Major depression is a serious mental illness characterized by a continuous sense of despair, depressed mood, and persistent hopelessness. The patient takes no interest in life and finds very little to no pleasure in living. Some other symptoms of the disease include constant feelings of guilt and failure, a disturbed sleep schedule, and suicidal thoughts.
Major depression is also termed as clinical depression. It can be both transient and persistent. Some people may experience it once in a lifetime and some have it several times. Although it isn’t a hereditary disease, it can sometimes run from generation to generation. People with no family history of the illness are equally vulnerable as well.
Some potential causes of the disease include unexpected and unhappy life changes. Some examples are the loss of a loved one, divorce, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, inadequacy to accomplish life goals, failure in career or studies, social isolation, and feelings of being deprived.
People with major depression feel sad and low most of the time, especially in the morning. They lose interest in everything, be it everyday activities, adventure trips, relationships, studies, etc. They mostly feel tired, fatigued, and hopeless. Other visible symptoms of the disease include;
- Frequent thoughts of death
- Notable weight loss/gain
- Impaired concentration
Prevalence & Diagnosis
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 7% of the U.S. population, who are 18+, have major depression. Almost 20-25% of adults experience the disease in episodes during their life. Women, as compared to men, are biologically more vulnerable to major depression. Some prominent factors promoting the situation include menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, miscarriages, work, and domestic life stresses, etc.
A medical evaluation is a must for the diagnosis of the disease. You can consult your family doctor or a certified psychiatrist and get yourself screened for depression. There are no clinical tests for diagnosis, rather the doctor may ask you some questions to check for the symptoms. A blood test may be carried out to check for some medical problems associated with major depression e.g. hypothyroidism, alcohol or drug abuse, and stroke.
Major or clinical depression is a serious yet curable disease. Remedial treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. Antidepressants, psychotherapies, and talk therapies are first-hand recommended solutions to address the emotional state of the patient. However, in critical cases, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy works the best.
TMS therapy is a non-invasive treatment employing the use of magnetic fields. It works best to stimulate the nerves in the brain. TMS directs recurring magnetic pulses at specific regions of the brain controlling mood and thinking. These magnetic pulses pass through the skull to the brain and improve communication between different brain parts. For effective treatment, these magnetic pulses are delivered repetitively at a regular interval which is called repetitive TMS or rTMS.
Major depression can hit anyone at any time. Kids, teens, and adults are all at equal risk. People who have already experienced an episode of clinical depression are at a high risk of having another one. However, some simple preventive measures can save you from bigger disasters. Know what the symptoms are and talk to your doctor immediately after you feel like you have them.
If you’re curious about TMS Therapy and would like to learn more, click here or visit our website and take a look around. Find out if you qualify for TMS Therapy by taking our Online TMS Therapy Self-Assessment. Please feel free to reach out and give us a call at (323) 655-3747 for any questions you have about TMS Therapy.