Anxiety, Depression, Therapy Services

The Power of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Treating Depression

Depression can take a heavy toll, impacting every facet of your life. But remember, you are not alone in this journey. A proven approach that can help you navigate the stormy waters of depression is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that balances acceptance and change. Originating as a treatment for borderline personality disorder, it has evolved into a powerful tool for managing a range of mental health conditions, including depression.

So how does DBT work? It focuses on enhancing your life skills, such as teaching mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These DBT skills for depression equip you to better manage your emotions, cope with stress, and improve personal relationships.

Utilizing DBT for Depression

Depression, as defined by healthcare professionals, is a common and serious medical condition that impacts your feelings, thoughts, and actions. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, and an overwhelming sense of despair. This is not merely a phase of feeling “down” or “blue”. It is a complex condition that demands understanding and professional intervention.

Depression profoundly affects your daily life. It disrupts your routines, impairs your ability to work or study, and strains relationships.

Physical symptoms that might indicate that you might be living with depression include:

  • Persistent fatigue and lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite, either increased or decreased
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain unrelated to dieting
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Physical aches, pains, or cramps that are not explained by a medical condition
  • Digestive problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, that persist even with treatment
  • Restlessness or problems sitting still
  • Slowed movements or speech, noticeable by others

Depression also significantly impacts your mental and emotional health. You may experience consistent feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness. There may be a persistent sense of worthlessness, guilt over past failings, or an exaggerated sense of blame for current issues. Depression can cloud your thought process, making concentration, decision-making, and even remembering details challenging. It can also lead to frequent or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

If you are experiencing some of these signs of depression, find support by calling 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

If you feel as though you might harm yourself or others, call 911 immediately.

It is important to remember that these feelings are symptoms of the illness, not a reflection of reality or personal worth. Remember, it’s okay to seek help, and effective treatments are available, like dialectical behavior therapy, which is centered on your needs and experiences.

DBT is a comprehensive therapy that teaches individuals to develop new coping skills and strategies to manage their emotions. Being mindful and accepting of the present moment, without judgment or criticism, can help you cope with distressing thoughts and feelings related to depression.

Depressed Young man, Teenager, Boy, Suffering From Depression

Understanding Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The history of DBT began in the late 1980s with Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher and therapist. She wanted to use behavioral science to solve the paradox of acceptance and change in therapy in which patients must accept their behaviors while also changing them. This led her to create an integrative therapy that combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with concepts such as mindfulness.

The word “dialectical” may sound intimidating, but it simply means balancing and integrating two opposing concepts. In DBT, the focus is on finding a middle ground between acceptance and change. This approach acknowledges that accepting oneself as they are is essential for lasting change to occur.

How does this apply to depression? By accepting your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without judgment, you can identify patterns and develop skills to effectively address them. This approach allows individuals to become more self-aware and learn to regulate their emotions.

Balancing acceptance and change is a cornerstone in dialectical behavior therapy. This idea is predicated on the belief that individuals can only initiate meaningful change once they have fully accepted themselves and their thoughts and emotions as they are in the present moment.

It’s a delicate dance between acknowledging the current reality, which is acceptance, and striving for improvement, also known as change. For individuals living with depression, this means recognizing the reality of their condition without judgment while simultaneously working towards managing their symptoms more effectively. This balance encourages personal growth and fosters resilience, aiding individuals in their journey toward improved mental health.

The DBT Process

What does the dialectical behavior therapy process look like? Usually, it involves individual therapy sessions and group skills training. During individual sessions, you will work with a therapist to address your specific needs in a safe and confidential setting. Group skills training focuses on building coping skills through education, role-playing, and homework assignments.

Typically, the DBT process includes:

Orientation: Initially, you meet with a therapist who explains the principles and objectives of DBT. This meeting serves to establish a mutual understanding and set clear expectations.

Assessment: During the assessment phase, your therapist will evaluate your current mental health status and identify areas of concern that may require additional support.

Treatment Planning: Based on the assessment results, you and your therapist will work together to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.

Skills Training: You then participate in skills training sessions, often in a group setting. These sessions focus on four key areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Each area empowers you with tools to navigate life’s challenges more effectively.

Individual Therapy: Alongside skills training, you engage in one-on-one therapy sessions. In these sessions, you apply the skills learned to specific challenges and situations in your life.

Phone Coaching: DBT also offers phone coaching, where you can reach out to your therapist between sessions when you need guidance on applying DBT skills to real-life situations.

Therapist Consultation Team: Lastly, your therapist is part of a consultation team – a group of professionals working together to ensure the best possible treatment and support.

Essential Skills Taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

As you embark on your journey to improve your mental health, dialectical behavior therapy emerges as a powerful ally. Rooted in cognitive-behavioral therapy, DBT equips you with practical skills to navigate life’s challenges. Imagine facing a stressful situation at work or home. With dialectical behavior therapy, you possess the tools to manage your emotions effectively, reducing the risk of spiraling into negativity.

You can handle stress better, enhance your relationships, and improve your overall well-being. The key lies in understanding and mastering the core skills taught in DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Mindfulness

Being fully present and aware in the moment, without judgment, can help you cope with difficult emotions. In DBT, mindfulness is a critical skill that enables you to develop self-awareness and regulate your emotions and thoughts. It allows you to be more in tune with your body, recognize patterns of behavior, and practice being non-judgmental towards yourself.

Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance skills enable you to tolerate emotional pain without resorting to harmful behaviors or unhealthy coping mechanisms. This skill helps individuals to manage difficult emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression effectively. By developing distress tolerance skills, you can learn how to cope with stress in healthier ways.

Emotion Regulation

Emotional regulation is an essential skill that teaches individuals how to identify and manage their emotions better. It involves recognizing the intensity of your emotions and learning techniques to regulate them effectively. With this skill, individuals can increase their emotional resilience and reduce the risk of negative behaviors.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness focuses on improving communication skills and building healthy relationships. This skill teaches individuals how to assertively express their needs, set boundaries, and maintain healthy connections with others. It also involves learning how to handle conflicts and navigate challenging social situations.

Benefits of DBT Therapy for Depression

Dialectical behavior therapy goes beyond merely treating symptoms; it equips you with practical skills to handle emotional distress and symptoms of depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment option for individuals with depression, resulting in significant improvements in overall functioning and quality of life.

Research has also found that DBT is more effective than other forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication, in reducing symptoms of depression. This is because it addresses the root causes of depression, such as difficulty managing emotions and interpersonal challenges.

Additional benefits of dialectical behavior therapy for depression include:

Enhancing Social Skills: DBT teaches individuals how to build healthier relationships and effectively communicate their needs, leading to improved social interactions. This can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness often experienced by those living with depression.

Improving Self-Esteem: By practicing mindfulness and acceptance, individuals can learn to accept themselves and develop a more positive self-image. This can lead to increased self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.

Providing Coping Mechanisms: Individuals learn practical skills to manage stress, regulate emotions, and cope with difficult situations, reducing the risk of engaging in self-destructive behaviors. This can improve day-to-day life and decrease the risk of relapse.

Improving Self-Image: Dialectical behavior therapy emphasizes self-acceptance, leading to an improved sense of self-worth and confidence. This can help individuals to reduce negative self-talk and develop a more positive self-image.

Managing Co-Occurring Disorders: DBT’s focus on managing emotions and interpersonal relationships can also help individuals with co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety or substance abuse. It provides individuals with tools to navigate the challenges of multiple disorders and improve overall functioning.

Promoting Self-Care: Dialectical behavior therapy encourages individuals to prioritize their mental health and self-care, improving their emotional health. This can result in a more fulfilling and balanced life.

An adult man, looking happy, talking with group therapy members
Focus on the smiling man, talking with people of all ages, during the group therapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Gemini Health

If you believe dialectical behavior therapy might be the right treatment option for your depression, our Gemini Health team is ready to help. Our mental health professionals are experienced in providing comprehensive DBT services to individuals struggling with depression and other mental health conditions.

