Depression varies from individual to individual with each individual experiencing symptoms to different degrees. However, there are some symptoms that are common amongst people who suffer from long-term clinical depression. Such as feelings of constant low, hopelessness; poor motivation and confidence. Many people with depression tend to suffer from anxiety symptoms as well.
Symptoms can range from mild to very severe, with mild symptoms you tend to feel low in the inner self, while very severe symptoms can make you feel suicidal as well as causing physical symptoms such as; being constantly tired, low in energy and poor appetite.
What are the best depression treatments?
Treatment options depend on the severity of your symptoms. With mild to moderate your doctor may recommend exercise and to wait and see if your symptoms improve. When we say “exercise” you may think that you need to sign up for a gym membership, but a 30-minute walk in the park will help lift your mood and confidence. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); a talking therapy used to help people get over mild to moderate depression symptoms.
With severe symptoms, anti-depressants are commonly prescribed and some people will change from one to another. In extreme cases, where the individual is not eating or feels suicidal, ECT is administered.
On the other hand, rTMS treatment is a ground-breaking technology that has been recognised by the national institute for health and care excellence (NICE) for the treatment of depression. rTMS utilises magnetic fields to induce brain activity with minor side-effects. rTMS treatment can help individuals who suffer from mild to severe symptoms as well as targeting anxiety symptoms.
Remission rates of rTMS compared to medication
Based on the Star-D paper (Gaynes) the remission rates decline over a number of treatment intervention. The study above compared medication and rTMS treatment with patients that are treatment resistant – meaning they have failed at least 2 treatment interventions. The third intervention (using TCA antidepressant) have a remission of 6% whereas the remission of rTMS is 33% found on the same group of patients.