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Blog

23

February

Depression Part 4: MDD

The Battle Against Depression

Treating major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the main things we do at Rochester Holistic Psychiatry.  For our series on different types of depression, it’s time to talk about MDD.  We’ll look at some nuances that make MDD what it is, including some elements that can be unexpected or go unnoticed.  For our purposes today, we will use major depressive disorder, MDD, and depression interchangeably.

Depression Doesn’t Need a Reason

When someone is ill, we immediately begin looking for any culprit that can be addressed to alleviate the

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12

February

MDD and Genetics

Are MDD and Our Genes Linked?

What kind of influence do genes have on occurrences of major depressive disorder (MDD)?  How do we figure out the links and how do we adapt our treatments to best help patients?

First, we have to acknowledge the base question that this, and many other investigations into the causes of mental health issues, comes down to: Nature versus nurture.  Biology versus environment.  Hardwired—or acquired?  What about both?

Environmental Factors

It is strongly believed that environment plays a large part in mental development, particularly in childhood.  A negative environment

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10

February

Covid and Depression Part 2: Isolation

The Alone and the Lonely

Rochester Holistic Psychiatry’s goal is for all of our friends to feel seen and cared for.  We’re going to be covering several aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine that impact mental health, and today’s focus is isolation.

In early 2020, millions of people were ordered to shelter in place and millions of businesses closed.  Some people are able to move more freely again, and some are back under lockdown.  One of the things about the pandemic that exacerbates depression is the isolation and loneliness that often

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27

January

COVID and Depression, Part 1

Facing the COVID Effect

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the need for psychiatric care to a whole new level.  Quarantine and other effects of the pandemic have impacted the mental health of millions.  To best deal with something, we need to do our best to understand it.  Every day we help people hurt by the effects of the pandemic, and we anticipate doing so for a long time to come.

Many of us are always taking care of other people.  It is essential to care for yourself, and we can help with

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18

January

Beginner’s Guide to TMS

Back to Basics

Sometimes it helps to have a refresher.  Today we’re going to go over the basics of TMS and the most common questions we receive about this treatment.  We’ve included plenty of links to other parts of our site for more information on each point.

What Does TMS Mean?

TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation.  It is a form of non-invasive neuromodulation therapy approved by the FDA in 2008.

What Does TMS Do?

TMS is used to treat treatment-resistant MDD (major depressive disorder).  “Treatment-resistant” refers to MDD that has previously been treated with

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14

January

Depression Part 3: Psychotic Depression

What is Psychotic Depression?

First, we’ll define what psychosis is.  Psychosis manifests mainly in two ways—hallucinations and delusions.  When someone is having a hallucination, they may experience false stimuli that affects any or all of the senses, but audio hallucinations are particularly common.  Hallucinations can be complex, compelling, and are often indistinguishable from reality to the sufferer.

A delusion is a thought pattern or belief held by a person that does not mesh with reality.  Delusions that accompany depression with psychosis tend to take a negative turn, such as the belief that

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11

January

Steroid-Induced Depression

What Are Steroids?

A steroid is a type of hormone, and there are three different types of steroids.

Anabolic steroids. Testosterone is an anabolic steroid and is connected to muscle development, hair growth, and sexual development.
Minerocorticosteroids such as vasopressin help regulate the body’s sodium and water balance.
Gluticocorticosteroids like prednisone act as anti-inflammatories to help with ailments like asthma and swelling.

Possible Steroid Side Effects

An unfortunate aspect of medicine is that sometimes the medications we use to treat some problems end up introducing or exacerbating others.  Some patients taking steroid medications experience:

Anxiety and fearfulness.
Mania—unusually

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21

December

What Resources are Available for Depression?

General Physicians

If you suspect you are suffering from a depressive disorder, start by seeing your general physician.  They can help you spot physical problems that may be causing or exacerbating the problem, like allergies, hormone imbalances, thyroid disorders, sleep disturbances, and more.  They are also the starting point for most treatment regimens and can offer further resources and referrals.

Therapists and Counselors

Everyday, psychotherapists help people talk through trauma, negative habits, and thought patterns.  The simple act of expressing one’s pain is incredibly cathartic.  Therapists offer a safe space to talk about

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06

December

How to Spot Suicidal Ideation

An Unseen Menace

Every year in the United States, thousands of people take their own lives.  Suicide may have taken someone in your life or hurt people you know.

Suicide is preventable, but it’s not as simple as that.  You can’t always know when someone is having suicidal thoughts.  Many sufferers don’t want anyone to know because they feel alone and ashamed.  It’s not your fault if you lose someone without knowing there was a problem, and sometimes we try to help and end up losing them anyway.  But, if there’s any

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20

November

The TMS Time Commitment

Gentle Neuromodulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is one of the ways we help people with major depressive disorder (MDD) at Rochester Holistic Psychiatry.  This treatment involves a magnetic coil that is passed over regions of the scalp over areas of the brain that govern mood, stimulus processing, and the way the brain communicates with itself.  TMS uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate the brain’s neural activity and realign the sending and reception of neurotransmitters.  Read more about how TMS works and the regions of the brain here.

TMS is well-tolerated and involves little

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