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Tallahassee, FL 32308


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Definition of Major Depression

Definition of Depression:

The diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder is made largely on the basis of reliable history related to the doctor by patients or family members. The PHQ 9 form is a quick instrument which asks specific questions and scores them in such a way that the numerical score is highly correlated with a correct diagnosis of depression. Depression is suspected with scores starting at about 8, and is noted to be severe at a PHQ 9 score of greater than 20. The PHQ 9 is only one scale which can be used to rate depressive symptoms - there are many others, but this is the one we use in practice at TMS PC.

Major Depression

The diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association defines characeristics of a depressive episode, and then goes on to define a number of disorders in which depressive episodes occur. A major depressive episode is diagnosed if 5 or more of 9 symptoms have been present during the same 2 wk period, and represent a change from previous functioning. At least one of the symptoms must be (1) loss of interest, or (2) loss of interest in activity or pleasure. The 9 criteria include:

  1. Depressed mood
  2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all activities
  3. Significant weight loss or gain
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day as noticeable by others
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  7. Feelings of worhlessness or guilt nearly every day
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate nearly every day
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death, or suicidal ideas and suicidal behavior

There are a number of phenomena and behaviors which can bring on a depressive episode, and these range from substance abuse to medical conditions, to the loss of a loved one. When depressive episodes occur in typical patterns, and are not due to other causes, the diagnosis of a Mood Disorder is made. Major depression and recurring major depression are common diagnoses in which major depressive epsisodes occur, of course, but Bipolar Disorder and several other mood disorders share the property of including a depressive episode of episodes during their course.

If you have a depressive episode that re-occurs and is not responding to counseling and/or anti-depressant treatment, a pscyhiatrist should evaluate your condition. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a treatment for depression which does not respond to standard pharmaceutical therapies.

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Our Office Serves: TMS South Georgia, TMS North Florida, TMS Tallahassee FL