We’re told all the time that the holidays are supposed to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. However, not everyone feels that way. This time of year can be especially difficult for those dealing with the loss of a loved one, family conflicts, financial stress, loneliness or just general overwhelm.
According to research published in Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, “the holiday season is significantly associated with both worsening moods and an uptick in alcohol-related deaths”, suggesting that even all the holiday cheer can’t make up for the mental health challenges many people face this time of year.
If you or someone you love is prone to depression this time of year, here are some tips that can help you cope.
Make short, manageable lists. Focus on small goals you can reach each day. Break up your tasks and allow enough time for personal activities and enjoyment. Having a plan to follow is a great way to stay on track and get everything done that needs to get done.
Your plan will help you stay organized and keep you from being overwhelmed. It can also give you something to focus on when painful memories pop up and threaten to derail you. Your plan should always include some downtime for you to relax and unwind.
Remember, you can’t be everything to everyone all the time and it’s crucial to take care of yourself.
Maintain A Healthy Routine
Stress and overwhelm are especially common during the holidays. Don’t sacrifice your sleep. Inadequate sleep can heighten feelings of depression and anxiety. With late-night gatherings, shopping, and baking, it’s still essential to maintain your healthy habits.
Prioritize your workouts in your plan and make sure you get them done. Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and a healthy diet boosts your immune system. Remember, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone or anything else.
Set a Budget
Stick to it! Financial stress is especially common during the holidays. Find ways to gift that doesn’t involve spending. Oftentimes, holiday depression is brought about, in part, due to overspending. Be sure to set and keep a budget for your holiday shopping. Think outside the box and give hand-made gifts or donate to a charity in someone’s name. It’s the thought of the gift that matters; not the price tag.
Ask for Help
If you find yourself overwhelmed, ask for help. You shouldn’t have to do it all! Let go of perfectionism and practice acceptance. Ask your close friends, family, and your spouse to help you get things done.
If your depression or anxiety isn’t getting easier to cope with, don’t be afraid to reach out to our support team. The holidays can be such a fun yet stressful time of
year. We’re here for you with holistic treatment options for wellness.
It’s that time of year when gratitude comes into the spotlight. Thanksgiving is well known as a time to show your gratitude for your friends, family, and all that you have in life. But, science tells us that the benefits of having an attitude of gratitude can improve our health and happiness beyond the Thanksgiving season.
It’s true-Having a grateful mindset can actually help you feel happier and healthier! Studies done with fMRI-guided technology show that gratitude has the ability to boost serotonin and can activate the production of dopamine-known as the feel-good neurotransmitter.
The best news is that gratitude isn’t something that’s reserved for Thanksgiving. It’s a mindset you can incorporate into your daily life. And, even though people express gratitude in many different ways, the impact is always positive. You can express gratitude by volunteering your time or by simply taking the time to tell someone how much you appreciate them.
However big or small your expression of gratitude may be, incorporating it into your daily life can help you build a healthier, happier life beyond Thanksgiving.
Change The Way You See The World
Creating an attitude of gratitude can be a life-changing thing! Gratitude helps let go of aggression and anger in difficult situations. It helps us overcome negativity by focusing on the good things in life. Someone who is grateful can develop better self-esteem allowing them to appreciate others and their accomplishments instead of being resentful or jealous.
Lead To Positivity & Fulfillment
Being grateful also helps develop a positive attitude. Once you start seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, you can live a happier life. It’s been proven that gratitude can help you find a happiness that lasts. Start taking the time to express thankfulness every day and you’ll
start seeing the results.
Improve Your Overall Health
Aside from all of the obvious mental health benefits, gratitude can also have tremendous benefits on your physical health. Studies have shown that being thankful can help decrease depression within weeks. Thankfulness can also help people sleep better. If you count your blessings before bed, you will have more positive thoughts and a better night’s sleep! Giving thanks can also help you improve your self-care routine. People who are generally more grateful in life appreciate and care for themselves more.
TMS Therapy for Clarity
Unfortunately, for someone battling major depression, developing an Attitude of Gratitude can be difficult. One of the common misunderstandings about depression is
that it’s similar to feeling sad or down. Someone with depression might be accused of being ‘ungrateful’ or told that they just need to ‘snap out of it.’ In fact, many people believe that feeling depressed is a choice. That kind of thinking only adds to the stigma
surrounding mental health.
