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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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National Mental Health Awareness Month 2015

Although a staggering one in five Americans have been diagnosed with a mental disorder(s)1, mental illness continues to be widely misunderstood, misrepresented, and subject to social stigma. Not surprisingly, the stigma associated with mental illness remains one of the biggest barriers preventing individuals from getting necessary treatment.

National Mental Health Awareness Month, observed throughout the month of May, is a campaign that strives to eliminate stigma, and encourage family members, friends and colleagues to support those diagnosed with mental illness in seeking out and receiving necessary medical treatment. Many organizations as well as leading media platforms participate in the campaign. This May, Discovery Life Channel in partnership with Bring Change 2 Mind, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the stigma associated with mental illness, will air celebrity ambassadors calling for the end of mental illness discrimination as well as programming featuring various mental disorders.2

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Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers Opens More Locations

TMS therapy in Richmond, VATMS NeuroHealth Centers is pleased to announce the opening of Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers, Rockville, MD and Reston, VA as it continues to expand its coverage area for individuals seeking TMS Therapy for the treatment of depression. Since opening its flagship center in McLean, VA in 2011, Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers has administered more than 15,000 treatments to over 500 patients. Bill Leonard, CEO and founder of Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers explains, “Expanding our service reach throughout the DC METRO area only makes treatment even more accessible to those individuals suffering with depression when anti-depressant medication has been unsuccessful.”

Greenbrook TMS Neurohealth Centers is a network of centers offering TMS Therapy in Tysons Corner, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Reston, Virginia as well as in Kensington, Greenbelt and Rockville, Maryland. Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers’, with its team of leading medical experts in the fields of neurology and psychiatry, are deeply committed to providing patients with the latest in medical technology, individualized treatment and compassionate care.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy is a non-drug, non-invasive, FDA-cleared medical treatment for patients suffering with depression without any of the typical side effects experienced with antidepressant medications, such as weight gain, fatigue and sexual problems. This treatment uses highly focused magnetic pulses to gently stimulate areas of the brain known to control mood which have been scientifically identified as under-active in people who suffer with depression. Stimulation of the neurons, cells that transmit and process information, cause the release of chemical neurotransmitters in the brain, thus resulting in a reduction of depressive symptoms. Each treatment is a 30-40 session; typically administered 5 days a week for 4-6 weeks when depression is in its acute phase.

TMS therapy is a proven medical treatment for depression for patients suffering from side effects of antidepressant medications and/or who are treatment resistant. Dr. Geoffrey Grammer, Chief Scientific Advisor with Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers elaborates, “a former patient of ours could not have explained his results from TMS Therapy any better, ‘imagine living your whole life with one hand tied behind your back. After TMS Therapy, I now know what hope truly feels like. TMS gave me my life back’”.

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Depression in Athletes, Their Silent Battle Off the Field

From Youth to Retirement, Athletes are Discussing Their Struggles with Depression

depressed-athletesThe World of Sports, America’s most celebrated pastime and universal language extending beyond gender, race, religion, age, ethnicity, education and income. We’ve grown to admire athletes for their determination, perseverance, physical strength, speed, and endurance. We look to these super-heroic individuals as role models and sources of inspiration, and in return, these stoics are fiercely compelled to not let their fans, teammates or coaches down. Strong and fearless they may be; however, athletes can and do suffer with depression. Depression is a serious medical illness affecting more than 14 million Americans each year. It is a condition which lasts two or more weeks and interferes with a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks and enjoyed activities that previously brought pleasure.

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Message of Hope for Depressed Teens at 2015 Academy Awards

Oscar Winning Screenwriter Graham Moore Publically Shares His Attempted Teen Suicide and Ongoing Struggle with Depression

Oscar Winning Screenwriter Graham Moore

Oscar Winning Screenwriter Graham Moore

He is bold, brazen and courageous!  Screenwritter Graham Moore- age 34, shared his Oscar winning moment with millions of teens around the world as he bravely disclosed his attempted suicide when he was 16 years old.  Moore made abundantly clear that his Hollywood moment in the limelight was not for him alone, but for the numerous teens suffering with depression.

“When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird, and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here, and so I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.”