At Gemini Health, we are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all individuals seeking treatment. Everyone’s journey towards better mental health is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet your individual needs. Our personalized treatment plans incorporate a combination of dialectical behavior therapy, group skills training, and phone coaching to provide the support and guidance you need.

In addition to dialectical behavior therapy, Gemini Health offers many behavioral health treatment options, such as:

  • Outpatient Therapy: Our licensed therapists provide individual and group therapy sessions tailored to your specific needs.
  • Medication Management: For those who may benefit from medications, our psychiatric team works closely with you to find the right medication regimen.
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): TMS is a non-invasive treatment for depression that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells
  • Tele-Counseling: Our online therapy option allows you to receive DBT treatment from the comfort of your own home.
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation: This program focuses on teaching individuals skills to help them manage their mental health symptoms and improve overall functioning.
  • Grief Counseling: We offer specialized support for individuals experiencing grief and loss, helping them navigate their emotions in a healthy way.
  • Stress Management: Our team provides tools and strategies to help individuals manage stress more effectively, reducing the risk of depression symptoms.
  • Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment: We provide comprehensive treatment for individuals with co-occurring disorders, addressing both mental health and substance abuse concerns.
  • Family Therapy Services: We offer family therapy sessions to help improve communication and strengthen relationships, as well as provide support for family members.
  • Couples Counseling: Our therapists also work with couples to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their relationships.
  • Intensive Outpatient Therapy: For those who require more intensive treatment, we offer an outpatient program that provides comprehensive support and care.

The Power of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Depression

In the complex landscape of mental health, dialectical behavior therapy stands as a beacon of hope for those facing depression every day. Unlike others that simply treat symptoms, this therapy empowers you with the tools necessary to manage emotional distress and enhance your overall well-being.

You learn valuable skills such as effectively navigating emotional turbulence, staying present in the moment, and coping with stressful situations. Also, you improve your communication skills, leading to healthier relationships and decreased emotional distress.

As you explore different treatment options for depression, consider dialectical behavior therapy. Its combination of acceptance and change offers a comprehensive strategy to tackle the challenges that depression presents.

Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your strength. You are taking steps toward a healthier, happier life, and dialectical behavior therapy could be the powerful tool that helps you get there.

Empower Yourself with DBT for Depression at Gemini Health

Our therapists at Gemini Health work closely with you to tailor your treatment plan according to your unique needs and circumstances. This personalized approach ensures you receive the most effective support for your situation.

Now, if you are thinking, “Where can I find DBT counseling near me?” you have already found us. To get started with Gemini Health, simply complete the form on our Contact Us page or give us a call. By reaching out to us, you are taking a significant step towards a healthier, happier life. Remember, at Gemini Health, you are not alone in your journey. We are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need to minimize the effects of depression and embrace your life again.

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Depression, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Empower Yourself with Brain Stimulation Therapy for Depression 

Depression, a condition that affects millions worldwide, can adversely affect nearly every aspect of people’s lives. But what if there was a promising treatment approach that taps into the power of your brain to alleviate symptoms? This is not science fiction. It’s brain stimulation therapy for depression, a revolutionary treatment that has been gaining traction in the medical community.

This effective treatment for depression lessens the symptoms by utilizing biomagnetic therapy for depression, which is primarily referred to as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This non-invasive procedure is typically used after medication and other therapies for depression have proven ineffective.

A brain with blue and purple colors showing nerve stimulation areas

An Overview of Depression

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a common yet serious medical illness that negatively influences your feelings, thoughts, and actions. It manifests itself in a persistent feeling of sadness or lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed. This mood disorder extends beyond the occasional bouts of sadness or ‘feeling down’; it persists for weeks or months on end. Some people may only experience one depressive episode in their lifetime, but for most, depressive disorder recurs. Without treatment, episodes can last for several months.

Common Symptoms of Depression

Although each person’s experience with depression might be slightly different, some signs might point to the presence of this disorder.

Some symptoms include:

  • Persistent feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, or sadness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you must speak as soon as possible to a professional who specializes in helping people with mental health disorders, including depression.

If you are experiencing a crisis, call 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

If you are experiencing an extreme depressive episode and fear you might hurt yourself or others, call 911 immediately.

Traditional Treatment Methods for Depression

Over the decades, medical professionals have developed a robust understanding of depression and various treatment methods to help you regain control of your life.

Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for treating depression that have been used for years, including:

  • Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy is a fundamental pillar in treating depression. It involves regular sessions where you engage with a trained mental health professional. The goal? To uncover the underlying causes of your depression, develop effective coping strategies, transform negative thought patterns, and foster healthier interpersonal relationships. Two popular forms of psychotherapy are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).
  • Medication: Medication serves as another pivotal traditional treatment method. Antidepressants aim to balance your brain chemicals, specifically neurotransmitters, which play a critical role in mood regulation. Among the most commonly prescribed classes of antidepressants are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). It is crucial to remember that while these medications can be effective, they may take several weeks to have a full effect and could potentially bring about side effects. As such, you should always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication regimen.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Making changes in your daily life can significantly impact managing depression. This might include adopting a healthy diet, incorporating regular physical activity, ensuring you are getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs. These changes can improve your overall health and well-being, making it easier to cope with depression.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: These can include yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. These methods can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and develop a more positive outlook.
  • Support Groups: Interacting with others who are experiencing the same struggles can offer a sense of community and understanding. These groups can provide emotional support and shared coping strategies. It can be comforting to know you’re not alone in your battle with depression.

As you navigate your journey toward mental wellness, know that these traditional treatment methods have helped countless individuals reclaim their lives from the clutches of depression. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. By understanding these treatment methods, you arm yourself with knowledge, empowering you to make informed decisions about your mental health.

Innovative Depression Treatment Approaches

Given the prevalence and seriousness of depression, there is an urgent need for innovative treatment methods. Traditional treatment modalities such as medication and psychotherapy are often beneficial but may not work for everyone.

Furthermore, depression varies greatly from person to person, emphasizing the need for personalized treatment plans. Innovative approaches could include new pharmacological treatments, lifestyle interventions, and cutting-edge therapies like transcranial magnetic stimulation and ketamine therapy. These novel treatments have the potential to provide relief for those who have not responded to traditional therapies, paving the way for a brighter future in depression treatment.

Understanding TMS Treatment for Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment is considered to be more effective than traditional magnetic therapy for depression, as it targets specific areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation. By using magnetic pulses, TMS stimulates nerve cells in the brain and helps to improve communication between different regions. This results in a reduction of depressive symptoms such as low mood, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating.

Unlike medication or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), TMS does not cause any systemic side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, or memory loss. It is also a painless procedure, with minimal discomfort reported by patients. This makes it a desirable option for those who have not responded well to other forms of treatment or are unable to tolerate the side effects of medication.

But how does stimulation treatment actually work in treating depression? Let’s take a closer look at the science behind it.

A yellow head cut out of paper with a chat icon ontop of the brain region.

The Science Behind Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Depression is believed to be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, in specific brain circuits. These circuits are responsible for regulating mood, emotions, and cognitive function. In people with depression, these circuits are either underactive or overactive, leading to the symptoms of depression.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation targets these circuits by using a magnetic field to stimulate specific areas of the brain. The repetitive magnetic pulses cause electrical currents, which help to activate or inhibit nerve cells in these circuits. This leads to a rebalancing of neurotransmitters and improved communication between different parts of the brain, thus reducing depressive symptoms.

Benefits of Using TMS for Depression

stimulation focuses presents a promising alternative for treating depression, especially when traditional methods have proven ineffective.

