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.

Why Traditional Treatment Isn’t Working

Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It affects over 16 million American adults or about 6.7% of the U.S. population.

Normally, depression is managed through the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications (if one has another mental or physical condition), and psychotherapy.

While medications and psychotherapy are considered the standard treatment for depression, it doesn’t mean that they work for everyone. In one article published in the Harvard Health blog, it says that only a third of those with major depression achieved remission after trying one antidepressant.

There is a term used to describe the type of depression that is not responsive to standard or conventional treatment method – treatment-resistant depression. You are most likely to have it if standard depression treatments like antidepressants and psychotherapy isn’t enough. They may not help much at all or you may feel better for a short while, only for the symptoms to come back after a certain period of time.

TMS Therapy

If you’re tired of trying different antidepressants and hopping from one therapist to another, it may be time to consider alternative depression treatments like TMS therapy.

TMS therapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields in order to stimulate certain areas of the brain responsible for your depressive symptoms. It’s FDA approved and a safe procedure for the treatment of conditions like depression, anxiety, and even PTSD.

One of the best things about TMS therapy, is that unlike conventional depression treatment methods, it isn’t associated with major side effects. To find out more how TMS can help ease your depression symptoms, you can contact us to schedule an appointment.

3 Ways to Boost Your Mood

It’s normal to feel down from time to time. This can happen as a result of unmet expectations, environment, hormones, or a combination of these factors.

If you’ve been feeling down lately, the following ways can help boost your mood:

  • Exercise
    Regular exercise doesn’t just benefit the body. It can also benefit your mental health. There is strong evidence supporting the positive effects of exercise on mental disorders like depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It helps by promoting better sleep, relieving stress, and boosting your overall mood.

Exercise promotes all kinds of changes in the brain including new activity patterns that help in promoting the sense of well-being and calmness. Some studies have shown that it can even be as effective as antidepressant medications for people suffering with mild to moderate depression, without the side effects.

  • Music therapy
    Have you noticed how simply listening to songs that remind you of happy memories can uplift your mood? Music has been proven to help those living with depression. It increases your self-esteem, reduces muscle tension, increases motivation, and it is a safe and effective way for emotional release.
  • Finish a task on your to-do list
    Is there project you’ve always wanted to do or have left off for some time? Then, it’s time to start or get back at it. You’ll notice that by making progress, no matter how small it may seem, can instantly uplift your mood. We understand that there are emotional disorders such as major depressive disorder that can’t be fixed overnight.

If you’re someone who suffers from depression and haven’t found an effective way of improving the symptoms through lifestyle changes or traditional treatment methods, you may be a candidate for TMS therapy.

About TMS

TMS therapy, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is an FDA-approved, non-invasive way of improving the symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders. It stimulates certain areas of the brain, resulting to a reduction of depressive symptoms.

If you want to find out more about TMS and how it can help you, you can contact us to schedule an appointment.

Signs Your Partner May Be Depressed

Depression is a common mental health disorder, affecting over 15 million Americans. Despite this figure, it can still be hard to tell if one is depressed especially if it’s your partner.

There are subtle signs of this disorder that can easily go unnoticed. These include:

  • Isolation
    When a person is depressed, he/she tends to isolate himself/herself because everything in his/her life seems like a burden. He/she may feel embarrassed about it so he/she gets into a solitary mode.If your partner is a social person and suddenly gets into solitary activities, sleeps more, or watches television more often, then it can be that he/she is depressed.
  • Lack of motivation
    Does your ever-punctual partner develop a new habit around tardiness? It could be more than just about poor time management.People who are depressed tend to lose their motivation in doing things they used to love. Their sadness can immobilize them, making it difficult for them to get up in the morning.
  • Change in appearance
    A change in appearance or weight can be a subtle sign of depression. When a person is depressed, he/she no longer care or takes pride in the way he/she looks. Weight gain and weight loss are both common in depressed people.
  • Fatigue
    Depression can cause someone to feel unusually tired. The fatigue can also be a result of change in his/her sleeping patterns. They may sleep more than usual, and have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Reactivity changes
    When your partner seems to have a sudden shift in reactivity – be it having a short temper or having a flat response, then it’s possible that he/she is struggling with depression.

What You Can Do

If you think your partner is depressed, it’s important to seek help for diagnosis and treatment. The longer you wait, the deeper your partner sinks and the greater is the risk of depression affecting your relationship.

Once diagnosis has been made, it’s important to develop a plan together to tackle depression. It may involve reaching out to a mental health professional who can help your partner cope with his/her feelings, solve problems, and change behavior patterns. This can be in the form of talk therapy, medications, or a combination of both.

Conventional methods like therapy and medications do not work for everyone though. If your partner’s depressive symptoms are not improving, know that there’s an alternative treatment – TMS.

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive, FDA-approved treatment for conditions like depression and anxiety. If you want to know more about it, you can contact us to schedule an appointment.

Beat the New Year Blues

The idea of beginning a “New Year” may ignite a feeling of excitement and promise for some, but for many people that is not the case.

Some experience a spike in depression this time of year. The New Year blues, which usually occur in January, can happen for several reasons. The incessant worry of the future, feeling unaccomplished to what transpired in the previous year, and gaining extra pounds from holiday parties can all contributing factors to this post-holiday depression.

Overcoming the New Year Blues

 

The following strategies can help you get through the New Year blues:

  1. Avoid personalizing failures and setbacks
    If you’re the kind of person who to tend to focus on your past failures and negative experiences, then try this year to change that. You can start by evaluating these experiences objectively. See them as they are and figure out what you can do to keep them from happening again. Don’t internalize bad experiences, thinking that they only happen to you because they don’t; every person has failed and has a fair share of bad experiences.
  2. Stay active
    Whether it’s taking a walk or cleaning your house, engaging yourself in any form of physical activity can help beat the New Year blues. Physical activity can make you feel better as it triggers the release of endorphins in your brain (these are also known as the “feel good” hormones).
  3. Consider treatment
    If medications, therapy, and traditional methods of treatment don’t work in improving your depression symptoms, consider TMS therapy.

    TMS therapy, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a non-invasive, FDA-approved method for improving the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although it’s still unclear as to how it improves the depressive symptoms, several studies have shown that TMS works.

Don’t let your past define what you’ll become this year. NeurOasis can help you get back on your feet through TMS therapy. Call (520) 338-2557, or request an appointment online to see how we can help you in the new year.