The truth is, depression is a complex medical condition that should be treated as such. Our compassion team at Surya Psychiatric Clinic is here to help you get well
through innovative treatments like dTMS therapy.
Our advanced therapies can help the people of Tucson lift the fog of depression and move forward in health, happiness, and enriched gratitude. As you gather with
family and friends this holiday season, watch out for signs of depression in those you love. Provide support and connection by letting them know about life-changing
treatments like dTMS because there is hope!
Depression can be a lonely disorder especially for those with treatment-resistant depression. The sadness and despair can consume a person and wear them down to their most vulnerable state.
Major Depression makes it hard to hard to eat…
hard to breathe…
hard to sleep…
hard to function.
It’s truly a debilitating disease. Unlike physical conditions and disorders, depression can sometimes be hard to detect on the outside. Here are a few things your friend with depression wants you to know.
1. Depression is more than just feeling sad
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the US. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. It can happen at any age but often begins in adulthood. An estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States suffer from at least one major depressive episode. Out of these, 4.5 million people in the United States do not respond fully to prescription antidepressants.
In these cases, we turn to dTMS therapy to help them find relief.
2. They can’t just “snap out of it”
Clinical depression is more than just feeling sad or being in a bad mood. Someone living under the dark veil of depression can’t just “snap out of it” or “look on the bright side“. Unlike many physical conditions, you can’t always see depression on the outside. There’s not cast or bandaid that everyone can see. It’s a very lonely and isolating condition.
Many people suffer in silence or wear a “mask” in public to pretend that everything is OK.
3. Depression increases anxiety Depression can trigger other mental health conditions like anxiety
Someone with depression may avoid social events and other situations that could trigger anxiety. Fear or intense physical reactions can eventually lead to an anxiety disorder in addition to depression. Unfortunately, many people with depression don’t seek treatment.
This is just one reason why we need to #endthestigma surrounding mental health and move forward in support and understanding. If you or someone you love lives under the mask of Major Depression, call our office today to learn more about dTMS for depression. Surya Psychiatric is home to Tucson’s 1st dTMS.
Meditation…you’ve probably heard about it.
It’s a practice that’s recently gained rapid popularity through public meditation centers and in-office meditation rooms. It’s been well-adopted by rising professionals and is currently a top mainstream trend. In fact, the National Center of Health Statistics, the National Health Institute, and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health found that meditation is the fastest growing complementary health practice; in 5 years, it rose in popularity by over 10 %.
But, as history reminds us, just because something is a popular trend doesn’t necessarily mean it’s useful (remember heely shoes, anyone?) So, is meditation just a trend or something more? Here’s a closer look…
Meditation in Holistic Care
Behavioral health professionals have long recognized the impact of meditation and mindfulness on their clients; however, recent studies have begun to identify the biological mechanisms of how these practices translate into decreased symptoms. Brain imaging from a 2013 study showed increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and the anterior insula.
These areas of the brain control worrying and executive function and are less active in patients with anxiety than the general public; therefore, this study showed a direct and concrete link between meditation and decreased symptoms of anxiety. Given the often prohibitively high costs and long waits associated with professional behavioral health intervention, meditation may be a feasible symptom management option for the almost 7 million Americans living with chronic, daily anxiety.
Meditation: The Benefits
Science tells us mediation and mindfulness are more than just trending practices…they are extremely beneficial to one’s mental and physical health. Incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine presents an opportunity to tap into your own inner resources. Meditation can help you find your inner peace and rise as the best version of YOU as you gain a greater sense of well being and resilience.
Meditation can also evoke compassion, wisdom and renewed happiness so you can live life to the fullest. Mindfulness can help you change your life by learning how to live in the present moment and appreciate it for all it’s worth!
Complementary Care That’s Essential
In addition to the benefits of meditation on anxiety, depression, and other behavioral health concerns, there has been an increase in scientific literature demonstrating the helpfulness of such practices in managing a physical illness. Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation may
help to lower blood pressure, decrease IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptom severity, and reduce ulcerative colitis flare-ups. Meditation has also been found to increase activity in brain 3 4 regions that regulate pain responses; studies show that patients self-reported lower rates of both chronic and acute pain after meditating.
