“Anxiety & Depression:  The Newest Treatments” is topic of free seminar at St. Francis on Thursday, October 19

October 10, 2017

Free screenings and a seminar focusing on anxiety and depression are being offered at St. Francis on Thursday, October 19. The event starts at 6:30 pm in the hospital’s Sara Ruth Carroll Auditorium in the Butler Pavilion, located at 2300 Manchester Expressway. Space is limited and registration required by calling 706.320.8060 or by emailing PrimeTime@sfhga.com.  

The program is being presented by behavioral care and mental health specialists from The Bradley Center and St. Francis Psychiatry, including Psychiatrist Dr. Rizwan Khan and John Roop, LPC. Topics to be covered include recognizing the cues that someone is being impacted by depression or an anxiety disorder as well as options for treatment.

Dr. Khan, a board-certified psychiatrist, completed medical school at Nova South Eastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and a residency in psychiatry at Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. John Roop, MA, LPC, a Licensed Professional Counselor, serves as Coordinator of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy with St. Francis Psychiatry.

“It’s important that people recognize that depression is more than just feeling sad or down,” said Dr. Khan. “It’s a serious health condition that requires recognition and medical care. Left untreated, depression can be devastating for both those who have it and those who care for them. Fortunately, with early detection and diagnosis, a treatment plan consisting of medication, psychotherapy and healthy lifestyle choices can help many people get better.”

An estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. Common symptoms include:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Hopelessness or guilty thoughts
  • Changes in movement (less activity or agitation)
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts

Among the new treatments that will be addressed is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS therapy) for depression. TMS Therapy is providing new hope for patients with depression for whom medication hasn’t worked.  

“TMS therapy works by stimulating the brain non-invasively using electromagnetic fields, similar to those produced by an MRI machine,” said Roop. “During TMS Therapy, a magnetic field is administered in very short pulses to stimulate the area of the brain that is thought to function abnormally in patients with depression. The magnetic field produces an electric current in the brain that stimulates the brain cells (neurons). This results in changes that are thought to be beneficial in the treatment of depression. The typical initial course of treatment is about 37 minutes daily over 4-6 weeks.”

St. Francis Psychiatry utilizes the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system. TMS Therapy is non-systemic (does not circulate in the blood throughout the body), so it does not have side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, sedation, etc. During TMS Therapy, patients sit in a chair and are awake and alert throughout the entire 37-minute procedure – no sedation is needed. Patients can transport themselves to and from treatment.

Additionally, it's not uncommon for someone with depression to also suffer with an anxiety disorder or vice versa. In fact, nearly half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Depression and anxiety disorders are different, but people with depression often experience symptoms similar to those of an anxiety disorder, such as nervousness, irritability and problems sleeping and concentrating. Each disorder has its own causes as well as emotional and behavioral symptoms.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment. Both depression and anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

About St. Francis 

St. Francis Bradley Center and St. Francis Psychiatry are both departments of St. Francis Hospital. A part of LifePoint Health, St. Francis is a 376-bed facility that offers a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency room services and is the only area hospital offering open-heart surgery. With more than 2,500 employees, 500+ physicians on the medical staff, and the latest technology, we strive to help you regain and maintain your health. Our overriding goal is to provide you with the best possible care. For more information, visit www.mystfrancis.com.

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