Major Depression


Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, adversely affecting more than 17.3 million adults in the United States each year. Depression is a serious medical condition and can severely impact a person's ability to carry out major life activities. Major Depression is defined by the DSM-5 where an individual experiences five or more of the following symptoms during a 2-week period:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

An individual would also experience a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in life or daily activities, or both.

Those suffering from depression often feel persistent feelings of low mood, hopelessness, sadness, and may experience problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, or self-worth. Depression can deprive a person of the ability to experience a fulfilling life.

Learn more about depression from the National Institute of Mental Health.


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, there are many treatment options available. The first lines of treatment are typically antidepressant medications and psychotherapy. While these forms of treatment are successful for a number of individuals, they may lose their effectiveness over time, or after a subsequent relapse.

Depression that fails to respond to two or more forms of oral antidepressant is known as treatment-resistant depression. This type of depression can leave an individual feeling especially hopeless—but it's important to continue fighting.

At Touchstone TMS, we offer a range of treatment methods that specialize in medication-resistant depression, including TMS and ketamine therapy. These pioneering treatments have shown remarkable effectiveness in helping patients achieve remission from their depression. Contact our office to learn more about which options may be right for you.

Complications of Depression

Depression can affect all areas of a person's life, and symptoms often progressive if left untreated. The Mayo Clinic describes many of the complications that can arise from depression:

  • Excess weight or obesity, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes
  • Pain or physical illness
  • Alcohol or drug misuse
  • Anxiety, panic disorder or social phobia
  • Family conflicts, relationship difficulties, and work or school problems
  • Social isolation
  • Suicidal feelings, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Self-mutilation, such as cutting
  • Premature death from medical conditions

This page discusses the signs, symptoms and treatment options for major depressive disorder (also known as unipolar depression), which is a distinct condition from bipolar depression. We hope to have more resources available on the topic of bipolar depression in the future.