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Seasonal Affective Disorder: Feeling SAD

What Is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a seasonal mood disorder associated with the turn of the seasons, typically beginning in fall through early spring, that affects millions across the world.  Long before the advent of modern psychology, countless cultures through time have acknowledged mood difficulties adjusting to the changing of the seasons.

Why does seasonal affective disorder exists?  We can’t point to one reason, but SAD is a reactive disorder correlated with:

Disruption to people’s circadian rhythms, resulting in sleep disturbances and feelings of disorientation.
Effects on hormones and neurotransmitters, methods

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Why Insurance Doesn’t Cover TMS for Bipolar Disorder

Help for Treatment-Resistant Depression

One of the psychiatric treatments we offer at RHP is TMS.  TMS is transcranial magnetic stimulation, a non-invasive procedure where a magnetic coil is passed over the scalp, particularly the frontal cortex, to stimulate the parts of the brain that help govern mood, disposition, and sensory processing.  This treatment is usually done if other methods have not produced the desired results or have ceased working like they used to.

Major medical insurance carriers currently cover TMS for major depressive disorder (MDD), but not other disorders that may or

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How Depression is Diagnosed

Diagnosing MDD

For the purposes of this article, when we refer to depression, we are referring to Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD.  Major depressive disorder is a multifaceted disorder and must be diagnosed by a medical professional to receive treatment that is covered by major medical insurance carriers.  What sort of criteria do doctors and mental health professionals use to diagnose MDD?

How MDD Is Diagnosed

Medical professionals have a variety of tests to run to help them determine if a person has MDD.  More factors are considered, but these are helpful metrics

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Types of Depression, Part 1: What is Dysthymia?

Dysthymia: An Unwelcome Guest

At Rochester Holistic Psychiatry, we help with many types of depression.  Our Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy is approved by insurance carriers to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) only, but what are the other types of depression?  Depression is a blanket term used to describe several disorders that can show some of the same effects and may intersect or be comorbid with another condition.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that about 1.5% of adults in the United States suffer with dysthymia.  While generally not as severe

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TMS and Neuromodulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

What is Neuromodulation?

How is neuromodulation used?  How does it compare to TMS?  We were glad to be asked about that recently, because neuromodulation is a fascinating topic.

In short, TMS is a type of neuromodulation therapy.  Neuromodulation is the practice of using technology to treat nerve activity, typically via electric current, magnetism, or releasing medication.  This can be delivered to the brain or other parts of the body.  Some types of neuromodulation are:

Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, or TMS. This is the kind of neuromodulation we use at Rochester Holistic Psychiatry.  Take

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Depression and Addiction

Which Came First?

When discussing the interactions between major depressive disorder (MDD) and addiction, the question of which came first is difficult, convoluted, and likely pointless.

Both make the sufferer more likely to isolate.
Both can come with overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame.
Both often take a toll on the body.
Both negatively affect relationships with family, friends, and employers.

With addiction, the initial use of the substance may be chosen to get enjoyment, cope with pain, or any combination of those two along a spectrum.  Eventually, the pleasure (or alleviation of pain) from using

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TMS FAQ: More Questions, More Answers, Part 2

How Does the TMS Procedure Work on the Brain?

The TMS machine uses an electromagnetic coil to issue pulses that enter the skull and stimulate areas of the brain associated with mood, emotion, and sensory processing.  It serves as a sort of reset button and improves the flow of neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers the brain passes around to its various regions.

What Parts of the Brain Does TMS Interact With?

The TMS coil is placed over the front of the skull to stimulate the cerebral cortex and parts of the frontal cortex,

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TMS FAQ: More Questions, More Answers, Part 1

Are There Other TMS Locations Throughout the United States?

Yes!  Check to see if your insurance carrier has a list, or check out these lists for help depending on your area.  If you are moving and have a current TMS provider, check with them first to see if they have another location close to where you’re headed.

Is TMS FDA Approved?

Yes, TMS is FDA approved.  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy was approved in 2008 for major depressive disorder, or MDD.  The FDA has also approved TMS for migraines in certain circumstances in 2013. 

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How to Sleep Better When You Have Depression

Chasing Z’s

Depression is more than just feeling sad or hopeless.  Depression often includes physical symptoms like sleep disturbances.  Treating the depression should have a positive effect on the patient’s sleep, but there are other things one can do to cope with poor sleep quality.

Recharging Your Batteries

How well we sleep affects our health in multiple ways that are far more serious than feeling tired.  The effects of a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can include a decrease in reaction time and impaired judgment, which can be dangerous.  Lack of

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It’s a Date: How Many TMS Sessions Do I Need?

How Do We Decide?

When we’re thinking about how many times you should receive TMS, much depends on:

How bad your major depressive disorder (MDD) is and how often your doctor says you should go.
What your MDD has and has not responded to already. If your MDD responds well to less frequent and/or aggressive treatment, there may be no need to change.
Comorbidities may also be a factor, such as anxiety or bipolar disorder.

Fortunately, most cases of MDD respond well to a regimen of therapy, medication, and social support, but in too many

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