Some of the most significant benefits of using TMS to treat depression include:

  • Targeted Treatment: Transcranial magnetic stimulation focuses on the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain often underactive in individuals with depression. This targeted approach ensures that the treatment directly addresses the root cause, enhancing its effectiveness.
  • Non-invasive Procedure: Unlike other treatments, TMS does not require surgery or implantation of electrodes. The treatment involves placing a magnetic coil against your scalp, generating magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells.
  • Fewer Side Effects: TMS is generally well-tolerated and has fewer side effects compared to traditional antidepressant medications. Common side effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation are usually mild and may include headaches or scalp discomfort at the treatment site.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Many individuals who undergo TMS treatment report an improved quality of life. They experience significant reductions in depressive symptoms, leading to enhanced mood, better sleep, and increased overall daily functioning.

In exploring your options for depression treatment, transcranial magnetic stimulation stands as a safe, effective, and innovative approach that holds the potential to improve your mental health and well-being.

The TMS Process Explained

Knowledge is the key to feeling confident and ready as you prepare for your transcranial magnetic stimulation session. First, ensure that you eat a good meal and hydrate before your appointment. This is important because a well-nourished body responds better to treatment. It is also advised to avoid wearing any metal accessories during the session as the machine uses magnetic fields. Lastly, bring a list of any medications you are currently taking to share with your healthcare provider. This information can help in tailoring the treatment to your specific needs.

During the transcranial magnetic stimulation session, you can expect:

  • You will sit in a comfortable chair, and the healthcare provider will place a magnetic coil against your scalp.
  • The machine will then generate magnetic pulses, which you might feel as a light tapping sensation on your head.
  • The session will last about 30 to 60 minutes. During this time, you are awake and alert, allowing you to communicate any discomfort to your provider immediately.
  • You may hear clicking sounds as the machine generates pulses. Some clinics provide earplugs to help with this.

After the session, you should be able to resume your daily activities immediately, as transcranial magnetic stimulation does not require any recovery time. However, some people might experience mild headaches or scalp discomfort at the treatment site. These side effects are usually temporary and subside on their own. If they persist, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.

Post-session care includes staying hydrated and getting adequate rest. Regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider are crucial to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. Remember, every individual’s response to TMS is different, and it is okay if your progress seems slower than others. Your healthcare provider is there to support you throughout this journey towards improved mental health.

Risks and Side Effects of TMS

One of the significant advantages of TMS is its non-invasiveness, meaning it does not require surgery or anesthesia. However, there are still some side effects associated with this treatment. The most common ones include headaches and scalp discomfort at the site of treatment. These side effects are usually mild and tend to subside over time as your body adjusts to the treatment.

In rare cases, TMS can cause seizures, but this risk is exceedingly low. It is important to note that individuals with a history of seizures or epilepsy are typically not recommended for TMS treatment due to this risk.

Also, some people may experience lightheadedness after treatment. While this is usually temporary, you should inform your healthcare provider if it persists. Other less common side effects include difficulty concentrating, tingling in the face or hands, and changes in hearing if ear protection is not used during treatment.

FAQs About Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Some of the most common questions potential patients have about TMS include:

Is transcranial magnetic stimulation safe?

Yes, TMS is a safe procedure. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for the treatment of depression. Although it carries potential side effects such as headaches or scalp discomfort, these are usually mild and temporary. Serious side effects, like seizures, occur very rarely.

Will I feel pain during the TMS procedure?

During a TMS session, you might experience a slight tapping sensation on your head that results from the magnetic pulses. Some individuals describe this as uncomfortable, but it is typically not painful. Keep in mind you remain awake and alert during the procedure so you can communicate any discomfort to your healthcare provider immediately.

Do I need to prepare in a specific way before a TMS session?

There is no special preparation needed before a TMS session. However, it is recommended that you eat a nourishing meal and hydrate well before your appointment. Also, remember to avoid wearing any metal accessories during the session.

Will TMS interfere with my daily activities?

One of the key benefits of transcranial magnetic stimulation is that it requires no recovery time. This means you can resume your normal daily activities immediately after a session.

Does TMS replace medications or therapy?

TMS does not necessarily replace medications or therapy. For some, it works as an additional treatment option when other methods have not been effective. Discussing your treatment plan in detail with your healthcare provider is always important.

Enhance Your Mental Health with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Remember, your journey towards better mental health is personal, and finding the right treatment takes time and patience. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a step forward in providing more options for individuals struggling with depression.

Our partners at Gemini TMS have extensive experience administering transcranial magnetic stimulation to patients who are ready to regain control of their mental health. The medical professionals recognize that the potential of TMS in treating depression is significant. While it may not work for everyone, it provides hope for those who have not succeeded with traditional treatment methods. As you continue your journey towards better mental health, remember to stay patient, stay hopeful, and never hesitate to seek help. Each step you take brings you closer to a healthier, happier you.

Begin to Heal Your Depression with TMS at Gemini Health

You hold the power to steer your journey toward improved mental health. Transcranial magnetic stimulation may serve as the catalyst for ushering in a new era of wellness in your life. Gemini Health is here to provide expert guidance along this path. The team’s extensive knowledge and experience equip them to offer personalized care and treatment tailored to your unique health situation.

Take the initiative now to discover how TMS might benefit you. If you’re interested in learning more about transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment in Maryland, contact Gemini Health today to arrange a consultation. This is your chance to voice your concerns, pose questions, and gain deeper insights into this innovative procedure from seasoned professionals. At Gemini Health, we empower you with information, enabling you to make well-informed decisions about your health.

Begin your journey towards a potentially transformative treatment today. Visit our online contact form and schedule your consultation now. Our Gemini Health eagerly awaits the opportunity to partner with you on your journey towards enhancing your mental health.

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Anxiety, Depression, Therapy Services

Bridging the Gap: Mental Health and Public Health Initiatives

Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall health that is often ignored or stigmatized despite its vital role in maintaining our well-being. However, recent years have seen an increase in public health initiatives that aim to address mental health, reducing social stigma around mental health and encouraging more people to seek help. In this blog post, we’ll explore how mental health and public health intersect, how these initiatives manifest, and where they can be improved.

Scrabble letters in a line spelling out the words Public Health

The Relationship between Mental Health and Public Health

Mental health is intrinsically linked to public health: an individual’s physical and mental well-being contributes to their ability to function productively within society. Therefore, initiatives to improve public health must also address mental health. The World Health Organization identifies mental health as a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, can work productively, and can contribute to their community. From this definition, it is clear that positive mental health has far-reaching effects on individuals, communities, and, ultimately, society.

Public Health Initiatives

Public health initiatives have come to recognize the importance of mental health. One such initiative is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which runs a program called “Ending the Silence,” which brings awareness about mental health to middle and high school campuses. Mental Health First Aid is another initiative designed to provide community members with the tools to help someone when they’re suffering from a mental health crisis. Even businesses are taking a newfound interest in mental health, sometimes offering employee-provided counseling or mental health days.

Personal Responsibility and Mental Health

In addition to public health initiatives, personal responsibility plays a massive role in bridging the gap between mental health and public health initiatives. We must take care of our mental health while educating ourselves about the importance of mental health and seeking professional help when necessary. We must destigmatize mental health conversations, making it more acceptable to seek help when needed.

Future of Mental Health and Public Health Initiatives

Mental health and public health initiatives have made substantial progress in the past few years. Still, many challenges remain, and much work must be done to create a world where mental health is not an afterthought but is integrated into all aspects of public health. The more people understand the importance of mental health, the more our society will recognize and embrace the importance of addressing mental health concerns proactively and holistically.

In conclusion, The initiative surrounding the bridging of the gap between mental health and public health is a step in the right direction. While progress has been made, it is vital that we continue our efforts to promote the integration of mental health across all platforms of public health. With more focus on mental health, more robust public health initiatives, and personal responsibility, we can create a world where mental health is just as important as physical health. Bridging this gap lays the foundation for a more caring and healthy society.