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Antepartum Depression: Depression During Pregnancy

Antepartum DepressionPregnancy is one of life’s greatest journeys, and like any new quest, there brings change, unique challenge and discovery. The expecting mother and her partner will likely confront many additional commitments and unique challenges. From numerous doctor visits to added relationship strain and career stress, expecting couples learn to balance and adapt to these new demands. One of the more significant challenges during pregnancy is the physical and emotional impact of surging hormones which affects brain chemistry, sometimes causing a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).1 There is growing awareness concerning Postpartum Depression- a period of about 6-weeks following the baby’s birth; however, there is practically no awareness and information being shared about the very real potential of suffering from depression during pregnancy- referred to as Antepartum Depression.

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October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month

october-national-depression-mental-health-screening-monthEveryone has bad days, bouts of sadness or feels down occasionally. Luckily, for some, these feelings of hopelessness often alleviate and pass relatively quickly. However, a growing number of Americans are not as fortunate. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 25 million Americans will have an episode of major depression this year alone.1

Indeed, depression is one of the most common mental health conditions experienced by Americans; which is precisely why October has been named National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. During the entire month, TMS Neuro Health will aim to promote Depression Awareness and help to break the stigma surrounding depression once and for all. In addition, this year’s annual National Depression Screening Day will be October 9th. We hope to reach individuals across the United States with mental health education and help to connect them with different support services.

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You CAN cure Depression. Here’s the Proof.

Depressrace-winnerion is a very real condition that affects 1 in 10 Americans. Though some dealing with depression at various stages are able to treat and cure their symptoms using an Anti-Depressant medication and/or psychiatry, others are not as successful and end up dealing with Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). TRD occurs as a result of major depressive disorder which has occurred due to an unsuccessful attempt at treating depression through regular dosages of anti-depressant medication. A variation and/or combination of anti-depressants can be prescribed in this case to help counteract different symptoms in an attempt to treat the depression. Unfortunately, even these drastic measures can still show little to no success, leaving affected individuals feeling hopeless, defeated and even more anxious about their condition. The reality of the TRD can be quite hash, as those affect feel like there are no other options. In fact, one study suggests that anywhere from 29 to 46% of people (depending on the type of medication) fail to respond to treatment of an anti-depressant and 15% of these patients find no relief in multiple treatment trials[1].

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Tips for Reducing Anxiety During Back-to-school Season

It’s that time again – lunches, homework, new teachers, and new people. For some, back to school time can be exciting and fun but for others, it can be dreaded, bringing on an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety. The break from routine while trying to manage tasks between home and school can be the culprit for stress-related feelings during back to school season however, there are several other factors that can also contribute to these feelings of stress and anxiety. Between different sleeping schedules, trying to plan meals, new friends, classes, teachers and schools, it can be a lot to manage. Some may assimilate to these adjustments very well, while others may struggle with such a new environment that they may be at a higher risk for depression caused by the stress and anxiety of such a new culture. This is a very normal feeling and if you are feeling anxious over your new journey, just know you are not alone and things will get better. In the meantime, acknowledge these tips to help decrease the feelings of stress and anxiety during the back to school season.

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TMS NeuroHealth in Psychiatric Annals’ Journal

Transcranial Magnetic StimulationThe Journal of Continuing Psychiatric Education – Psychiatric Annals released a feature on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Neuromodulation in June. The feature was edited by TMS NeuroHealth’s very own MD Geoffrey Grammer along with Tarique Perera, MD, which includes an overview of Neuromodulation following a series of comprehensive reviews of TMS Therapy and its various uses. Dr. Grammer also co-authored one of the articles titled “The Role of rTMS in the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders Other than Major Depression” where TMS is explored to determine its application towards other psychiatric disorders, providing compelling results of the effects TMS has on several other neurological diseases.

As an increasingly popular form of non-medicinal treatment, TMS is being developed as an extremely effective clinical technique with a clear demand from insurance companies to show support. TMS has the potential to transform the way office-based psychiatric treatment is administered and as the efficacy of this treatment improves, it could cultivate and expand the psychiatric practice as a whole.

To read the full review along with the featured articles, click here: Psychiatric Annals – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Neuromodulation 

 

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