Antidepressant AlternativeNew York, NY
Patients who have not responded positively to conventional treatments for depression or would prefer not to take medication may benefit from trying an antidepressant alternative. Antidepressants are often the first line of defense in the treatment of depression. Prescribed by medical professionals, these psychiatric medications are beneficial in treating depression. In most cases, patients get optimal outcomes from antidepressants when used in conjunction with talking therapy. Anxiety, chronic pain, and bulimia are just some of the different disorders for which antidepressants can be beneficial.
TMS and Other Potential Alternatives for Antidepressants
Although antidepressants have helped many people, they do not work for everyone. Unfortunately, not all patients respond well to antidepressants; some have serious, even fatal, adverse effects. Numerous options exist for treating depression outside antidepressants for individuals who either do not respond well to them, have unpleasant side effects, or choose not to take them. Besides antidepressants, some of the treatment options include:
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
This non-invasive therapy for depression uses electromagnetic induction to send magnetic pulses to the area of the brain responsible for regulating emotion. The psychiatrist will place insulated coils over the patient's scalp, sending vibrations through the skull and into the brain.
These coils produce pulses with strength and form, like those used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Repetitive TMS refers to the delivery of several pulses to the brain in quick succession. These magnetic pulses can alter brain activity. Patients rarely experience adverse side effects from undergoing the TMS treatment process. When antidepressants have not worked or have harmful side effects, studies suggest they may be a helpful alternative. Depression patients have had access to this medication for almost 12 years, receiving FDA approval.
Treatment with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) often entails a couple of visits to a psychiatrist's office. Patients should generally expect therapy five times weekly for between three and seven weeks. The physician will determine the optimal placement of magnets on the patient's head before beginning treatment. Earplugs might be provided to the patient to muffle the repetitive clicking noises they would experience during the stimulation sessions.
After placing an electromagnetic coil on the patient's head, electrical pulses are alternately activated and deactivated to stimulate the brain. Patients often experience twitching in their hands or fingers as the level of magnetic energy in the brain increases. This step aids in finding the optimal dosage for each patient. Once the doctor has reached the threshold, follow-up treatments are usually shorter, typically lasting about 20 minutes.
Psychotherapy, often called talk therapy, is usually suggested to those dealing with depression. However, cognitive behavioral therapy will likely make up most of the patient's sessions. Sessions like this give patients the knowledge and skills they need to prevent the situations that bring on depressive episodes and teach them effective coping mechanisms.
Patients can mitigate or reduce some of the adverse effects of depression by adopting a healthier way of life. A healthy lifestyle begins with a diet that provides the body with the nutrition it needs. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily can greatly improve an individual's mental health. Those having difficulties managing their connection with food should seek professional help. Lifestyle changes may also mean quitting habits like smoking and drinking.
Increasing physical exercise also aids in the control of depressive symptoms. In addition, exercising regularly helps individuals maintain a healthy perspective on life, gives them more stamina, and lifts their spirits. Most health experts agree that exercising for at least 30 minutes daily is optimal.
Getting a good night's sleep day after day can help alleviate depression symptoms. Although this may be difficult for some, it often positively affects patients' symptoms. However, sleep deprivation due to conditions like sleep apnea may exacerbate some forms of depression.
Mindfulness entails being completely engrossed in one's current tasks. Mindfulness, otherwise called cognitive therapy, may help patients learn to manage their symptoms and change their negative thinking patterns. We often recommend this step with other treatment alternatives.
Artistic expression via therapy sessions such as theatre, clay work, or painting might help some patients alleviate depressive symptoms. For people with depression who have trouble articulating their feelings, creative activities may be a helpful alternative to traditional antidepressants. It teaches depressed people how to divert their attention away from the unpleasant emotions that cause their despair.
Ecotherapy is a sort of alternative medicine used to treat depression. It entails engaging in outdoor therapeutic activities, such as walking, riding a bike along a route, or establishing a garden. Patients can also get involved in conservation projects.
Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, reflexology, and aromatherapy may positively affect specific individuals. However, patients should consult their doctors before beginning any alternative therapy since the components in specific herbal treatments might interact with other medications, including antidepressants.
Patients might find it helpful to talk to other people who understand what they are going through when struggling with depression. The encouragement of their friends may be the last push they need to overcome depression. This form of support can also come from group therapy sessions.
When conventional antidepressants have failed, lithium has shown promising results in treating underlying depression. However, too much lithium in the bloodstream is dangerous. Thus the dose must be carefully monitored for each patient. A low-salt diet amplifies lithium's toxicity. Lithium patients need to get periodic blood testing.
Some of the adverse effects of lithium include dehydration, a metallic taste on the tongue, dry mouth, and a slight arm tremor. However, as the body becomes used to the medication, most individuals see a reduction in these side effects.
Get proper treatment for depression
For many, antidepressants are the best choice for treating depression, but others may have adverse reactions or choose not to take them. Patients can talk to a psychiatrist about an antidepressant alternative to deal with depression. Book an appointment today to get started.
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