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Anxiety, Depression, Group therapy

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: An Overlooked Connection

Mental health and sleep are intricately connected. While many people with sleep disorders undergo sleep therapy, often, the underlying mental health issues that might be the root cause of these disorders are overlooked. Chronic sleep issues could lead to the manifestation of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health disorders. Thus, it is important to understand the relationship between sleep disorders and mental health and seek appropriate therapy to address the root cause of the problem.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that are often associated with sleep disorders. This means that people with anxiety or depression are more likely to experience sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome. Furthermore, people with sleep disorders are also more likely to develop anxiety and depression.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is another mental health disorder often associated with sleep disorders. People with bipolar disorder often experience sleep issues, such as insomnia, hypersomnia, and disrupted sleep patterns. Moreover, sleep deprivation and sleep disruption could trigger bipolar symptoms.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Substance Abuse Disorder

Substance abuse disorder often co-occurs with sleep disorders and other mental health disorders. People with substance abuse disorder may use drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medication to deal with sleep issues, which may exacerbate the underlying mental health issues.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Treatment and Therapy

Therapy for sleep disorders, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), is beneficial for both sleep and mental health. CBT-I is a form of talk therapy that helps people with sleep disorders identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that interfere with sleep. Furthermore, CBT-I could also help people with mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

In summary, sleep disorders and mental health are closely related and deserve equal attention. It is important not to overlook the possibility that an underlying mental health issue might be causing your sleep problems and vice versa. If you are experiencing chronic sleep issues, it is essential to seek appropriate therapy that addresses the root cause of the problem. Investing in therapy for both sleep and mental health could significantly improve your quality of life.

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Anxiety, Depression

Telehealth for Depression and Anxiety: The Prosand Cons

Dealing with anxiety or depression can be a daunting task for anyone. Especially with our
previous global health crisis, it’s become even more challenging.

Traditional in-person therapy has been the go-to solution for many years, but what if you can’t access it?

There are many factors that come into play, such as living in rural areas, transportation issues, or affordability. However, technology is changing the game for mental health services with the emergence of telehealth.

Telehealth for anxiety and depression is gaining popularity as more people are seeking mental health services. It’s a convenient and effective way for patients to receive therapy from licensed professionals without leaving their homes.

Even though telehealth is still relatively new, it’s making mental health services accessible to a wider range of people.If you’re considering joining telehealth for therapy, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

How Does Telehealth Work For Mental Health?

Have you ever wondered how telehealth works for mental health?

A telehealth appointment for anxiety can be one of the most effective ways to manage mental health issues virtually, without stepping out of the comfort of your own home.
With the help of video and audio technology, remote therapists can connect with you on a
personal level, offering guidance and support through virtual consultations. And if you’re worried about what to expect during an appointment, don’t fret!

There are a variety of telehealth activities for anxiety that your therapist can walk you through, such as breathing exercises and visualization techniques, to help you relax and manage your symptoms.

So, What Exactly Is Telehealth Therapy?

In a world where technology has made many things possible, telehealth therapy has become a popular way to access mental health services without physically going to a therapist’s office. To put it simply, telehealth therapy is a way to receive mental health services through technology.

Telehealth therapy for depression can be conducted through various channels like:
● Video calls
● Phone calls
● Messaging apps.


These platforms provide a comfortable and safe space for people to discuss their mental health challenges with licensed professionals. Additionally, telehealth therapy may also include:


● Virtual group therapy sessions
● Psychoeducation
● Self-help and supportive resources


With telehealth therapy, mental health services can be accessed from the comfort of one’s home, without facing the stigma attached to mental health difficulties.


Advantages of Telehealth for Depression and Anxiety:

In recent years, telehealth therapy has gained popularity as an alternative method for accessing mental health treatment.

However, despite its benefits, telehealth therapy is often overlooked by many in society who view it as a product of increasing laziness.

In reality, this technologically advanced form of therapy has the ultimate benefit of making mental health support accessible to those who previously could not access it.


Let’s discuss:

  1. Convenience:
    Teletherapy provides more flexibility and convenience than traditional therapy. You don’t have to travel to an office, which can save you time and money. This is particularly beneficial for those who live in rural areas, have mobility issues or have difficulty finding childcare or transportation.
  2. Improved Accessibility:
    Many people with depression or anxiety find it challenging to leave their home, and teletherapy eliminates this barrier. Teletherapy makes it easier for people to get the help they need, regardless of location, access to transportation, or physical location.
    With teletherapy, you can connect with a therapist from almost anywhere in the world. No more waiting on hold with a receptionist – making a telehealth appointment for anxiety is simply a few clicks away.
  3. Comfort and Privacy:
    With the ability to conduct sessions from the comfort of your own home, you can create an environment that’s safe and familiar. This level of comfort and privacy often encourages people to be more open and honest, leading to more productive therapy sessions. Telehealth therapy offers convenience that conventional therapy just can’t match. So, if you’re looking to take control of your mental health in a comfortable, safe space, telehealth therapy may be the perfect option for you.
  4. Reduced Stigma:
    One significant advantage of a virtual approach is its ability to reduce the stigma that
    unfortunately still exists regarding seeking therapy. Particularly in cases where individuals may feel embarrassed or ashamed to be seen in a therapist’s office, telehealth therapy eliminates this risk by providing anonymity.
    Rather than having to worry about running into someone they know in the waiting room,
    individuals can receive excellent-quality therapy from the comfort of their own home. The result is a more accessible and welcoming environment for mental healthcare, enabling more people to access the support they need without feeling self-conscious or judged.

Disadvantages of Telehealth for Depression and Anxiety:
It’s no secret that telehealth therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years – and for good reason.

The convenience and accessibility of virtual therapy sessions has made it possible for many people to seek help and receive treatment who may have otherwise never been able to.

However, it’s important to remember that every good thing has its flaws, and telehealth therapy is no exception. While the benefits may be numerous, there are also a handful of downsides that are worth considering before making a decision.

  1. Technical Difficulties:
    Technical difficulties like poor internet connection, low bandwidth, or power outages can disrupt or disconnect therapy sessions. These interruptions can be frustrating and have an impact on therapy’s effectiveness.
  2. Limited Body Language Observations:
    One such downside of going virtual is that the limited body language observations inherent in telehealth therapy may make it more difficult for therapists to accurately assess their clients. This can make it harder to pick up on subtle cues that could be indicative of deeper issues, ultimately hindering progress in the long run.
  3. Loss Of Human Connection:
    While telehealth therapy offers a level of convenience and accessibility that was once unheard of, some are concerned that this new virtual format may not offer the same level of intimate, personal connection that in-person therapy provides.There’s nothing quite like being able to sit face-to-face with your therapist and feeling their empathy and validation in real time. However, this doesn’t mean that telehealth therapy can’t be effective. By embracing technology while still maintaining open communication and a compassionate approach, patients can still feel seen and heard, even in the virtual world.

Conclusion:


Teletherapy can be an effective solution for some people who struggle with anxiety or
depression. It offers numerous benefits, including convenience, flexibility, and greater
accessibility. Also, it can reduce the stigma associated with mental health treatment.
However, teletherapy is not without its problems – poor internet connectivity, the lack of a physical presence, and limited body language are just some of the disadvantages patients might face.

Nevertheless, if someone is thinking about joining telehealth for therapy, it’s important to keep the pros and cons in mind and have a candid discussion with their healthcare provider to make the best decision for their circumstances.

If you’re in the Maryland area, don’t hesitate to call us at (301)-363-1063 or visit us online to find out if teletherapy is right for you.


Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/telehealth-the-advantages-and-disadvantages
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/telehealth/art-20044878
https://telehealth.hhs.gov/patients/telehealth-and-behavioral-health

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Depression Concept with Human, Broken Brain and Heavy Rain
Depression

No ‘One Size Fits All’: Different Types of Treatment For Major Depression

If you struggle with depression, you’re already quite aware of the significant impact it plays on your life.

