Stress Awareness Month

We all experience stress from time to time and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Stress is important. It keeps us motivated and alert to respond to danger. However, just like anything else, too much stress can do more harm than good. Chronic stress may, unfortunately, lead to major depression in people who are susceptible to it.

What’s the connection between stress and depression?
Chronic stress, regardless of what causes it, may lead to major depression as it can lead to overactivity of the body’s stress-response mechanism.

Sustained stress can cause hormonal imbalance. It can elevate your levels of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) and reduced some of the neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine. These neurotransmitters are vital in our day-to-day life. They help regulate body processes such as sleep, sex, energy, appetite, and mood.

What are the most common stressors that can lead to depression?
If you are most likely to suffer from depression, you have to watch out for these stressors:

  • Major life events such as loss of a loved one (e.g. death, breakup, divorce)
  • Trauma such as as war combat or sexual abuse
  • Social stressors such as relationship or sexuality issues
  • Occupational stress such as being jobless or work overload
  • Financial stress
  • Stress from having a chronic disease or condition

 

Modifying the Body’s Stress Response
If you are on the brink of suffering from major depression due to stress, it’s important to make lifestyle changes to modify your body’s response. You can try:

Reaching out to friends and family
Speaking to friends and family for support can help in alleviating stress.

Exercising regularly
Several studies have shown that regular physical activity can increase the body’s production of endorphins, which are also known as the ‘feel good’ hormones.

Improving your sleep quality
Lack of sleep compounds the effects of stress on the body. People who are consistently sleep deprived are more susceptible to getting depressed than those who have good sleep (both quantity and quality).

Talking to a medical professional
If stress is affecting the way you live, it’s important to talk to someone who is trained to help people who are suffering from chronic stress.

Stress may be vital in our lives but when it gets too much, it’s important to seek appropriate intervention.

If your stress leads you to depression and the conventional therapy isn’t working, NeurOasis TMS can help.

 

Reference:
https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/stress-depression#1

 

Are you a candidate for TMS Therapy?

In the recent years, TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation has become a popular treatment option especially in those who weren’t successful in the conventional treatment for anxiety and depression.

What is TMS therapy?
TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate certain areas of the brain.

It is FDA-approved and works really well for major depressive disorders, anxiety, and even for stroke management.

In a TMS therapy session, an electromagnetic coil is placed on the head, just above the targeted area of the brain. This device produces very small electric currents, which stimulate the affected areas of the brain.

Although the exact mechanism as to how TMS works is still unclear, several studies have shown that TMS therapy helps in stroke recovery and alleviates the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.

Are you an ideal TMS candidate?
TMS is a very safe procedure and could be an ideal treatment for you if you have the following circumstances:

* Conventional treatments (i.e. medications and psychotherapy) failed to provide relief
TMS may be right for you if you didn’t have any success from the conventional treatment methods or if these treatments brought undesirable side effects.

* Over 18 years of age
TMS is generally safe but usually not recommended for individuals younger than 18. There are very limited studies on the long-term effect of TMS on the developing brain.

* Free from implants or metal objects
Due to the nature of the therapy, it can’t be admistered to anyone with implants controlled by physiological signals (e.g. pacemakers, defribillators, nerve stimulators) or non-removable magnetic sensitive metal in the head or any part of the body that’s within the 12 inches scope of the metal coil.

Still not sure if TMS is right for you? Schedule appointment with us. We’ll assess your situation and help you determine if this therapy is appropriate for you.



References:
http://tmsyou.com/tms-treatment/ideal-tms-therapy-candidate/
https://www.madisonavetms.com/good-candidate-tms/

5 Resolutions for Better Mental Health

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions that are related to physical health but we rarely, if at all, make ones that can benefit our mental health.

Mental health is rarely talked about during the New Year but it is a vital element of our overall health.

Poor mental health can lead to a myriad of health problems. Make this year different and prioritize your mental health.

Committing to these five resolutions can lead to a better, healthier you!

  1. 1. Eat more whole foods

A lot of people make this resolution to benefit themselves physically. But did you know that healthy eating can also do good to your mental health.

Research has it that nutrition has a role to play in mental health. People who consume more whole foods like fruits and vegetables have lower levels of depression compared to those who eat less. Eating whole foods especially those that belong in the broccoli family can also benefit you in the long run as they can help slow cognitive decline.

  1. 2. Make time for physical activity

Whether it’s cleaning your yard, walking, or running, any physical activity can help you. For years, research has shown that exercise is the most effective way of reducing depression or anxiety.

If you have been sedentary in the past years, it’s best to start slow and find an activity that you enjoy. This allows you to adhere religiously to your exercise plan.

  1. 3. Get enough sleep

There’s a strong correlation between sleep and mental health. When you’re constantly sleep deprived, you are compromising your psychological and mental health. And when you already have these issues, you are more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems.

How sleep affects mental health and vice versa is still not fully understood but brain studies suggest that having a good night sleep contributes to both mental and emotional resilience. Chronic sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can make you more prone to emotional instability and having negative thoughts.

  1. 4. Cut back on your screen time

Want more time to exercise, prepare healthier meals, and/or sleep? Reducing your screen time may help.

You don’t have to give up your favorite show. It just means you have to do it in moderation. Studies have shown that excessive TV watching and use of smartphones (and other similar devices) can affect sleep and mental health.

  1. 5. Seek professional help

Sometimes, we think of mental health problem as something we can just snap out of. The truth is, sometimes we just need professional help.

If your mental health issues are keeping you from living life fully, then visit a specialist. If you didn’t have success with any of the traditional treatment methods, don’t feel defeated. There are alternative treatment options that can help you.

