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

 

Treating PTSD with TMS Therapy

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is usually associated with veterans and those in active duty. But this anxiety disorder isn’t just for those who have or had been in the military service. People who experience trauma – whether it’s physical, emotional, or sexual can have PTSD.

What exactly is PTSD?

PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder. It’s often a result of traumatic experience like war, violence, fire, sexual assault, or an accident. People with PTSD re-live the trauma through dreams or recollections and hence, tend to avoid situations that remind them of those.

While it’s normal for people who experience trauma to have flashbacks or nightmares, those with PTSD have these for prolonged periods of time. Re-experiencing the trauma often have negative consequences on these people’s lives.

To diagnose someone with PTSD, he/she has to experience the following for more than a month:

  • at least one re-experiencing symptom (e.g. dreams, flashbacks, frightening thoughts)
  • at least one avoidance symptoms (e.g. avoiding places, things, or events that remind them of the traumatic experience)
  • at least two arousal and reactivity symptoms (e.g. outburst of anger, difficulty falling asleep, easily startled)
  • at least two cognition and mood symptoms (e.g. negative thoughts, distorted feelings, difficulty recalling the experience)

 

How do you manage PTSD?

Like most mental health problems, there is no cure for PTSD. However, there are certain therapies that can help you manage its symptoms.

Many PTSD patients respond well to cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, image rehearsal therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation can also benefit patients with PTSD. It is a non-invasive procedure approved by the U.S. FDA. TMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, with the goal to improve anxiety and depression symptoms.

Studies have shown that TMS has lasting positive effects after the usual treatment phase of a few weeks. While it has side effects like headaches, tingling, and lightheadedness after the procedure, they’re minor compared to the side effects of anxiety medications such as insomnia, loss of sexual desire, weight loss/gain, and restlessness.

 

It’s very much possible to live a quality life with PTSD. When coupled with the right form of therapy, TMS can be a really good adjunct therapy for it.

 

 

 

References:

https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/49058/veterans-ptsd-treated-transcranial-magnetic-stimulation/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/experimentations/201801/brain-networks-in-tms-combined-ptsd-and-major-depression

https://tmsmind.com/disorders-treated/mood-disorders/ptsd/

 

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

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.

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.

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.