Many people with depression suffer for years in silence before ever making the decision to seek help. If you’re one of these people, you’re not alone.

Maybe you thought your depression would get better over time. Or, perhaps you couldn’t fit treatment into your financial budget in the past. Whatever the reason, taking the initiative to get help for your major depression is a monumental decision, and you should be proud.

Once you begin seeking treatment you might find you’re quickly overwhelmed by the endless techniques, styles, and information out there. How do you know what is going to work for you?

Really, what is the therapy for depression? If you’re here to find the best treatments for major depressive disorder, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk about it.

Female hand trying to connect a missing jigsaw puzzle of human brain on gray background. Creative idea for solving problem, memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease concept. Mental health care.

 

What Is Major Depressive Disorder?

Major depressive disorder, otherwise known as clinical depression is a severe mood disorder in which an individual has persistent low moods, loss of interest in everyday activities, and other various emotional and physical symptoms. This condition affects the way a person thinks, lives, and behaves.

Unlike persistent depressive disorder, in which a person experiences chronic, less severe low moods with little to no relief, those with major depressive disorder have periods in which they feel better.

During these breaks, they may return to their normal baseline mood. However, it’s often only a matter of time before another depressive episode kicks in.

Symptoms Of Major Depressive Disorder Include:

• Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness

• Feeling numb or disconnected

• Anger, irritability, or frustration

• Sleeping problems

• Changes in appetite

• An inability to feel pleasure

 

Is There a Cure For Depression?

There is currently no cure for depression, as to cure something ensures it will never come around again. Many people that struggle with depression find that it’s rarely a one-time experience.

Don’t let this get you down. There are various treatments for depression that have proven to be successful in helping others live full, happy lives.

Are anti-depressants the end all be all for depression? Absolutely not! There are other ways for treating major depressive disorder without medication.

While some people choose medication, it’s always encouraged to use anti-depressants alongside other treatment options to ensure a full recovery.

 

How To Treat Severe Depression:

Let’s talk about three of the best ways to treat major depressive disorder without risking any harmful side effects of medication. Suffering from depression can feel like an isolating black hole, however, these treatments are here to free you from the chains of hopelessness and put you back on your feet again.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or, CBT is known as the gold standard of treatment in psychology. Not only is it incredibly versatile, and useful in hundreds of situations, its effectiveness has been proven time and time again.

CBT is a form of talk therapy that focuses on your moods and thoughts while targeting actions and behaviors that arise from these thinking patterns. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy. As an individual speaks with their therapist about real-time stressors, a licensed mental health professional will be able to spot any distorted or unhealthy thoughts related to the situation that may be making their depression worse.

After these thoughts are identified, a client and therapist will work together to redirect them into healthier, more beneficial thinking patterns.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for major depressive disorder has been proven to help relieve symptoms of depression such as sadness, emptiness, and anxiety.

A therapy group for with five members discussing their depression symptoms

 

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation:

Another wonderful medication-free option for treating depression is transcranial magnetic stimulation, or, TMS.

While the term may sound daunting, TMS is a painless, non-invasive procedure.

At Gemini TMS, a cap is placed over an individual’s head while short, repetitive magnetic pulses are sent throughout the brain to target areas associated with depression and depressive symptoms. While relief is often felt early on, multiple sessions are recommended to ensure stimulation in areas of the brain with decreased activity.

TMS is an effective method of treatment for patients that have tried medication without success, or with negative side effects, in the past. Unlike anti-depressants, transcranial magnetic stimulation can directly impact areas of the brain medication can’t.

 

Stellate Ganglion Blocks:

Up-and-coming research has indicated the use of stellate ganglion blocks as an effective form of treatment in patients with depression, PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain.

When we experience trauma, our bodies are forced into a constant state of fight or flight. This heightened response is detrimental to our emotional and physical health.

Stellate block injections target the nervous system and rewire a patient’s brain causing it to return back to pre-trauma levels.

When our brains can rest, they can recover. SGB is a minimally invasive procedure with little to no side effects. In addition, relief can be felt in as little as 30 minutes!

 

So, What is The Best Therapy For Major Depressive Disorder?

Every person’s experience with depression is unique. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for major depressive disorder. Some people use medication and learn how to cope with the side effects, while others seek other avenues.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great option for those who want to try a form of talk therapy in order to learn healthier ways of coping with depressive thoughts.

TMS can greatly benefit those who have had bad experiences with anti-depressants in the past or those who choose to manage their depression medication free.

Stellate ganglion blocks can be effective for individuals struggling with more than just their depression, or for those that can’t engage in other methods of treatment.

It may take some time to learn what therapy is best for you. No matter what your situation may be, there are many mental health professionals that dedicate their lives to helping someone with major depressive disorder, just like you.

Sources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9290-depression

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/support-groups/art-20044655

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/cognitive-behavioral-therapy#fa-qs

https://www.healthline.com/health/tms-therapy

https://www.sgbdocs.com/

https://www.geminitms.com/
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Depression, Therapy Services

Group Therapy for Depression: How it Works

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one struggling? Depression tends to have that effect. Many people struggling with depression feel that they must suffer alone, but this isn’t true Group therapy for depression has helped thousands of people get much needed support and reduces the effects of isolation that often plague those with depression. 

How Does Therapy Help Treat Depression?

Someone seeks therapy for their depression typically because they feel stuck and don’t know the way forward. With therapy, you have a place to explore and discover the underlying issues that keep you stuck and find healthy ways to cope. Therapy helps you move from a place of hopelessness to a place of confidence and purpose. Therapy comes in every shape and size from individual, to group, to family or couple’s therapy. 

A group therapy group for depression

What To Expect in Group Therapy

In a group of roughly 5-15 people, you will work with a psychologist who leads and guides the group. In group therapy for depression, the psychologist of the group will work with the group to build coping skills that help with depression and provide other tools and insights that work to improve the debilitating symptoms of depression. There are a wide range of topics that can be covered in a group therapy session. 

  • Coping skills
  • Relationship and Social skills
  • Setting boundaries
  • Building self-esteem and confidence
  • Overcoming fears

Why Choose Group Therapy?

Social support and interaction are important for people struggling with depression. Depression is isolating and stigmatizing, leaving people with depression feeling even worse. There are tons of ways you can benefit from group therapy.

Fight Isolation

Depression can make it difficult to socialize, and the effects of isolation irritate symptoms of depression and make things worse. When you self-isolate, you start to feel like you’re the only one fighting this painful battle. Through group support, you will find that your group members feel similarly, and helps to normalize suffering. 

Therapy in a group can be a great option if you struggle with feeling connected to the outside world. Group therapy is a healthy container for creating social connections and ultimately helps you feel less alone in your struggles. 

Accountability

Sometimes it takes a village. If you’re someone who performs better with social pressure, group therapy could be the right environment for you. In group therapy, you are surrounded by people who are also there to achieve their goals. You have a whole room of people that you will feel accountable to. If you struggle to hold yourself accountable, which is normal with depression, being accountable to a group will help you stay focused on recovery.

Improve Confidence

Group therapy doesn’t just provide a support system, it’s also an enriching experience for those who have issues with self-esteem. It’s especially helpful to experience someone with depression getting better. When someone in the group is able to share a personal success, it helps prove to you what is possible for your health. This encouraging environment leaves you more confident in your own abilities to heal and cope with depression.

Supportive Environment

Everyone in a support group is there for the same reason – to get better and beat depression. In group therapy for depression, you have a group of people willing to be honest and open with you as you sort out your emotions.

You will also learn a lot through the stories you hear from other group members and what they struggle with. Exposure to struggles from other people helps you understand your own struggles better. All of these factors make group therapy a supportive environment for your recovery.

