Depression is the most common mental illness, affecting almost 15 million Americans, according to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. This mood disorder is also the second leading cause of disability, keeping people from participating in daily life due to symptoms such as debilitating feelings of hopelessness and sleep loss, according to Healthline. However, there are numerous options available for treating depression that have been shown to be safe and effective. If you are wondering how to deal with depression; treatments include diet, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and prescription medications.
It is not surprising that there is a link between depression and diet, since the gut is responsible for providing many of the neurochemicals responsible for mood regulation. Psychology Today reports that these neurochemicals, such as serotonin, are primarily produced in the small and large intestines. When optimized, diet can be a powerful tool in relieving symptoms of depression, improving both mood and sleep.
In order to fight depression, it is important to cut out bad foods while also including more healthy options. Staples such as alcohol, coffee and refined sugars may all contribute to the symptoms of depression. Alcohol is a depressant, and therefore should be avoided whenever possible by depressed people. Coffee, like alcohol, is associated with lower levels of serotonin and increased anxiety.
It is also important to avoid processed foods that offer little nutritional value in order to receive adequate levels of vitamins and minerals. Several deficiencies have been implicated in the formation of depression. A lack of Tryptophan, Vitamin D and the B vitamins have all been implicated in the presence of mood disorders. Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter often implicated in depression. Found in turkey and chickpeas, increasing consumption of Tryptophan can be added to the diet to combat symptoms of depression.
Additionally, most of the country is currently deficient in Vitamin D, despite the fact that it can be found in many foods, such as fortified milk and cereal. Vitamin D has been said to play an important role in mood disorders, including depression.
The B Vitamins are involved with energy metabolism, helping to convert food into fuel for the body. Individuals looking to improve their depression may find B vitamin supplements to be an effective treatment. Daily Burn suggests enriching the diet with B vitamins by adding foods like almonds, containing B1, and asparagus, containing B9 or Folate.
TMS for Depression
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, is a relatively new method of fighting depression, receiving FDA approval in 2008 to treat drug-resistant Major Depression. TMS is a non-invasive brain stimulation therapy that is primarily used when symptoms have not responded to traditional treatments, such as psychotherapy and antidepressants.
This treatment uses magnetic coils to send signals into areas of the brain associated with depression. These signals activate nerve endings in these regions, figuratively ‘resetting’ the brain to improve symptoms of this condition.
Medications used to treat depression are all referred to as antidepressants. However, there are many different categories of antidepressants, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs). These prescription drugs work on different neurotransmitters associated with depression, such as serotonin and Norepinephrine. SSRIs are often the first treatment tried when treating depression, since serotonin is believed to play a major part in this disorder However, according to the Mayo Clinic, psychiatrists often have to prescribe more than one antidepressant before finding the right choice for the patient.
Depression often creates feelings of hopelessness, therefore it is important to know how to deal with this condition effectively. Relatively new options, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, give us a glimpse of the medical future where the brain can be targeted directly. Older options, such as improving diet and prescription medication, provide time-tested options for treating depression.
Westside Neurotherapeutics provides depression treatment through deep TMS (dTMS), a clinically proven, FDA-approved, safe and effective treatment. Deep TMS offers significant improvement for patients suffering from depression, including those who have undergone several cycles of antidepressants without improvement. During each session, a trained TMS technician conducts TMS therapy through a padded helmet placed on the patient’s head. TMS sessions are non-invasive, and highly effective, and each patient is able to return home and resume his or her daily routines as normal. Each session lasts about 20 minutes. Usually, 20 sessions are given over 30 days to achieve a therapeutic response. Patients may continue medications and/or psychotherapy. For more information about dTMS services in Los Angeles, contact Westside Neurotherapeutics by phone at 310.946.0008 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.