 

 

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health

http://theconversation.com/new-years-resolutions-for-better-mental-health-87255

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beating New Year’s Depression

The media often portray New Year as one of the happiest, most exciting time of the year, but not everyone will see it this way. This is especially true for those who suffer with depression or those who are more predisposed to getting depressed during this season.

New Year’s Eve or the New Year itself can bring more feelings of sadness and/or loneliness to these people. According to psychologists, this could be due to the reflective nature of this holiday.

During this time of the year, people usually look back on the past year and observe what they have accomplished, and what they wanted to do more of and/or change on the coming year.

When you feel you didn’t accomplish enough or when you’re more prone to rumination, this holiday can easily lead you to a spiral of negativity. However, there are ways to prevent you from getting into that.

  1. Plan something that gets you really excited

Whether it’s taking a trip or trying a new hobby, planning and anticipating for something can give you a boost of happiness. The effect is still the same even if you’re planning to make it happen on the later part of the year.

  1. Examine your expectations

If you decide to come up with New Year’s resolutions, examine your expectations and decide if they are realistic. If they don’t seem to be, then try breaking them down to smaller goals.

  1. Reach out

Know that it’s okay to feel this way during this holiday. If you feel isolated or extremely sad, don’t hesitate to reach out to your family, friends, a community, or a professional.


If you still feel depressed after seeking professional help, we can help.

 

References:

https://broadly.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/d343ex/why-is-new-years-eve-so-depressing

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/new-year-blues

https://www.themuse.com/advice/new-years-blu

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.

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.

Summer Depression

Many of us may associate summer with fun but not for people with summer-onset seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

What is SAD?

SAD is a mood disorder that usually occurs at the same time each year. While it’s more common during winter, it can happen during summer too.

Unlike winter-onset SAD where one tends to overeat and oversleep, people who have summer-onset depression suffers from insomnia, loss of appetite, and anxiety.

Why it happens?

Summer-onset SAD is attributed to too much sun, which can turn off the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin, which only comes out in the dark, drives the sleep-wake cycle. So, longer days mean fewer production of the hormone.

There are certain groups of people who are more prone to developing SAD. These include women, those with a family history of SAD, have bipolar disorder or clinical depression, and those who live near the equator.

What are the signs and symptoms?

People who suffer from summer-onset SAD may have trouble in sleeping, feel depressed most of the day, have difficulty concentrating, feel hopeless, and may even have suicidal thoughts.

What to do about it?

Seeking darkened rooms, staying in a cool environment, and talking to a professional can help in managing summer-onset SAD. However, if you do not have any success from these conventional treatment methods, there’s another therapy that can help you – TMS.

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive procedure that is shown to be effective for people with mood disorders.

Schedule an appointment with us to find out if this treatment suits you well.

Men and Depression

Every June is recognized as Men’s Health Month. Although physical health is great, mental health is just as important. Depression may only be half as common in men than in women but about 6 million men in America are diagnosed with depression annually.

When men suffer from depression, they don’t paint the picture of what depression is in our mind. In many cases, depressed men show much subtler signs of the condition.

Men with depression may also show signs of hostility, irritability, inability to concentrate, and may blame themselves even for things that had happened in the past.

Why men suffer from depression?

There are different reasons why men suffer from depression. However, there are certain factors that can predispose them in developing such mental health problem. These factors include:

  • Physical health problems
  • Social isolation
  • Unemployment or problems at work
  • Relationship problems
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Significant changes in life

Some men may be at higher risk of developing depression than others. These include:

  • New fathers
  • Older men
  • Men living in rural or remote areas
  • Gay, bisexual, or transgender men
  • Unemployed men
  • Men with chronic health conditions

Depression can be treated in a variety of ways. If you’re not responding to or have not seen any improvement from conventional methods such as antidepressants and therapy, it may be time to try something else.

TMS Therapy, or transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive and effective way of treating mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. If you’re tired of letting depression control your life, call NeurOasis TMS Therapy in Tucson today for a free consultation.

Postpartum Depression

It’s not uncommon for women to experience the “baby blues” following birth. This pertains to feelings of anxiety, stress, sadness, loneliness, and tiredness. But there are women who experience a more serious form of mood disorder – postpartum depression.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a type of depression a woman could develop after giving birth. Although it can start anytime during the baby’s first year, it usually occurs during the first three weeks after birth.

About 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression. Unlike the baby blues, postpartum depression doesn’t go away on its own. When left unmanaged, it can last for weeks or months.

The Risk Factors

Some women are more prone to developing postpartum depression. These include those who have a family history of depression or mental illness, previous experience of depression or anxiety, first time mothers, and those who are facing additional stressors after birth (e.g. financial problems, having a child with special needs, emotional stressors).

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression can be different for everyone but the most common ones include:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure on things one used to enjoy
  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling worthless
  • Racing thoughts
  • Mood swings (excessive irritability, anger, or agitation)
  • Inability to sleep
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fear of being alone with the baby
  • Fear of not being a good mother
  • Thoughts of hurting one’s self or the baby

Treating Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is usually treated through psychotherapy, antidepressants, or a combination of both. However, if you have tried these and have not see any improvement in your symptoms, there is an alternative therapy –  transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS.

TMS is a minimally invasive and FDA-approved treatment for mood disorders like anxiety and depression. If you want to find out how this form of therapy can help you manage your postpartum depression symptoms, you can contact us to schedule an appointment.

Postpartum depression can be treated and you don’t have to face it alone. We can help.