When discussing meditation, it is also imperative to recognize that there are various forms of this practice; the studies discussed above and their subsequent benefits refer mostly to mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness refers to the concept of directing attention to one’s own physical and emotional experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; when attention wanders, the individual makes a concerted effort to redirect their attention to simply noticing their experience
Nonjudgmental acceptance and awareness are the cornerstone ideas of mindfulness meditation; in fact, mindfulness is a concept that is built into various modern psychotherapeutic models of treatment including mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as well as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
Although mindfulness meditation is the most commonly studied and discussed 6 meditative practice, individuals may find more benefit in other iterations of meditation; in fact, many individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and depression find the most relief from a meditative practice that combines various forms. The table below provides a brief overview of seven types of meditation, their core principles, and where they have been shown to have the greatest positive impact.
With all of the positive benefits associated with meditation, there’s no better time to begin experimenting and build a practice that fits your needs. We’d love to hear from you: what form, or combination, works best for you?
There are so many wonderful things about the benefits of TMS Therapy!
It’s non-invasive (no surgery, anesthesia, or sedation)
It’s non-systemic (not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the bloodstream)
And it’s a medication-free way to get patients well.
We see this every day at Surya Psychiatric Clinic! It’s part of what makes us proud to be home to Tucson’s first dTMS service. We understand the life-changing benefits of TMS therapy and we’ve seen the therapy transform lives first hand.
We also understand how the mere thought of TMS therapy can make patients nervous and unsure about what to expect. This is is just one reason why we believe in a holistic approach to healing. Our compassionate and welcoming environment can help you through every step of the TMS process from insurance approval for coverage to treatment- it’s part of our commitment to your wellness!
dTMS Tips For A Stress-Free Appointment
Tip #1: Remember That TMS Therapy is not painful
The machine can be intimidating…we get it! But, we always like to remind our new patients that TMS therapy is not painful. During the initial consultation, it may be beneficial to request the opportunity to see the machine in use. This allows patients to hear what the machine looks like from a different perspective. *TMS therapy may cause scalp discomfort and mild headache. These are rare and diminish in a few sessions.
Tip #2 Relaxation is key!
Perhaps the most important aspect of successfully completing each treatment is to find a way to relax through the noise of the machine. We help our patients get comfortable in the chair by sitting with both feet on the floor in a neutral position. The chair should comfortably support your arms and back- giving you comfort physically and emotionally.
Tip #3: Your Coordinator Will Help You Through
You’re in good hands at Surya Psychiatric Clinic! You’ll get to know our compassionate team from the moment you step in the door. Your TMS coordinator will walk you through every step of the process and help you stay calm and comfortable during the 20- minute treatment. She’ll talk about things like muscular activity (right arm movement) and other normal stimulations to help ease undue anxiety. Also, at the beginning of each session, your TMS Coordinator will provide a countdown from 3 to prepare you for the session.
Tip #4: Earplugs can help
We provide all patients with earplugs to help lessen the impact of the sound created by the TMS machine at work. Many patients compare the sound to that of a woodpecker. Keep in mind that each “train” (the actual portion of treatment involving active cerebral stimulation) only lasts for two seconds with twenty seconds of rest between. Therefore, although each TMS session takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, patients only receive 2 minutes of active stimulation. Additionally, it’s important to note that the intensity felt by the patient will vary from session to session; this is normal and no cause for concern.
Tip #5 Simple breathing techniques work
Once the session begins, we encourage patients to try and pass the time through relaxation meditation with a primary focus on deep, even breathing. Some patients find the “four square” model of breathing to be helpful which involves inhaling for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and holding for a count of four before repeating.
Patients who experience higher levels of anxiety may want to try a breathing method that involves a longer, nasal exhale paired with a shorter inhale through the mouth, as this has been demonstrated to be efficacious in managing symptoms of anxiety. It is particularly important to remember to breathe through the trains; as mentioned before, this is an extremely short duration of time, but holding one’s breath will only increase anxiety.
Tip #6: Muscle stimulation is normal
Sometimes, the stimulation of TMS also provides direct muscle stimulation; during each session. Some patients may experience varying levels of movement in their right cheek and mouth area. To prevent accidentally biting down on their tongue, patients can press their tongue into a “mewing” position; this entails consciously placing and keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth. If that is not feasible, many patients find a mouthguard helpful.
We’ve compiled these tips based on the input of those who have gone through the treatments first-hand. We understand that the road to TMS therapy and renewed wellness can sometimes be long, confusing, and daunting. Our team is here to help you every step of the way- give us a contact us today!