Gain Multiple Perspectives

Not only will you get to work with a psychologist, but you get to work with people who are struggling just like you. The stories you hear in group therapy will help you on your own journey and get validation in how you feel. Members of your group will also get to help you with your issues by offering their own unique perspective. This is often an eye opening experience for those new to group therapy. The collaborative aspect of group therapy will help you think clearer and offers a new way of seeing things. 

What Makes Group Therapy Successful? 

 With the right leader and a group of people who are dedicated to healing, group therapy can be an effective way to fight depression. A successful group is aware of the ground rules, understands the objectives, and is on the same page about what therapy will look like within group sessions. There are a few key qualities of group therapy that will bring the best results. 

  • Everyone is as honest as possible
  • Topics discussed in session remain confidential
  • Concerns and questions are immediately addressed
  • Group members engage with each other in a respectful manner
  • Fun and vulnerability are encouraged but not forced

When To Seek Group Therapy

If you have experienced symptoms of depression for a prolonged period of time and haven’t seen improvement, it’s time to seek support. Someone people who have tried individual therapy may also benefit from trying group therapy. If you struggle most with the effects of isolation, group therapy can be beneficial to your mental health and fight feelings of loneliness that often come with depression. 

Possible Disadvantages of Group Therapy

While many people find success with group therapy, it’s not for everyone. If you have severe social phobia, working within a group may hold you back from experiencing the full benefits that group therapy has to offer. Some patients may find it intimidating and have a hard time being vulnerable. 

Group therapy can also be difficult for those with severe depression, because it requires being able to engage with an entire room of people. If these are not concerns for you, group therapy can still be an option with many benefits. 

Group Therapy Alternatives

Some people don’t find success through group therapy but still need help. There are complementary and alternative therapies that provide relief to the many people who suffer from depression. Always talk with your doctor about your issues and concerns so they can provide you with the most optimized treatment plan.

Individual Therapy

If group therapy is too overwhelming for you, individual therapy with a psychologist is a better option. Individual therapy will provide an environment that feels safer to be vulnerable and open with your therapist about your fears and issues. Some people use individual and group therapy to get the unique benefits that both therapies provide. 

TMS Therapy

If you don’t like the idea of medication and fail to find what you need with talk therapy, TMS is an alternative therapy for depression that is effective and safe. Through the use of magnetic pulses, TMS stimulates the areas of the brain responsible for depression. This alternative therapy is FDA approved to treat depression 

Creative Therapy

Using creative therapies like art and music have been shown to increase feelings of wellbeing and decrease symptoms of depression for many. You can talk with your therapist about the types of creative therapy that will work for you. Creative therapy is an individual experience, so what works well for one person may induce anxiety for another. There are many creative outlets to choose from that can provide therapeutic benefits to the depressed mind.

  • Poetry
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Yoga
  • Meditation

We Have Therapy Options!

Everyone has different needs for their mental health. We are an anxiety and depression therapy center with a mission to provide patients with medical services for every aspect of their health. Whether you’re seeking individual or group therapy, or need help with pain management, we strive to provide you with a personalized care experience. Reach out to us at (301) 363-1063 if you have any questions or want to schedule a consultation!

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A group therapy group for depression
Depression

Is There an Alternative to Antidepressants?

Depression continues to rise each year, affecting approximately 1 in 4 Americans. As one of the most common mental health disorders worldwide, the options for treatment have come a long way. Antidepressants are the leading drug used to treat and minimize symptoms of depression. 

While antidepressants help thousands of people cope with depression and improve their life, those with co-occurring disorders like addiction can run into problems with this type of therapy. Some people seek treatments for depression with similar effects of antidepressants, without the negative side effects and risk of dependence. 

There are other reasons that people seek alternatives to antidepressants, like treatment-resistant depression. Some patients may look for something in addition to medication. Either way – if you’re seeking safe alternatives to antidepressants for depression, there are many options to choose from. 

What do Antidepressants do for Depression?

Antidepressants are one of the most common ways that clinical depression is treated and are commonly used to treat other mental health disorders like anxiety, PTSD, and OCD. Depression is characterized by decreased activity in certain areas of the brain that affect mood, hormone regulation, and dealing with stress. These areas include the hippocampus, amygdala, and the prefrontal cortex.

Antidepressant medication is used to increase activity in these previously mentioned regions of the brain. This increased activity is known to improve symptoms of depression like low mood and suppressed appetite. As good as this sounds, antidepressants can sometimes come with many side effects that are unpleasant like apathy, weight gain, and fatigue. 

Lifestyle Factors That Affect Risk of Depression

First and foremost, there are numerous lifestyle factors that can affect symptoms of depression. Leading a healthy lifestyle and taking preventative measures for your health will increase your chances of avoiding or minimizing the plague of depression. Many studies point to the fact that poor lifestyle factors have strong links to mental illness, and healthy factors provide antidepressant qualities. Below are a few ways your lifestyle can support better mental health. 

Regular Exercise

If physical inactivity leads to depression, then the opposite is true. Exercise is a natural antidepressant. Physical activity releases natural happy chemicals that support mood regulation. For best results, it’s important to get regular exercise of at least 30 minutes 3 to 5 days a week.

Consistent Sleep Schedule

Chronic sleep deprivation and poor sleep habits can lead to mental health problems like depression and makes existing problems worse. Your sleep is an imperative part of your wellness and most areas of health require quality sleep. Keeping a regular sleep schedule helps to avoid sleep problems and helps regulate your sleep cycles for optimal results. 

Balanced Diet

Food is another pillar of wellness that contributes to your mental health. Sugar and processed foods increase inflammation in the body and worsen symptoms of depression. Lacking a diet in essential nutrients also contributes to poor mental health. Ensuring that your diet is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin D, and other important nutrients will help increase your chances of avoiding depression. 

Exposure to Sunlight 

Lack of vitamin D not only affects your physical health but your mental health too. Sunlight helps naturally produce vitamin D and increases the release of serotonin, known for regulating mood and increasing focus.

Mindfulness and Relaxation

Depressive thoughts and rumination contribute to the negative feelings that come with depression. Mindfulness is a safe and healthy alternative to antidepressants. Practicing mindfulness can be used to reduce brain fog, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. You can use techniques like breathwork, meditation, and body-scanning to increase mindfulness. 

Limit Daily Screen Time

While technology is fairly new, there are definite links to screen time and depression. Those who spend more time on screens are more likely to be depressed. Excessive screen time also leads to other problems that contribute to depression, like sleep dysregulation and brain fog. Regulating your screen time can help stave off symptoms of depression. 

Complementary and Alternative Options to Antidepressants

If you’ve had a negative experience with antidepressants or simply desire an alternative, there are a number of safe and effective treatment options to choose from. The options presented below can be taken ahead of choosing antidepressant medication as well. Some patients with more severe depression may need more than one treatment. These therapies and treatments are sometimes combined with antidepressants to maximize treatment. 

TMS Therapy

If you have treatment resistant depression, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could be an effective option for you. TMS is a drug free and safe alternative to antidepressants that is considered effective with minimal side effects. TMS therapy provides relief from severe symptoms of depression using short pulses of magnetic energy to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. 

This noninvasive procedure requires a round of 30-36 treatment sessions but the treatment has a high success rate for depression. TMS involves magnetic pulses that stimulate nerve cells in areas of the brain that affects depression. We partner with Gemini TMS to provide you with the most effective treatment for your needs using an individualized treatment plan. Many patients say they feel like a different person after finishing TMS therapy.

Stellate Ganglion Block Injections

SGB injections can be a great option if you have depression along with anxiety and PTSD. SGB injections are the use of local anesthesia to disrupt the nerves that are hyperactive during a major depressive episode. These hyperactive nerves keep the body in a perpetual state of stress. 

Blocking the nerve signals responsible for depression allows the brain to reset. Many people report feeling an immediate sense of calm after an SGB injection. The good news is that SGB is low risk aside from initial bruising and discomfort. The better news is that SGB injections have lasting effects and patients often feel relief for a few months and even up to a few years. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

With the help of a therapist, cognitive behavior therapy is a highly successful talk therapy that aims to change the way you think. Often combined with medication, CBT is used to identify unhelpful thought processes and challenge them.

