From the Desk of Dr. Kent

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Hope is Everything

“Hope is the crystal meth of emotions. It hooks you fast and kills you hard.”

― Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution

One of the biggest predictors of suicide is a preceding feeling of hopelessness. People who suffer from recurrent, chronic depression eventually succumb to a sense that life is hopeless, question the meaning of life and contemplate ending this misery. Hope is great when one has it in abundance, but it is agonizing when it is gone. Hope next to love may be one of the most powerful emotions that we can experience. I feel as a physician who has treated patients with depression for over 30 years, that asking about feelings of hopelessness is one of the most important questions I can ask. It tells me where someone is at. Although hopelessness can occur at any point in the depression, lack of treatment response is discouraging and heightens this emotion. Providing hope for people with depression is critical in buying time until a treatment works. I’m amazed at times at how long people will go to either get help or find a solution. I’ve seen patients go decades before finding a solution. In other cases, patients can’t survive that long and ended up taking their own life. Feelings of hopelessness are always at the heart of giving up.

“We need hope, or else we cannot endure.”

― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Effective treatment options are the antidote to hopelessness. In my 30 years of practicing psychiatry I’ve seen an explosion of treatment options. We currently have many different medication and psychotherapy choices. But even with all the new treatment directions, some people just don’t respond very well. Transcranial magnetic stimulation was discovered in 1985 and has started to become a main stream treatment accepted by insurances including medicare. TMS was initially FDA approved in 2008 and in 2013 deep TMS was approved. See my blog “Why Brainsway Deep TMS” for more details. Deep TMS differs from other biological interventions in that it is a localized treatment with no systemic side effects like medications. It also doesn’t use anesthesia like ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Another welcome effect with deep TMS is that it can put patients into longterm remission. It has also been found to be nearly 100% effective on patients who have had a positive first response. In other words, patients can safely receive deepTMS treatments indefinitely if needed. In fact, the more treatments patients receive, the better they do. It appears that deep TMS does something very beneficial to the brain areas associated with depression. It is like deep TMS is somehow resetting the brain.

The good news for people who experience chronic, recurrent depression, is that they can have hope that there is now an effective, safe, alternative solution with deep TMS. Many patients are opting to make it a treatment earlier in their illness. Why suffer needlessly when there is help available now? Hope is critical to our survival. Fortunately, depression sufferers have reason to hope.

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”

― Pablo Neruda

Take the Self Assessment on this website to see if you are a candidate for deep TMS.

Posted by David Kent at 3/22/2017 8:03:00 PM
 
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