Depression Treatment in Cambridge, MA
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. After diagnosis, many patients are left wondering how to take a step forward. Remembering depression can be treated in the most severe cases is important. Two of the most effective treatments for depression are ketamine and TMS, which we offer at Cambridge Biotherapies™.
Ketamine and TMS: Treatments for Depression that Make a Difference
One of the most important factors in treating depression is the initiation of treatment: the earlier it begins, the more effective it is likely to be. Treatments for depression usually include medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two—however, some forms of depression can prove resistant to these typical methods. That’s where Cambridge Biotherapies™ comes in.
For depression that has proven resistant to traditional treatments, we offer both TMS and Ketamine therapy. These treatments are more effective than conventional medications, especially for depression that has not responded to previous medication trials. Both treatments address the brain areas most commonly associated with depression. Ketamine works chemically, while TMS works electromagnetically to rewire the brain, diverting regions and actions closely linked with depressive disorders.
No two people are affected the same way by depression, and there is no “one–size–fits–all” treatment. Finding the best treatment for you may take trial and error. At Cambridge Biotherapies™, we take time to understand the nature of each person’s symptoms and collaboratively decide which treatment will be most likely to help.
Common Forms of Depression
- Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia) is a depressed mood lasting at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression and periods of less severe symptoms. Still, symptoms must last two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.
- Perinatal depression is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion accompanying perinatal depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or their babies.
- Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive or negative quality, such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
- Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during winter when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns yearly in seasonal affective disorder.
- Bipolar disorder is different from depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
Signs & Symptoms of Depression
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression.
- Persistent sadness, anxiety, or “emptiness”
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening without enough sleep, or oversleeping
- Appetite or weight changes
- Intrusive thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause that do not ease even with treatment
The presence and severity of symptoms are unique for everyone with depression. Some people experience only a few symptoms, while others may experience many. In addition to low mood, several persistent symptoms are required for a diagnosis of major depression, but people with only a few – but distressing – symptoms may benefit from treatment of their “sub-syndromal” depression. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual and their particular illness. Symptoms may also vary depending on the stage of the depression.
Risk Factors for Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
Depression can happen at any age but often begins in adulthood. Depression is now recognized as occurring in children and adolescents, although it sometimes presents more prominent irritability than low mood. Many chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high anxiety levels in children.
Depression, especially in middle-aged or older adults, can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s. These conditions are often worse when depression is present. Sometimes medications for these physical illnesses may cause side effects contributing to depression. A doctor experienced in treating these complicated illnesses can help work out the best treatment strategy.
Risk factors include:
- Personal or family history of depression
- Major life changes, trauma, or stress
- Certain physical illnesses and medications
Beyond Depression Therapy: Things You Can Do At Home
Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:
- Try to be active and exercise.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Try to spend time with others and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
- Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
- Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs, until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Continue to educate yourself about depression.