CBT may require “homework” that is to be completed outside of sessions. While this requires a lot of effort, it is considered very effective if you are willing to put in the work. CBT is popular amongst therapists and known for treating various mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

IV Ketamine

Ketamine is becoming a revolutionary treatment for mental health conditions like depression. Intravenous Ketamine infusions consist of administering ketamine through an IV. Ketamine is an anesthetic that activates the neurotransmitter in the brain that is responsible for mood regulation. Ketamine works to repair synapses and effectively rewires the brain. 

Popularly used to treat conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD, ketamine is a great option in alternative to antidepressants. . 

Lithium

Often taken in tandem with antidepressants, lithium has long been used to help with symptoms of depression. Lithium is a naturally occurring organic element that acts as a mood stabilizer by increasing certain chemicals in the brain. Lithium also helps reduce the frequency and severity of depressive episodes and reduces risk of suicide.

Neurofeedback 

Also known as EEG biofeedback, neurofeedback is a medication-free approach to treating mental health conditions. Neurofeedback works by using sensors to record brainwave activity. A program then analyzes your brain activity and provides positive reinforcement when the brain meets certain goals. 

Through the use of positive reinforcement, this process teaches the brain to form healthier habits and more balanced thoughts. You can think of this training like exercise for the brain. Neurofeedback may be an option for treatment resistant depression, and the risk factors are significantly low, making it a safe alternative to antidepressants. 

Acupuncture

A thousand-year-old practice, acupuncture is a holistic procedure that uses needles that are placed into specific parts of the skin to release chemicals and neurotransmitters. These chemicals and neurotransmitters are known to help with levels of stress and anxiety by helping with mood regulation and boosting feelings of wellbeing. 

Looking for options?

Gemini Health offers therapy services for depression and anxiety and can provide you with the alternatives you’re looking for. Our dedicated team of mental health professionals offering individual and group therapy and TMS therapy. Avoid the negative side effects of antidepressants by reaching out to Gemini Health today. Reach out to us at (301) 363-1063 and speak with our amazing staff about scheduling an appointment!

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Anxiety, Depression, PTSD

Benefits Of Ketamine For Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

Nearly one in five adults in the US live with a mental illness. But not everyone benefits from the same treatment options. The good news is that there are different treatments to try, including ketamine. 

Ketamine can draw a mixture of reactions. Some people have never heard of it before, whereas others will remember its history as a wartime anesthetic or think of it as a party drug. However, using ketamine for anxiety, depression, complex PTSD, and other psychological disorders is a breakthrough treatment option.

Are you interested in learning more about ketamine therapy for anxiety and other disorders? Read on for everything you need to know. 

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine was first discovered in the 1960s and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anesthetic in the 1970s. It was used during the Vietnam War for injured soldiers as it is an anesthetic that does not require a ventilator.

It is now used in different ways, including in veterinary medicine and as a common sedative in pediatric emergency care. Some people use it recreationally, which is why it is only legal by prescription only. 

Ketamine produces a dissociative experience, which can be described as a trance-like state. There are different types of ketamine, with two main types being used for psychological treatment. These are:

The types of ketamine interact differently with the brain, but both are effective treatment options. However, it can treat treatment-resistant depression and other psychological disorders, such as complex PTSD and anxiety. What type of ketamine you receive depends on your doctor's assessment of your needs and where you receive treatment.

 

How Does Ketamine Work?

Research is still being done to determine how ketamine precisely works. However, what is known is that it produces important and useful effects. There is evidence that it can work in different ways in the brain to relieve depression and other psychological disorders:

  • Stimulates neural activity
  • Increases neuroplasticity for new thought patterns 

When the ketamine dose is administered, the experience can last around two hours, but its benefits last after treatment finishes. The experience can include feelings of unreality, euphoria, and distortions. Ketamine therapy for anxiety and other psychological disorders is done in safe clinical settings with medical supervision.

How Does Ketamine Work for Depression? 

Ketamine for depression and other psychological disorders works differently than when it is used as an anesthetic. A lower dose is given, with the focus on the other effects ketamine produces. It depends if you are given the nasal spray or IV treatment, but both offer benefits for depression. 

For example, studies have found that ketamine triggers glutamate production, which helps the brain produce new neural connections, which can be lifesaving for people with depression. It helps them break negative thought patterns and behaviors, open up to new perspectives, and become more receptive to therapy.

Ketamine likely increases glutamate production because it connects to NMDA receptors in the brain. This allows it to create more glutamate between neurons. Glutamate triggers connections in AMPA receptions, which help other neurons communicate more efficiently.

The result includes changes in mood and thought patterns. There are suggestions that ketamine works for depression in different ways, such as opening communication between other parts of the brain. It may also reduce inflammation signals, which can contribute to depression.

Ketamine for Anxiety 

Ketamine for anxiety works in different ways. Depression and anxiety are often connected, so the changes to glutamate also help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Studies have found that ketamine can help with a variety of anxiety disorders, including:

Often ketamine therapy for anxiety will be done alongside other treatment forms, such as therapy. This means you have sufficient reduction in anxiety symptoms to benefit from other treatments, such as therapy, which can help you get to the root cause of anxiety.

Ketamine opens you to different perspectives, which can help you reach new realizations. It can help you move forward with your recovery journey. 

Ketamine for Complex PTSD

Ketamine for PTSD can also be beneficial. As with depression and anxiety, glutamate plays a role in stress response, traumatic memory formation, and other symptoms of PTSD.

Because ketamine targets glutamate, it can help the brain release trauma and ease symptoms of PTSD. Studies have found that PTSD severity reduces in patients who have ketamine therapy. 

Benefits of Ketamine

There is a reason why ketamine has been used for so many years. It offers a variety of benefits, which have helped patients in many ways. Here are the top benefits of ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders. 

Immediate Effect

The benefits of ketamine are almost immediate. It can rapidly reduce symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders. You do not have to wait, which can speed up the recovery process and can be lifesaving for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation. 

Patients are able to see changes that motivate them to continue with their treatment. This may involve other interventions, too, such as counseling. They do not have to wait for new medications to work to engage in their treatment plan.

Although ketamine has a rapid effect, several doses are usually required for long-lasting impact. Usually, the effects of one dose last for around a week. 

Maintenance Doses Possible 

Ketamine is a safe intervention under supervision, which means medical professionals can create treatment plans for IV ketamine. Patients can receive IV ketamine for a set period of time, such as weekly for twelve weeks. This enables them to focus on overcoming their psychological disorder.

Safe to Use Under Medical Supervision

Medical staff used ketamine during the Vietnam war because it is an anesthetic that does not slow breathing or heart rate. Patients need to use it under medical supervision because of the risks causal use presents. There are several side effects and the risk of addiction if people chase the euphoria of the experience.

However, under medical supervision, it is safe to use to treat psychological disorders. Usually, it is for people who have treatment-resistant psychological disorders. But ketamine therapy is becoming increasingly common in the mental health field. 

Physical Health Benefits

Ketamine can help reduce pain, which is why medical professionals use it to treat neuropathic conditions and as an anesthetic. However, many people who experience psychological disorders also experience physical pain. Ketamine can relieve this burden and help patients who use opioids or other substances for pain relief. 

Allows New Thought Processes

One of the biggest benefits of ketamine for PTSD, anxiety, and other psychological disorders is that it improves synapse growth. It rewires connections between neurons, so new thought processes are easier to access. It can be difficult to break thought patterns, which is why ketamine for anxiety and other disorders can be so beneficial. 

