Signs of Depression & Recognized Treatment Approaches
May 22, 2023 - neurocare group
It is common to experience mood swings and short-term negative emotions as a response to life challenges, but it is important to differentiate these from depression. A depressive episode is characterized by persistent symptoms, lasting a minimum of two weeks, a daily deflected mood and a diminished enjoyment or interest in everyday activities. Personalized and more sustainable solutions for depressive disorder are available today. It is essential to recognize and not to underestimate warning bells of depression in order to intervene timely and undertake the most suitable treatment path.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
In many cases, depression can occur due to a complex combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. Adverse and traumatic life events, like bereavement or unemployment, may contribute to develop depressive symptoms. How can this disease be recognized and what are the signs to which to pay most attention?
Depression is different from sadness or other negative emotions that each of us at least once in our lifetime has experienced. People who suffer from depression may feel devoid of joy or hopeless about the future. Tiredness, loss of energy and difficulty in concentrating are found very commonly. Along with depression, certain comorbidities, such as anxiety disorders or insomnia, may also arise.
It is essential to consult a mental healthcare specialist if you experience these symptoms, which are quite often associated with depression:
- Sadness and hopelessness
- Tiredness and loss of energy, initiative or strength
- Feeling numb or devoid of joy, often combined with a fear of happiness
- General feelings of fear and intimidation
- Thoughts of worthlessness and a lack of self-respect
- Thoughts of guilt and self-blame
- Loss of interest in your surroundings
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of willingness to participate in activities
- Physical agitation, leading as far as inhibited behaviour
- Reduced productivity
- Emotional episodes
- Excessive crying
- Suicidal thoughts
Receive the Correct Diagnosis of Depression
Receiving the correct diagnosis of depression is important in order to move toward the most appropriate treatment. In particular, clinicians distinguish Major Depression from Bipolar Depression.
Major Depression is characterized by a loss of energy, life pleasure and a heavily deflected mood. Depressive symptoms are daily and persistent and can lead sufferers to experience feelings of hopelessness and to lose hope for their future
Bipolar Depression is distinghuished by alternating periods when the person has depressive symptoms to other periods when the person displays hypomanic episodes, characterized by strong euphoria, feelings of grandiosity, reckless behavior.
Recognized Approaches for Depression Treatment
Fortunately, there are different treatment options to help depression and support those affected.
Antidepressant medications have become a mainstay treatment for depression. Antidepressants work by relieving the symptoms of depression to help the patient feel a returned sense of emotional stability. They may also be used to prevent a clinical relapse. Like many oral medications, antidepressants can have side effects, which are often more noticeable at the beginning of the treatment.
Psychotherapy can help in adjusting to difficult circumstances, and build awareness of thinking and behaviour. Together with a psychotherapist, those suffering from depression can learn to identify negative behaviours and beliefs and workshop alternative perspectives and coping strategies. By "talking through it" with a professional, patients can regain a sense of confidence and an improved perspective or resilience to tackle everyday challenges.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a medicaion-free therapy for depression. By acting directly on the circuits of dysfunctional neurons, it significantly relieves the symptoms of depression. The benefits of transcranial magnetic stimulation are well-researched and scientifically proven as a treatment of depression. TMS can be fast-acting and with minimal and not relevant side effects.
TMS Therapy May Help in Drug-Resistant Depression
Several studies confirmed that depression can be effectively treated with a combination of psychotherapy and TMS. In particular, TMS integrated to psychotherapy could be a solution for people who have not found benefit from antidepressant medications. In fact, they were demonstrated clinically significant improvements in 2/3 of participants who had been treated with TMS and psychotherapy for major depression.
Find your personalized solution for Depression
Do you find yourself in this article?
Are you struggling with Depression?
Are you not responding to medications?
Or did reading this post make you think about someone who might need help and support?
If you think you may have depression, it's important to seek professional treatment and care. With the right support, you can manage and overcome it.
Get more detailed information about TMS, find clinics and find out about the therapeutic programs neurocare offers.
1. World Health Organization (WHO), "Depressive Disorder (Depression)", 2023
2. Tatti et al., "Boosting psychological change: Combining non-invasive brain stimulation with psychotherapy", 2022
3. Donse et al., "Simultaneous rTMS and psychotherapy in major depressive disorder", 2018
4. Isserles et al., "Cognitive-emotional reactivation during deep transcranial magnetic stimulation over the prefrontal cortex of depressive patients affects antidepressant outcome", 2011