Mental health is just as vital as physical health, but often goes untreated and overlooked. Anxiety and depression are two more prevalent mental health disorders that, with the help of a good physician, can be mitigated and often cured. Coming out of the global pandemic of 2020, there was an incredible increase in patients who suffered from depression symptoms. These symptoms can include intense fatigue, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, and personality changes. Often, this can lead to individuals being reluctant to seek treatment for their symptoms, but your doctor CAN help.
How Do I Treat Depression?
Dr. Steven Ching and Dr. Denise Dvorquez are our dream team of Internists who practice at RFMG Hemet. Their philosophy of medicine is to treat depression at a holistic level before moving on to more clinical treatments like medicines or psychotherapy. Lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise, and the supplements you take can greatly affect depression symptoms. Diet plays a dominant role in overall health, but the nutrients that you glean from your diet can affect brain health and mood. For example, Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient that can fight depression through a variety of avenues. Vitamin D reduces inflammation in your body and helps regulate mood. There was a study published in 2020 that individuals who were Vitamin D deficient had significantly improved depression symptoms when receiving Vitamin D injections. Your body can get more Vitamin D by spending more times outside and by eating Vitamin D enriched foods like eggs, meat, and fatty fish. Exercise is just as important as diet when it comes to mitigating depression symptoms. Dr. Daskalakis, the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and a practicing Psychiatrist at UC San Diego, encourages intense exercise as a holistic medicine for depression. For seniors, this can look like doing a brisk walk around the neighborhood, doing a dance class at one of the RFMG Senior Centers, or following along with one of our online workout courses at www.beyondtheclinic.com. If these at-home approaches for medicine do not seem to be mitigating your depression symptoms, a more clinical approach to depression may be in order. This can mean psychotherapy or medications that are prescribed to you by your primary care physician.
If for some reason, your depression is unable to be treated by medications, psychotherapy, or holistic approaches, there is still hope to relieve your symptoms. Dr. Daskalakis of UC San Diego, specializes in treating treatment-resistant depression. Dr. Daskalakis knew he wanted to pursue medicine, but he specifically knew he wanted to study psychiatry when, in his 3rd year of medical school, he came across a patient who had auditory hallucinations related to psychosis. This patient ended up having a grand mal seizure, and that seizure cured the hallucination symptoms. Since then, Dr. Daskalakis has been completely fascinated by how the brain works and how specific treatments can absolve patients of mental health symptoms. Dr. Daskalakis now specializes in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) at UC San Diego. TMS is a noninvasive technological breakthrough that involves applying a series of short magnetic pulses to stimulate nerves in the areas of the brain known to be associated with major depression. The goal of TMS is to use electric currents to change the firing patterns of the neurons, altering dysfunctional brain patterns associated with depression. This procedure involves sitting in a comfortable recliner and only lasts for a few minutes. This involves very minor discomfort for the patients. Patients have reported feeling a twitching sensation on their forehead during the procedure as well as a mild headache afterwards. When asked about a TMS success story, Dr. Daskalakis said there were too many to name. However, he did mention a story of a women in later life who was referred to him who had suffered with severe depression for years. She no longer had any depression symptoms thanks to TMS and no adverse side effects from this treatment. She is relieved to finally be depression-free life.
Helpful Steps to Take
If you are experiencing active depression symptoms, we encourage you to reach out to your doctor and see what next steps are needed to have you feeling well. If you are looking for a new primary care physician who can help mitigate your depression symptoms, both Dr. Steven Ching and Dr. Denise Dvorquez are accepting new patients at RFMG Hemet. Please reach out to 951-225-6808 to learn more!
Who We Are
We are family physicians serving south Riverside county with the highest quality of care. Rancho’s goal is to approach medicine differently by offering more cohesive care and education that extends beyond the four walls of the exam room. We do not just make suggestions and write prescriptions, we have taken steps to improve the health of our patients. Our family physicians have developed educational content that empowers their community to make healthy lifestyle changes. We also have free senior centers for our patients 65 and older that are full of exercise and nutrition classes as well as full online courses teaching a wide variety of health topics. We pride ourselves on going beyond the exam room to make our community healthier and happier.