound during the session but you can minimize it by wearing ear plugs or listening to music.

There can be slight discomfort during and after the session due to the tapping sensation on the scalp. However, you can reduce the discomfort by taking over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin and Tylenol before or after the therapy.

Serious side effects are very uncommon in TMS therapy but if you have certain concerns about this procedure, feel free to contact us.

Ingredients for a Happy Life

Each person’s happiness is attributed to a variety of reasons. The most common ones are:

 

  1. Appreciation

Spending even just a few minutes each day to pause and appreciate everything that you have can make a whole lot of difference especially when you are feeling down.

 

  1. Acceptance

The most common trait of people who are deeply satisfied and happy in life is that they learn to accept their flaws.

Being kind to yourself can tremendously increase your enjoyment, resilience, and overall wellbeing.

 

  1. Physical activity

Regular physical activity does not just benefit your physical health. It can also benefit your mental and emotional health. So, spend even at least 30 minutes each day to exercise, whether it’s walking, swimming, or dancing.

 

  1. Giving

Happy people are generous people. When you give or care for someone, you feel really good inside. This is why giving is considered as a vital element in one’s happiness.

 

  1. Relationships

How you relate to other people have a significant impact in your happiness level. Those who have stronger and broader relationships with others are healthier, happier, and live longer.

 

  1. Resilience

Life isn’t perfect but how you respond when things go wrong is a huge determinant of your happiness.

 

  1. Purpose

There are so many things that we don’t have control of in life but having a sense of purpose/meaning can give you a direction and even helps in motivating you when you’re feeling down.

Understanding Mental Health & Reversing the Stigma

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness,  over 40 million Americans suffer from some form of mental Illness such as depression, schizophrenia,  bipolar, and anxiety disorders.

Mental Illness is not uncommon. In fact, one in every four families have family members who have mental health issues. Regardless of this astonishing figure, many of them do not seek help due to the stigma of mental health problems.

What can be done to reverse the stigma?

There are things we can do to abolish the stigma attached to mental health issues:

  1. Raise awareness

If you’re suffering from a mental health problem, then one of the best things you can do to reverse the stigma is using your own experience to educate other people.

 

  1. Educate yourself

When you educate yourself about these mental health issues, you will realize that the stigmas on these conditions are either exaggerations or lies.

A good start of educating yourself is learning the symptoms and treatment of different mental health illnesses. Doing this will make you understand what those people with mental health issues are battling with.

 

  1. Attend events that support the cause

Attending such events create a significant impact in removing the stigma on mental health illnesses. Being there and showing your support is like saying there is no shame in talking about mental health problems.

How Depression Affects Your Life

 

Depression, even in minder forms, can have an impact on different facets of life. It can complicate serious health conditions like heart disease and cancer and affect the way you eat and sleep.

When you’re depressed, it’s hard to stay focused and motivated. Hence, depression can also have an impact in your education and career.

Many people with depression have comorbid disorders. This is usually in the form of addiction (e.g. alcohol and drug abuse).

Depression doesn’t just have an impact on you. It can also affect the people around you, including your family, friends, significant others, and co-workers.

Are you depressed?

Leaving depression untreated can have serious implications both in your personal and professional life. Learning its signs and symptoms can help you seek your needed treatment.

The most common symptoms of depression include:

  • feeling sad for over two weeks
  • feeling hopeless or helpless
  • changes in sleep and eating patterns
  • losing interest in things you used to enjoy
  • withdrawal from friends or family
  • constant fatigue
  • Chronic pains
  • suicidal thoughts

Depression can be managed through psychotherapy and medications (i.e. antidepressants). However, not everyone experience relief from these forms of treatment. If you’re one of them, we can help.

TMS Therapy: Is it safe?

You probably have read about the benefits of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS especially on mood disorders like depression and anxiety. You may be considering treatment, but curious if it’s really safe.

Understanding TMS

TMS is a non-invasive procedure. Many patients who did not have success in the conventional treatment plan for their depression or anxiety were able to experience relief from TMS therapy.

During TMS therapy, you’ll be seated the whole time. You’ll also be fully awake and be able to talk to the doctor during the entire duration of the therapy.

If it’s your first session, the doctor usually conducts a test to determine your motor threshold. This will determine the level of magnetic field that will be used for your treatment.

As mentioned above, this is a non-invasive procedure. The doctor will just place an electromagnetic coil against your forehead. This coil is the medium through which the magnetic pulses will be delivered to the targeted part of the brain.

Each TMS therapy session usually lasts for about 35 minutes.

Is it Safe?

TMS therapy is safe. It’s FDA-cleared and an effective non-drug therapy for mood disorders, stroke, pain, and even for autism spectrum disorder.

Unlike conventional treatments like drugs, TMS is not associated with undesirable side effects. Some patients though experience moderate discomfort or pain a week after the treatment. However, this side effect is just temporary.

You can schedule an appointment with us to find out if TMS is right for you.

Back to School Blues

For some students, going back to school is an exciting thing. They get to reunite with their friends, meet new classmates, and take new classes. However, for others, going back to school can trigger feelings of anxiety and depression.

Why it happens?

Back-to-school blues is a real thing. It can be easily detected among students at the start of the year.

There are several factors that can trigger these feelings.

One of which is the fear of the unknown. Some students feel more anxious in not knowing who their teachers or classmates will be. For some, these feelings can be triggered by certain expectations (i.e. it will be a tough year, etc.).

Can you prevent back-to-school blues?

Fortunately, there are things students and parents can do to help manage the emotional struggle about returning to school:

  • Practice the first day of school routine

Preparing for everything you need for school, getting into a good bedtime routine, and learning to prepare easy-to-pack meals will make your mornings run more smoothly!

  • Know your neighbors

If you’re attending a new school, going around your block and getting to know neighbors especially those of your age can help in alleviating anxiety.  Who knows you may end up having a friend or friends in your new school even before school starts?

  • Seek help

Don’t be afraid to seek help especially if the stress of going back to school is too much.

Talk to your parents, friends, or seek professional help. Having someone to talk to about these things can make a difference.