Blog: Join the Conversation

National Suicide Prevention Week, September 5 – 11, 2016

13108_AFSP_SPW_SocialGraphic_d1Whether you have personally lost a loved one to suicide or are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, you are not alone. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, and every 1 in 5 people who die by suicide are veterans. But there is always hope. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide, as well as the driving force behind National Suicide Prevention Week this September 5-11.

The best way to help yourself or a loved one is to learn about the suicide warning signs, risk factors and where to reach out for help.  Although about 75% of those who die by suicide exhibit some warning signs, it is important to be aware that some people do not show any signs at all. Recognizing the risk factors and warning signs of suicide is something we can all do to help prevent the loss of more lives, so take some time to familiarize yourself.

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Patients & Providers
Invited to Open House: Charlottesville Center
Thursday, July 28

Learn How TMS Therapy is Successfully Helping People with Depression

Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers invites Physicians and Interested People to an Info Session presented by William Sauvé, M.D., psychiatrist and Medical Director with Greenbrook TMS.  Learn how TMS Therapy is helping people struggling with Depression.  Dr. Sauvé will fully discuss TMS Therapy and answer any questions.

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Tysons Corner Open House: Thursday, April 28

YOU’RE INVITED TO THE TYSONS CORNER TMS NEUROHEALTH CENTERS OPEN HOUSE: THURSDAY, APRIL 28

Learn How TMS Therapy is Helping People with Depression

We invite you to join Dr. Geoffrey Grammar with TMS NeuroHealth Centers in an informational session about how TMS Therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy) is helping people diagnosed with Depression.  Dr. Grammer will fully discuss TMS Therapy and answer any questions.

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Columbia Open House: Thursday, April 28

YOU’RE INVITED TO THE COLUMBIA TMS NEUROHEALTH CENTERS OPEN HOUSE: THURSDAY, APRIL 28

Learn How TMS Therapy is Helping People with Depression

We invite you to join Dr. Hanita Chhabra with TMS NeuroHealth Centers in an informational session about how TMS Therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy) is helping people diagnosed with Depression.  Dr. Chhabra will fully discuss TMS Therapy and answer any questions.

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Comedian Neal Brennan Talks Depression and How TMS Therapy Helped

BrennanComedian Neal Brennan, co-creator of Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, openly discussed his struggles with depression and his life-changing treatment with TMS Therapy in an interview for Slate Magazine’s podcast, The Gist with Mike Pesca.

Although Brennan refers to his depression as life dampening not life threatening, he has endured the illness as long as he can remember and has done several things to try and improve it.  Among the treatments include using “pretty much every medication you’ve heard of . . .”.

TMS Therapy is what finally made the difference for Brennan, and he explains how TMS Therapy was effective rather quickly and was also covered by his insurance. He said that those close to him noticed the positive changes in his demeanor, in addition to marked improvement in his creativity and productivity.  “I think I got more entertaining,” Brennan states with a laugh, adding that he’d “kill on stage 40% harder because I wasn’t sad, there was no heaviness to me.”

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Depression in Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD3Often we may feel sluggish and low in energy during inclement weather; however, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is more than feeling the occasional winter or rainy day blues.  Depression related to seasonal change can be severe and affects up to 6% of the general population.  Symptoms of SAD usually manifest in the fall and continue throughout the winter months; although, some people experience symptoms beginning in the spring or summer months.  In either situation, symptoms may begin mildly and become increasingly more severe as the season progresses.

Because Seasonal Affective Disorder is a subtype of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), people often suffer with the same symptoms as in depression.

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Frequently Asked Questions About TMS Therapy

When other treatments may not be enough, physicians are prescribing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS Therapy) to treat depression. TMS Therapy is a safe and effective, FDA-cleared medical treatment for individuals diagnosed with depression that can be used in conjunction with medication or as a stand-alone treatment. It offers a non-invasive, non-systemic, and non-sedating in treating depression. TMS Therapy applies magnetic stimulation to specific areas of the brain involved in mood regulation- areas known to be underactive in people suffering with depression.

Common Patient Questions about their TMS Therapy

We have compiled several questions that patients have commonly asked TMS NeuroHealth Centers about their TMS Therapy treatment.  Whether you are a prospective patient or currently receiving TMS Therapy, we hope that you find our responses helpful.  It is important for you to personally consult with your treating physician regarding all questions that you have about your TMS Therapy treatment.

What is a TMS Therapy treatment session like?

While treatment varies by individual, a typical TMS Therapy treatment session is approximately 30-40 minutes. During treatment, patients relax in a treatment chair and remain awake and alert. The TMS Therapy device will deliver magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain known to regulate mood. These pulses will feel like tapping on the scalp. The technician can make adjustments if the taping is uncomfortable. After a treatment session, patients can immediately return to their normal routine, including driving.  Click here to learn more about a Typical Treatment Session.

When will I feel better?

When will I feel better?

The acute phase of TMS Therapy ranges from 20-30 treatments over a 4-6 week period, and since every patient is different, response time varies as well. Some patients begin noticing a reduction in depressive symptoms after week two, while others begin to feel the benefits of therapy at week 4 or 5.

How can I tell if it’s working?

Initially, most patients notice positive changes in their behavior or mood, such as getting a better night’s sleep and feeling more rested in the morning, feeling “good” about themselves, being more social, feeling ready to go back to work, or making more independent decisions. All of these incremental changes indicate improvement, and should likely progress as treatment continues—and beyond.

