Do you suffer from depression?

Symptoms, causes and treatment

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and distinguishes itself from ‘normal’ somberness by the nature and duration of the symptoms. Depression can be treated by means of psychotherapy, EMDR (in case of trauma), medication and rTMS.

Studies show that there are both ‘biological’ and environmental factors that play a role in depression. Hereditary factors can play a role, although the exact genetic characteristics are still not known. Certain substances in the brain may also be out of balance (such as neurotransmitters or growth factors). It is also known that certain parts of the brain are less active, while other parts of the brain are overactive in people with depression. We also know that heavy emotional or traumatic experiences from the past, or emotional neglect, are a risk factor and can increase the risk of depression.

Psychological Symptoms

Depressive mood: depressed, sad, gloomy

Fatigue, loss of energy, initiative and strength

Feeling numb or strong feelings such as fear or sadness

Concentration and memory problems

Feelings of guilt and loss of self-confidence

Behavioural Symptoms

Social isolation, loss of interest in the environment

Lack of enjoyment in things/ activities

Physical restlessness or just inhibited behaviour

Reduced productivity

Suicidality (suicidal thoughts / tendencies)

Crying or weeping

Physical Symptoms

Eating disorders: decreased or increased appetite

Sleep disturbances: in and/or through sleep disturbances, waking up early, or overtired

Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido

Gastrointestinal complaints, headaches

Do you recognize yourself in the characteristics?

Consider making a booking to see one of our psychologists

What is depression?

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and distinguishes itself from ‘normal’ somberness by the nature and duration of the symptoms. Not every depressive, gloomy or sad mood is a mental illness. In order to speak of a disorder, a certain number of symptoms, including at least gloominess or loss of interest or pleasure, must have been present for a period of two weeks and indicate a change from earlier functioning.
Depression is not just a negative mood that you can easily get out of. It also has nothing to do with personal weakness or flaws. Depression is common: one in seven people will ever have a depression. Worldwide, depression is the fourth most common disease in the world. It occurs in all sections of the population and at all stages of life.

More than half of the people with depression experience severe limitations in their social functioning, such as increased absenteeism due to illness, fewer social contacts, poorer functioning in the family or in a relationship. In many cases, absenteeism leads to temporary or permanent disability.

When a depression is not treated properly, it can worsen and even lead to a life-threatening situation.

Types of depression

There are various forms of depression. A depressive disorder is characterized by the fact that a person feels depressed for a long time during most of the day and/or has a reduced interest or pleasure in all or almost all of the activities. As a result, it is no longer possible to function properly and carry out the activities as before.

There may be a single episode or recurring episodes. When a depressive episode does not disappear despite treatment, it is a therapy resistant depression. This is the case when two or more (adequate) treatments have produced insufficient results. In that case, rTMS will be reimbursed by the health insurer.

Bipolar depression is characterised by alternating periods in which a person feels depressed for a while, with times when, on the contrary, a person has a lot of energy, has little sleep, feels restless and can be cheerful. Bipolar depression is also called manic-depressive.

In 10 to 15% of the depressions there are psychotic characteristics, i.e. there is a disturbed test of reality. This is usually expressed in delusions (uncorrectable errors of thought). The content of these delusions is often in line with the depressive mood: the themes are, for example, dominated by personal shortcomings, failure, guilt, death or punishment.

Some facts about depression:

  • Depression is twice as common in women as it is in men and is most common in the 25-45 age group.
  • Less than 30% of people with depression feel a reduction in symptoms by taking antidepressants.
  • Depression results in more absence than any other disorder for employers and a lot of ‘production loss’.

Causes of depression

It is difficult to give a single cause for depression, it is often a combination of several factors.

Neurobiological factors

Research has shown that depression is a disturbance in the balance of certain substances in the brain. Recent research has also shown that depression is associated with a certain disturbed pattern of brain activity, in which certain parts of the brain are less active and other parts too active. Treatment with rTMS is aimed at restoring this balance.

Genetic factors

There may be a hereditary component that plays a role. Children of parents with depression are three times more likely to become depressed themselves than children of parents who are not depressed.

Light exposure

Sometimes a more frequent depression has a seasonal pattern. In that case, the shortening of the days and a lack of light may play a role. This can often be easily prevented by means of light therapy.

Psychosocial factors

Major life events, such as divorce, death, dismissal, but also having a child and promotion can play an important role in the development of depression. These are events that can cause a lot of tension and stress, so that you don’t like it anymore.
Social life can also provide a healing effect of the depression. A stable relationship, friends who support and help you and a good job can provide a good structure in your life and a social safety net.

Psychological factors

Blocking painful feelings and thoughts through unprocessed traumatic (youth) experiences can increase the occurrence of a depression.

Medication, resources and physical conditions

Certain medications and different types of drugs (some high blood pressure medications, sleeping pills, alcohol, amphetamine, cocaine) are known to cause depression. There are also a number of physical conditions that increase the risk of depression (such as brain haemorrhage).

Do you want help with your depression?

We help you quickly and effectively with an individualised treatment program

A personalised approach to the treatment of depression

During an extensive intake we look at the individual treatment needs of the client, whether it is a young person or an adult. We also carry out thorough diagnostic research to identify the underlying causes and maintaining factors of the depression.

Sleeping poorly can also contribute to the symptoms of a depression. To get a good idea of your sleep, you will be asked to wear a sleep watch for a week. This watch measures the quality of your sleep and the amount of blue light that can affect your sleep.

To map the (electrical) activity of the brain, a Quantitative EEG (QEEG) is taken. The results of the intake, the sleep study and the QEEG determine the content of your personalised treatment.

Learn more about our approach

Treating depression with rTMS

A safe, proven treatment for long-term depression

Depressive disorders can be effectively treated by magnetic brain stimulation combined with psychotherapy. Magnetic stimulation is a well researched and scientifically proven treatment method with minimal side effects. neurocare combines the rTMS treatment with psychotherapy in which we offer our care in a friendly and comfortable setting. In 66% of our patients with therapy-resistant depression, significant improvements are seen in the combination of rTMS with psychotherapy (Donse et al. 2017).

rTMS in practice

rTMS is performed by a psychologist while you are lying in a comfortable treatment chair. A magnetic coil is placed on your head. This coil generates a pulsating magnetic field that stimulates the target areas in the brain. The magnetic field generates a noticeable ticking sensation. The stimulation is not painful but is often experienced as a tingling sensation on the scalp.

For whom is rTMS suitable?

– for young people or adults with depressive mood disorder;
– for young people or adults with ‘therapy resistant’ depression;
– for young people or adults with depression who want to lower their medication and guidance during this process.

Learn more about rTMS for Depression

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