Is There an Easy Fix for Depression?
Depression is a medical illness, but the word is used to describe everything from “down” days to deep despair. While there may be easy fixes for the everyday blues, clinical depression, or major depression, is more complicated. It’s different from the grief that comes with the loss of a loved one or not getting accepted into a specific college, and it affects daily activities, performance, and mood for an extended period of time.
Why Is Depression So Hard to Diagnose?
A diagnosis of clinical depression raises questions: What are the characteristics of the condition? What is causing the symptoms? Is there an easy fix for depression? Is there a depression cure? What are the depression myths that we need to erase?
Depression symptoms vary from person to person in appearance and severity. Doctors further explain specific conditions with these characteristics:
- Anxiety-related restlessness and fear of disaster or loss of control
- A mixture of depression and manic behavior
- Atypical features, including a boost from positive events, need for increased food and sleep, heavy feeling in the limbs, and sensitivity to rejection or criticism
- Melancholy with lack of pleasure, bad moods, appetite changes and negative emotions
- Catatonia or depression that causes rigidity and lack of expression or uncontrollable motor activity
- Psychosis or depressive disorder with negative hallucinations or delusions
- Seasonal depression related to lack of exposure to sunlight
- Peripartum or postpartum depression that occurs during or after pregnancy
Do other Disorders Cause Symptoms of Depression?
Because other disorders, including those listed below, can cause symptoms of depression, an accurate diagnosis is essential for treatment:
- Depression caused by medications, other illnesses, and substance misuse
- Bipolar disorders with high and low mood swings
- Cyclothymia, or highs and lows that are milder than those in bipolar disorder
- Disruptive mood disorder, a childhood condition with temper outbursts that change into depression during or after the teen years
- Persistent depressive disorder, or dysthymia, a chronic, less-severe type of depression
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or symptoms that accompany hormonal changes associated with periods
Is There an Easy Fix for Depression?
While a depression cure would be nice, treatment is often a process of trial and error. The best solution may include a combination of counseling, medication, and alternative therapies. Is there an easy fix for depression? Unfortunately, that’s one of the depression myths doctors are trying to correct. The good news is that it can be treated successfully.
Does Social Media Cause Depression in Young People?
In 2019, the department of psychiatry at Medscape, a medical news website, reported that depression is increasing among teens and young people. In a recent study that spanned the years from 2005 to 2017, researchers looked at information from over 200,000 teens aged 12 to 17 and almost 400,000 young adults over the age of 18. During those years, depression symptoms went up 52% among adolescents and 63% among young adults.
According to the research, 20% of teenage girls showed signs of major depression in 2017, and 3 in 4 young adults reported feeling hopeless about their lives. The rate of suicide also increased. The lead researcher says that social media is a big factor. As young people spend more time plugged in to their devices, they spend less in-person time with friends and family.
Young people also worry about the future of their lives and that of the country, and they feel stressed by an emphasis on perfection from society and media. They’re at the starting line for their adult lives, and they fear things will never get better. For American teens, the suicide rate is the highest it’s been in 40 years. Mental health services have never been more needed, but they’re hard for college students, especially those with financial limits, to find. Some schools have responded with low-cost mental health clinics, but they don’t meet the demand.
Video games have answered the call with creative products that look at anxiety and depression. Mental health professionals who work in the field say games can help young people overcome moodiness and anxiety more effectively than passive television shows or movies. Some game makers have mental health resources and training on their websites. Therapists say depressed people are more likely to accept concrete sources of help than nonspecific ones.
What Are the Signs of Depression in Youth?
Symptoms of depression in teens differ from that in adults. These are the most common:
- Physical complaints and emotion-related illnesses
- Irritability and anger
- Withdrawal from family, friends, and old activities
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Problems with concentration
- Unexplained fatigue and lack of motivation
- Negative self-talk
- Declining grades or performance
- Thoughts or talk about suicide
What Is TMS, and How Does It Help?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic waves to activate areas of the brain that affect mood. An electromagnetic coil on the forehead generates pulses that pass through the skull to stimulate the brain.
TMS doesn’t replace medications and talk therapy, but it can be a powerful addition to existing treatment, especially in hard-to-treat depression. Treatment, which usually produces results by the fourth week, may reduce symptoms of depression, improve sleep, and make it easier to concentrate. Side effects are mild but may include a slight headache or minor irritation to the scalp from electrode placement.
Pulse TMS Can Help
Located in the Los Angeles area, Pulse TMS provides transcranial magnetic stimulation to patients of all ages. We treat patients with chronic depression, postpartum depression, medication-resistant depression, and more. Our resources page has information about our services, the conditions we treat, and insurance coverage.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about our FDA-approved depression treatment. Our expert staff of medical technology and psychology specialists are ready to help.