Alternative Treatments for Major Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that affects approximately 280 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Here in the United States, 9.5% of the adult population suffers from depressive mental illnesses like major depression. Women are almost two times more likely to develop depression than men, however, options for treatment are the same for both genders. Most common treatment options for major depression include a combination of medication and evidence-based therapies (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing). Some people do not want to go the traditional route when it comes to treatment for themselves, leading them to look more into alternative treatments for major depression.

What is Major Depression?

Everyone will go through periods in their lives where they are sad, feel hopeless, or feel like they just cannot get out of bed. This is normal from time to time, however, when these and other related symptoms start occurring on a regular basis, there could be more going on than what meets the eye. 

Major depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by a pervasive sadness, feelings of guilt and shame, and worthlessness. In order for someone to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, they must be experiencing specific symptoms daily for the same two-week period. As major depression continues on, other symptoms can develop and become more intense, potentially leading to a number of additional complications that can affect one’s physical and mental health. 

Symptoms of Major Depression

Many people think that someone who is sad, grumpy, or uninterested in things means that they have major depression. This is not the case, as there are specific criteria that are used to help diagnose this mood disorder. 

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) identifies the following as symptoms of major depression:

  • Depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest in things that used to bring pleasure
  • Changes in appetite, leading to changes in weight loss or gain
  • Negative sleeping patterns such as sleeping too much or not enough
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling worthless or excessive/inappropriate guilt
  • Problems concentrating
  • Thoughts of death and/or suicide

These symptoms, while they might not start out as such, can become severe as time passes. The longer that a person goes without obtaining appropriate treatment (including alternative treatments for major depression) the more likely they are to continually struggle with this mood disorder. A number of physical and mental consequences can begin to occur, making the entire situation more complex.

How Major Depression Impacts Physical and Mental Health

Major depression is a serious mental health disorder that can dramatically affect all parts of a person’s life. This is not a disorder where medication can simply iron out one’s mood, as it takes several different techniques to ensure that a person is getting the most effective treatment. Alternative treatments for major depression have become highly sought after, as they have proven to offer relief from symptoms and a chance at recovery for those struggling. However, there is no way around the fact that major depression can impact one’s physical and mental health in a number of negative ways. 

Physical Impacts

The mind and the body are more in sync than they are often given credit for. So while major depression is a mental health disorder, it can create a variety of distressing physical effects. 

Most notably, major depression is linked to cardiovascular complications, specifically an increased risk for developing heart disease. This disorder can also cause chronic physical pain, gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, inflammation of joints, and loss of libido. Someone who is struggling with major depression may also lose or gain a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, altering their physical appearance and overall sense of self-esteem.

Mental Impacts

Mentally, major depressive disorder can create an endless amount of distress simply by nature. This disorder is known to cause anxiety, guilt, feelings of worthlessness, excessive crying, irritability, problems concentrating, thoughts of suicide, and going over thoughts repeatedly. The emotional toll that major depression can take can make maintaining good mental health extremely difficult. Thankfully, there are alternative treatments for major depression that can help reduce the likelihood of experiencing these or the physical impacts of this disorder. 

Alternative Treatments for Major Depression 

Major depression is either caused by biological factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both. Traditionally, this condition is treated with prescription medication and therapy. However, not everyone feels comfortable with the course of care. There are alternative treatments for major depression that have also proven to work in reducing symptoms, including some holistic methods. 

The most common alternative treatments for major depression include services such as acupuncture, meditation, guided imagery, yoga, and herbal remedies. This holistic approach has helped countless individuals get a stronghold over their depression, allowing them the ability to live happier, healthier lives. 

While many people utilize holistic approaches to treating their depression, some turn to transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. TMS is an FDA-approved form of treatment that helps to stimulate areas of the brain that are not being naturally stimulated on their own, leading to depression symptoms. 

Individuals who participate in TMS therapy can expect a few things from their sessions. First, the provider will place a coil on the head (usually on the forehead) near the area that they are looking to stimulate. They will then place a cap over the patient’s head, securing the coil. After that, providers will transmit magnetic waves to the brain to help stimulate neurotransmitter activity. Over the course of several sessions, patients will begin to see a decrease in their depressive symptoms, as the neurotransmitters in their brains are working to build more effective, healthy pathways that reduce the presence of depression symptoms.

Not only is TMS one of the top alternative treatments for major depression, but it is also FDA-approved and safe. The side effects associated with TMS therapy are much more minimal in both number and severity than those effects linked to antidepressant medications, making it a more viable option for many. Plus, TMS therapy does not hurt or create any immediate effects that prevent a patient from being able to drive home after their appointment.

TMS Therapy for Depression in Philadelphia

If you are dealing with depression that is not being treated or is not being treated effectively, TMS therapy might be one of the best alternative treatments for major depression. Our team of professionals is skilled and experienced in providing TMS services. To learn more about what we offer, visit our website by clicking here.

You should not wait any longer to reach out for the help that you need to overcome your challenges with major depression. Call us right now. Our administrative professionals are available 24/7 and are ready to help you get started on a new tomorrow.

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