Do I need to continue TMS Therapy after the acute phase?

While some patients may need maintenance therapy in managing their depression, a majority of patients will not. Variables such as a patient’s available support system, sleep patterns, diet, and exercise can all influence a patient’s recovery from a depressive episode. This is why TMS NeuroHealth Centers works with each patient to help them understand their situation, recognize potential triggers, identify a support system, and find the right combination of diet and exercise to help maintain their improved mood.

I’m feeling more depressed/anxious/having trouble sleeping after my TMS Therapy sessions. Is this normal?

Dips in mood and irregular sleep patterns are common among patients with depression, and while they are also common among new patients undergoing TMS Therapy, it’s important for you to speak with your TMS Therapy provider about any emotional or physical changes you experience throughout treatment.

My last TMS Therapy session is almost here—and I’m nervous about ending treatment. What should I do?

It is not uncommon for patients to report feeling nervous that their treatment is nearing completion, especially when having made improvement in their mood and quality of life. Seek guidance and support from your TMS Therapy provider, treating psychiatrist, therapist and loved ones to develop strategies that will help you navigate your feelings during this transitory period from the near ending of treatment to its conclusion and beyond. With guidance, it is also important to develop strategies that support a healthy quality of life post-treatment, such as regular exercise, healthy nutrition plan, psychotherapy (if indicated), and enriching social activities. Positive and activating lifestyle strategies will be of great benefit to you in maintaining your improvement or remission from depression.

If your current treatment is not enough, contact us at 1-855-333-4867 or visit TMS NeuroHealth Centers at www.tmsneuro.comWe provide a Free Consultation!

If you have questions about TMS Therapy or would like to share your experience, we welcome your input below.  Thank you for joining our conversation.

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Mental Health Apps Help Track Mood and Symptoms

App Character EmotionsIndividuals enduring the symptoms of mental illness such as Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and/or Bipolar Disorder, usually treat with psychotherapy, medications or a combination of the two. Often therapists recommend that patients’ journal their emotions, behaviors and symptoms on a consistent basis as a tool to gain greater insight of their condition.  Tracking patterns and potential triggers can be extremely helpful to patient and therapist in managing their disorder, including the critical advantage of early recognition of changes that might lead to an exacerbation of their condition. With greater insight and ability to act early, frequency of therapy sessions and/or medications can swiftly be modified to prevent a worsening of a patient’s condition. In addition, greater insight and journal feedback may encourage patients to seek immediate professional support during a crisis.

Daily journaling can sometimes feel cumbersome and time consuming, but with digital technology, this doesn’t have to be the case.  Software Developers are creating Apps to help those with mental disorders track and manage their symptoms. However, users should bear in mind that a psychiatric/medical background is not required to create a mental health app, and that this software should only be utilized as an additional part of a comprehensive treatment plan rather than a replacement for treatments such as prescription drugs, therapy, or TMS Therapy.

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Postpartum Depression in Men

PPD in MenTraditionally seen as a condition that only affects women, researchers estimate that 4 to 25 percent of men experience postpartum depression (or PPD) in the first two months following childbirth1, and that number increases to 68% over the first five years in fathers around age 252. Younger fathers were more at risk of developing paternal PPD if they lived in the same home as their children.

The scope of paternal PPD is still being studied as initial research used diagnostic criteria for maternal PPD to examine paternal PPD and more accurate tools are still being developed to test and measure symptoms of PPD in men. Thankfully, the range of studies and research has increased in the past few years as scientists work to understand PPD better in both men and women.

Depression symptoms in fathers are often similar to those experienced by women affected by PPD (e.g., general depressive symptoms such as sadness, fatigue, appetite changes, feelings of worthlessness, and/or negative feelings or lack of concern for themselves or the baby) but PPD can often present quite differently in men. Sudden outbursts of anger or irritability, impulsiveness (e.g., drinking too much, overeating, pursuing an affair), and immersing themselves in work can all be signs of PPD. Many men characterize these feelings as experiencing a sudden loss of control of their lives, which can lead to erratic behavior not commonly associated with depression.

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The Link Between Chronic Pain and Depression

Human-With-Pain-DotsWe all experience pain of some kind from time to time – we stub our toe, pull a muscle, suffer with a headache, etc. But the American Chronic Pain Association estimates that one in three Americans (over 50 million people) suffers from some type of chronic pain1. Chronic pain is described as ongoing or recurrent pain which lasts beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury and adversely affects an individual’s well-being. Simply put, chronic pain is pain that continues when it should not. It may present as pain in the lower back, abdominal region, joints, neck, and even headaches, depending on the individual. Pain may be felt as aching, burning, shooting, or electrical and can affect sleep, cause fatigue and weaken the immune system.  Beyond the physical discomfort and stress upon the body, chronic pain also affects thought, mood and behavior, and can lead to isolation, immobility and drug dependence. If those symptoms sound familiar, it may be because there are many similarities and connections between chronic pain and depression.

Pain is a depressing experience, and depression can cause and/or intensify pain. In fact, over 66% of individuals diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) also suffer from chronic pain2, and depressed patients are three times more likely to develop chronic pain3.  Depression can cause a variety of physical symptoms even including affecting the body’s natural sleep cycle. This minimizes the amount of restorative sleep realized each night and exacerbates both chronic pain and depression symptoms. With 80% of depressed individuals complaining of insomnia4 or general body fatigue, it’s no surprise that this accumulation of stress on the body contributes to chronic pain.

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