Dealing with clinical depression in the 21st century presents both challenges and benefits. Some people claim that increased rates of depression are the natural consequence of a society that pushes screen time and minimizes social interaction. TMS Health Solutions takes a more optimistic view of modern times and points out that greater technology and scientific understanding allows for an enlarged toolbox for those struggling with the disorder. No matter how you feel about this disorder, one thing is certain: If you or someone you know is losing interest in the most important parts of life, seek help to avoid lasting bouts of depression.
Trends in Depression
Major Depressive Disorder is on the rise among people living in the U.S. All age demographics are being affected by the epidemic, but teens and young adults are seeing a particularly large increase in depression according to a study done by Blue Cross Blue Shield. The report shows that 4.4 percent of 41 million insurance holders were diagnosed with clinical depression in 2016. The report also announced that clinical depression has drastically increased by 33 percent since 2013.
Clinical Depression Epidemic
While depression is hardly a new disorder, it seems irrefutable that the disorder has made a strong place for itself in today’s culture. One could optimistically take this increase as a sign that the social stigmas around major depressive disorder are crumbling, so more people feel comfortable seeking help. However, one could also argue that today’s pressures are more complex and unlike anything any generation that came before us has ever seen.
Some modern challenges that may foster a depression-inducing environment include record setting debt load, stagnating wages, decline in the quality of primary education, higher cost of living, and skyrocketing cost of housing. Others point to the increased use of technology as a cause of this rise in depression. Last year, the journal Clinical Psychological Science found that increased time spent with electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, or tablets contributed to an increase in symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts among teens. The study established a correlation between long hours of screen time and feelings of alienation.
Using Technology to Counter Depression
So, whether we like it or not, the pressures of the day are with us to stay. We can either loathe the troubles that 21st century technologies bring, or we can put such technologies to work for our mental health. Take cell phones for example. Technophobes fear that cell phones are taking over, as we spend most of our waking moments interacting with one. But mental health professionals can harness the power of these mini computers to gain a better understanding of a patient’s mental health in real time. Mood trackers, pill reminders, and stress indicators are some of the more promising functions of mobile applications. Any American with a cell phone can instantly access the PHQ-9, which is changing the way we look at mental health awareness.
Depression in the Age of TMS
The professionals at TMS Health Solutions believe that those currently struggling with clinical depression are in a better position to take on the disorder than any other generation that came before them. Our scientific understanding of Major Depressive Disorder and the technologies used to combat it are at an all-time high. They’re grateful to be practicing psychiatry during this new era in which there are so many groundbreaking treatment possibilities and new hope for those with mental health conditions.
TMS Health Solutions has been committed to innovating the mental health care community since 2007. The clinic seeks to develop a group practice that provides advanced, patient-centric care with the focus of an academic research institution.