Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders, affecting nearly 20 million people in the U.S. But don’t let its prevalence fool you – clinical depression is a serious medical condition that has a dramatic impact on quality of life, relationships, performance at work and school, and one’s feelings of self-worth and identity. (Source)
Depression makes everyday tasks feel overwhelming. Even routine tasks like showering, brushing your teeth, preparing meals, or getting dressed may feel like an overwhelming chore. People dealing with depression lack the energy or motivation to accomplish any goal – even goals that they desperately want to achieve.
Even patients who seek help for depression may find themselves still dealing with depression and its negative impacts on quality of life. Surprisingly, two-thirds of patients who try antidepressants are not helped by the antidepressant prescribed. And up to a third of patients don’t respond to antidepressants at all – regardless of how many times they try. (Source)
What’s worse: even patients who do find relief from depression through antidepressants can experience the frustration of their antidepressant waning in effectiveness until it no longer works for them. Unfortunately, depression returns for up to a third of patients on antidepressant medication as their medication loses its effectiveness. (Source)
Because it is frustrating, time-consuming, and requires a significant commitment to continue trying to find the right depression treatment, too many patients stop at “good enough” or “manageable” without ever achieving complete relief from depression. Patients end up living with recurring bouts of acceptable levels of symptoms interspersed with periods of unacceptable levels of symptoms – a mental and emotional roller coaster that takes its toll.
Why Patients Give Up on Trying to Treat Depression
Common reasons patients discontinue antidepressant medication and stop looking for help for depression:
- Patient has given up hope. After so many attempts, patients have given up hope in finding an appropriate treatment for their depression. It is especially disheartening when a treatment initially shows results only to stop working over time. To prevent further disappointment, patients simply give up hope on ever finding the right treatment.
- Feeling that they’ve “tried everything out there”. Many patients become skeptical that there is anything that they haven’t tried. Especially for patients diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression, they may sincerely believe that they’ve tried everything available without success. For these patients, it isn’t so much that they have given up hope but rather they are unaware of any other treatment options that may work for them.
- Thinking that “maybe this is just the way I am.” Some patients become discouraged at their lack of improvement despite trying therapy, antidepressants, or other treatments. They internalize that lack of success as something that reflects on them, rather than on the treatment. Since these same treatments work for other people, they conclude that the treatments don’t work for them because “this is just the way I am” and no treatment will provide relief.
- Concern about cost. Let’s face it – finding long-lasting relief from depression can be expensive. Repeated doctor visits, therapy sessions, and multiple prescriptions comes at a cost. In an attempt to mitigate the cost, many patients ration care (taking less medication than prescribed or failing to fill prescriptions) or discontinue treatment altogether.
New Help for Depression: TMS
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is one of the most exciting breakthroughs in mental health care in the last 20 years. TMS solves many of the issues patients have with antidepressants while achieving higher remission rates. Most importantly, TMS can break the cycle of patients living with barely tolerable – but not healthy – levels of depression by providing full remission from depression (meaning the patient no longer meets the clinical definition of depression).
TMS uses a different healing mechanism than antidepressants, which is why TMS can cure treatment-resistant depression and depression cases which have not been successfully treated with antidepressants. Rather than addressing brain chemistry, TMS instead utilizes a stimulus/response mechanism to prod the brain to generate new neural pathways. In this way, the brain is able to produce new, healthy pathways for dopamine, serotonin, and other mood regulators to be distributed throughout the brain again.
TMS is an outpatient medical procedure performed at a psychiatrist’s office. It is painless, requires no prep work, and does not require sedation. Patients are able to drive, return to work, and continue their normal course of business immediately following a TMS session, making it a convenient and extremely well-tolerated option for depression treatment.
A new TMS option: Guided TMS
In recent years, researchers have worked to make TMS even more effective by combining TMS treatment with other treatments. TMS has been combined with ketamine treatment and antidepressant medication with positive results. Studies are also currently underway which combine TMS with psychotherapy. Additionally, researchers have called for TMS to be combined with cognitive training for an even greater patient benefit. (Source)
Guided TMS puts the power of healing directly in patients’ hands by providing them with the education, tools, and resources necessary to continue their progress even after TMS treatment has ended. TMS helps patients achieve a happier, more stable mental state by overcoming depression. Guided TMS helps patients take that improved mental state and use their newfound energy and motivation to accomplish more in life through coaching and mentoring.
At Ampelis Health, patients in TMS treatment receive facilitated education with a proprietary mobile app that delivers the education and coaching resources through their mobile device. Patients have access to these resources whenever it is convenient for them to work through the assigned modules. This novel approach thoroughly supports the patient as they progress through TMS and prepares the patient for living a new, better life once TMS sessions are over.
After the patient has completed TMS treatment, they now have an improved mental state and are able to make new advancements in their life, relationships, self-identity, and goals through personalized coaching. Patients appreciate having resources available that continue after TMS has concluded so they continue to be supported and encouraged throughout their journey.
Where to Find Help for Depression
Guided TMS at Ampelis Health solves the issues of traditional depression treatment by providing patients with a long-term solution to depression that actually overcomes depression, provides patients with ongoing support and growth, and helps patients achieve meaningfulness in their lives.
Ampelis Health offers their unique guided TMS approach at two Utah locations, Highland (Utah County) and South Ogden (Weber County). To see if TMS at Ampelis Health is the right treatment for you, call 435-776-5909 for a free phone screening.