Reduces Safety Risks

Ketamine can also reduce safety risks associated with mental health disorders. For example, it can reduce the severity of symptoms, such as:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm thoughts
  • Isolation
  • Paranoia 
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Substance abuse

Sometimes patients cannot wait for a traditional SSRI to work. Ketamine opens the gateway for more treatment possibilities that empower the patient while keeping them safe. It also provides peace of mind for loved ones who may be worrying about the severity of symptoms. 

Take Advantage of Therapy 

There are different types of therapy available for psychological disorders. Therapies include:

The type of therapy you need depends on the psychological disorder you experience and your personal needs. However often the symptoms of psychological disorders make it difficult to engage in therapeutic interventions.

Ketamine therapy can help relieve the symptoms that act as a barrier to therapy. It can allow the patient to access therapy and attend. Or it can help them get more out of their therapy sessions. 

Fewer Side Effects

Most mental health treatments involve side effects of some kind. However, the benefits of a treatment can outweigh the risks. However, most of the ketamine's possible side effects are not long-term. 

These side effects can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Dissociation 
  • Perceptual disturbances

Most side effects just last for the first IV ketamine infusion and end soon after. This is different from some other mental health treatments, which can include long-term side effects. However, more research is being done into frequent and long-term ketamine usage. 

Research Support

Research on ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders is promising. This is why it is now being used as a mental health treatment option. And research continues to grow, making it possible for ketamine to be a more common mental health treatment.

Ketamine for Depression in Maryland 

Ketamine offers many benefits as a mental health treatment. It can help people overcome psychological disorders and continue on their recovery journey. However, it is essential to pick a reputable provider who offers ketamine for anxiety and other psychological disorders.

Are you looking for ketamine for depression in Maryland? Gemini Health Elkridge Maryland offers ketamine for PTSD in Maryland, along with other conditions. Contact us today to learn more. 

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A man with depression wearing a blue shirt with his hands on his face
Depression

Types of Depression

Depression is extremely common, with it being a leading cause of disability across the world and an estimated 5% of adults suffering from it globally. Depression is actually classified into several different types, with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (currently known as the DSM-5) being the standard that is used to classify mental disorders, such as depression. The DSM-5 breaks down the definition of depression and the different types to better help mental health professionals to be able to diagnose patients, treat those patients appropriately, and conduct further research. 

What is Major Depression? 

Major depressive disorder is known as a serious mood disorder that causes continuous bouts of sadness that can be extremely debilitating. Major depression is characterized by a loss of interest in regular activities and a variety of physical and behavioral symptoms. Also known as clinical depression, symptoms must be present for at least two consecutive weeks and there must be a noticeable change in the person’s level of functioning in their daily life. Common symptoms include changes in sleep (either sleeping too much or sleeping too little), changes in appetite, lower energy levels, trouble focusing, accompanying irritability and/or anxiety. It is also thought that women are affected more by depression than men, although this could be because men underreport and do not seek help due to social stigmas. 

Depression is not merely the occasional feeling of sadness, which everyone experiences at times, and often requires treatment in order to overcome. Depression treatment can be long-term depending on the severity of symptoms and first-line treatment typically involves psychotherapy, consisting of talk therapy, and antidepressants. 

What are the Other Types of Depression? 

Different depression types are classified and diagnosed depending on the specific set of symptoms that people experience, as there is some overlap of symptoms but also key differences, and the way people are affected by their depression. These are the forms of depression that are currently listed in the DSM-5: 

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Also called seasonal depression, it predominantly affects people in the colder months of fall and winter. This is when the Earth is furthest away from the Sun and people are exposed to very little sunlight on a daily basis. SAD is associated with disruptions in the circadian rhythm and imbalances in the chemicals in the brain, leading to depression. Symptoms also generally start at the end of fall or the beginning of winter when the days start to become shorter. Common symptoms include having low energy, feeling listless, sleeping too much, overeating (craving carbohydrates) and weight gain, feeling worthless, and feeling listless. For it to be diagnosed, major depressive symptoms must be present for a specific season at least two years in a row, although not everyone will experience symptoms every year. 
  • Peripartum Depression: Also known as postpartum depression, it is a type of depression that starts during pregnancy (peripartum) or within four weeks after a person has given birth (postpartum). This is more than just the “baby blues,” as it is an actual form of mild depression that can be diagnosed, however it generally goes away on its own around one to two weeks after it starts. Postpartum depression is most often characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, fatigue, withdrawal from family and friends, loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable, loss of interest in the baby, or even thoughts of harming the baby. People are also highly likely to experience anxiety along with the depression symptoms. Postpartum depression is a serious mental health disorder and should be treated as such and anyone experiencing severe symptoms needs to seek medical attention for the appropriate treatment.  
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is often thought to be PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, but they are two separate disorders. It is classified differently from PMS because it is a much more severe disorder and can be very debilitating. PMDD symptoms will begin one to two weeks before a person’s period starts and will end two to three days after their period starts. Symptoms of PMDD are mood swings, depressed mood, irritability, decreased interest in daily activities, sense of being out of control, problems with being able to sleep, lack of energy, changes in appetite, weight gain, bloating, and breast tenderness. The underlying cause of PMDD is not currently known, although it is thought that hormonal changes play a part.  
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia): Previously referred to as dysthymic disorder, persistent depressive disorder is a chronic form of depression that is less severe than major depression. One of the key differences between persistent depressive disorder and major depression is the length of time people usually experience it. Those with persistent depressive disorder will have symptoms of depression for more days than not for at least two years, which is significantly longer than major depression. The symptoms also can’t be absent for more than two consecutive months for it to be considered persistent depressive disorder. Symptoms include depressed mood, poor appetite or overeating, insomnia, fatigue, low energy, and a general feeling of being “down in the dumps.” Persistent depressive disorder can greatly affect a person’s daily life, such as at school, work, or with relationships.  
     
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD): This is a childhood condition that usually occurs between the ages of six and eighteen. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder will appear in children as irritability, anger, and frequent temper outbursts that are significantly worse than normal child moodiness. For there to be a diagnosis of DMDD, these extreme temper outbursts must present themselves at least three times a week and symptoms must occur for at least one year, with the onset of symptoms before the age of ten. The temper tantrums will also interfere with a child's ability to function at home, in school, and interact with other children or adults.  
     
  • Bipolar Disorders: Bipolar disorders (there are three types) cause extreme mood swings and when people are experiencing low mood as part of the cycle of bipolar disorder it actually meets the criteria of major depression, which is also referred to as bipolar depression. When someone with bipolar disorder, usually either bipolar disorder I or bipolar disorder II, experiences the depression side they will display classic symptoms of depression such as feeling sad, having low energy levels, changes in sleep (either sleeping too much or too little), changes in appetite (either eating too much or too little), having difficulty with concentration, and a loss of interest in activities. Symptoms usually last about 2 weeks and episodes of depression can happen rarely or several times a year. 

How Depression is Treated 

Depression is most commonly treated with either psychotherapy or medication, known as antidepressants. The most effective treatment utilizes both. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the types of psychotherapy that is widely used to treat depression, along with others like dialectical behavior therapy and psychodynamic therapy. CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps people identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and change those patterns/behaviors. 

Antidepressants are also prescribed as a means to change a person’s mood by altering the chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters (ex. Serotonin and Dopamine). Some of the common categories of antidepressants are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), SNRIs (Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors), TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants), MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors), and NASSAs (Noradrenaline and Specific Serotonergic Antidepressants). They generally will start working within 2-4 weeks but may take a few months to show whether they are actually effective or not. 

Those with treatment resistant depression may need to seek services, such as transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS) in order to finally overcome their depression. TMS therapy is a non-invasive procedure that is usually referred to when traditional methods have failed. 

Want to See a Therapist? 

If you are interested in seeking help for a mental health disorder or any mental health issues you may be experiencing then reach out to Gemini Health for the appropriate treatment. Our healthcare professionals are highly skilled and experienced to provide you with quality health services. They offer both individual and group therapy, as well as access to psychiatrists for all patients. Plus there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!  

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