For patients battling depression, it is very crucial that remission be reached. Remission in depression can be difficult to attain, however, and it is made more challenging by the incongruencies between patient and provider definitions of remission. Understanding how patients think about remission in depression is critical to treatment because patients who do not reach remission are more likely to relapse and less likely to recover from depression in the long run. By integrating these definitions, patients will receive care that is catered to addressing their concerns, thus greatly reducing the odds of relapse. TMS is a highly effective treatment for depression and can significantly impact a patient’s chance to reach remission from depression.
Patient vs Doctor Remission Definition
Patient Definition of Remission
Remission in depression is characterized by a substantial improvement in symptoms, typically, though not always, experienced following a treatment intervention. Practitioners measure and determine remission rates based on patients’ scores of severity in reference to certain symptom criteria. These scales are effective for assessing the presence and severity of depression in patients; however, they do not always encapsulate the entirety of remission.
Patients often define remission differently than medical professionals. In Mark Zimmerman’s 2012 study, he defines what patients consider when defining remission for themselves including:
- feeling in control of themselves
- the ability to function well at work, home, and school
- possessing a positive outlook
- the ability to enjoy activities
Similarly, in a 2006 study, also done by Zimmerman, patients described remission as positive mental health such as optimism and self-confidence; a return to one’s normal self; and a return to usual level of functioning. Overall, those who receive treatment for depression define remission with a broader scope than treatment providers. Factors such as functionality, ability to cope, and general satisfaction with life are regularly chief concerns for patients. If they are not able to reach their goals in this area, depressive symptoms are likely to persist and even worsen.
Doctor Definition of Remission
At the end of the day, remission in depression is the goal for both the patient and clinicians. Therefore, recognizing the difference in definitions between patients and providers is essential because knowing what remission is and what it looks like for different people is crucial to ensuring that treatment is effective. Many of the factors patients use for determining remission are not reflected on the scales that clinicians use to determine remission. It is important to have a full discussion so that clinicians can understand how each individual defines remission.
Moreover, many patients with depression report being non-remitters despite reaching clinically defined remission. These people often have decreased quality of life and work productivity. The most frequent symptoms they report include insomnia, changes in appetite, excessive sleep, and decreased enjoyment of activities. By improving the way we define remission, we can help patients ailing with depression reach treatment that is suitable for them.
The Value in Reaching Remission
When it comes to tackling depression, remission is critical to success. The consequences of not reaching remission in depression, not simply a response, is associated with higher degrees of relapse and less time of intervals of not being depressed. Failing to reach remission is also linked to more depressive episodes over time as well as an increased rate of overall mortality including suicide and medical comorbidities. These problems translate into higher indirect and direct costs, including direct medical costs and psychiatric costs. There is also a major toll on society as patients who don’t attain remission not only work less but work less effectively. Also, when remission is not reached, patients are more likely to rely upon long-term disability benefits.
Individuals who described themselves as having reached remission see multiple benefits. Firstly, those who reach remission report lower levels of depression and anxiety when compared to that of their non-remitter counterparts. Additionally, according to their self-reporting, remitters experience a significantly higher quality of life, contrary to that of non-remitters. Finally, patients who report attaining remission experience lower levels of impairment during daily basic functioning than those who do not consider themselves in remission.
How TMS Impacts Remission
TMS, or Transcranial magnetic stimulation, is greatly effective for treating depression. By using magnetic pulses, this procedure activates the areas of the brain where low activity otherwise leads to depression. The brain stimulation experienced during TMS is safe, noninvasive, and verifiably effective.
After having TMS procedures, over 1/3 of patients treated at Mid City TMS report reaching a full remission, with the majority of all their symptoms fully resolving. Many patients remain in remission for a long time following an effective TMS course, but depression is a recurrent condition for others. Due to this, some patients may find it helpful to receive additional booster sessions if depressive symptoms or episodes return.
Move Closer to Remission in Depression with Mid City TMS
Again, many things inform the likelihood of remission. Factors such as a person’s diet and exercise regimen and how they socialize and manage stress, affect the potential for remission. If other forms of treatment or management for your symptoms are not offering the results you need, TMS may be the answer. For more information about TMS and how it can help you attain remission from your depression, visit our site or call today to start moving towards the life you truly want to live.