Take the PHQ-10 Now: Quick and Easy Way to Check Your Mental Health!


Smart Brain and Health

Neuroimaging located in Santa Monica, CA & Beverly Hills, CA

Depression affects nearly 7% of adults, and 64% of them have a tough time taking care of daily responsibilities due to their depression. Dr. Allen Chroman & Dr. Bradley Jabour of Smart Brain and Health offer treatment for depression, including transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment-resistant depression. You don’t need to suffer through depression on your own: Call the office in Santa Monica, California, or book an appointment online today.

Depression Q & A

What causes depression?

Although depression arises from a chemical imbalance in your brain, the disease is more complex than simply having an insufficient amount of neurotransmitters. Depression develops from many possible causes.

Genetics has a role in depression. If you have a parent or sibling with major depression, your risk of becoming depressed is 2-3 times greater compared with other adults who don’t have a family history of depression.

Chronic stress and trauma also influence your susceptibility to depression. Both can cause subtle changes in your brain that lead to depression. For example, they may affect neurotransmitters or cellular function.

What are the symptoms of major depressive disorder?

When your symptoms affect your ability to work, socialize, or enjoy time with your family, it’s time to seek professional help. Major depression is diagnosed when patients have the first two symptoms plus three or more of the others nearly every day for at least two weeks:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day (feeling sad, hopeless)
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in activities
  • Weight loss or weight gain or change in appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Feelings of restlessness or of being slowed down
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, or a plan to commit suicide

What increases your risk of depression?

In many patients, a specific event triggers major depressive disorder. Postpartum depression is a major depressive disorder that develops during pregnancy or after delivery. It’s sometimes severe enough to interfere with taking care of your new baby.

Trauma also triggers depression, whether you experience physical abuse, sexual abuse, or you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which develops after you experience or witness a life-threatening event. Depression is about 3-5 times more likely in those with PTSD than people who don’t have PTSD.

Other factors that increase your risk for depression include:

  • Stressful life events such as the death of a loved one, financial problems, or relationship problems
  • Taking certain medications, including beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and statins
  • Alcoholism, substance abuse, and withdrawal from these substances

What complications develop due to depression?

When depression goes untreated, it interferes with your ability to function. Nearly all patients with major depressive disorders report that their depression harms their social and work lives.

Depression can ruin relationships, lead to substance abuse, and put your livelihood at risk due to taking too much time away from work. Ultimately, depression becomes life-threatening, as 60% of all people who commit suicide are depressed.

How is depression treated?

First-line treatment for depression includes antidepressant medications and psychotherapy (talk therapy). Psychotherapy can help you determine why you’re depressed, learn to resolve the issue, replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and improve relationships.

Making healthy changes to diet, increasing physical activity, getting restorative sleep, and reducing stress are all critical for improving your recovery and preventing future depression.

Approximately one-third of patients with depression don’t respond to antidepressant medications. If you have treatment-resistant depression, you may be a good candidate for alternative treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation?

Treating depression at Smart Brain and Health involves using cutting-edge functional MRIs or other brain imaging procedures to obtain an in-depth picture of your brain and look for abnormalities. Neuroimaging helps guide transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment decisions and determine its effectiveness.


TMS is a noninvasive treatment that uses magnetic energy pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. The Smart Brain and Health experts provide (“GPS for the Brain”™) imaging procedures to accurately target TMS treatment and track its progress. They utilize stereotactic techniques on a Brain Lab system pioneered for brain surgery but adapted for individualized TMS therapy by the Smart Brain and Health experts.

Your personalized anxiety treatment plan may also include lifestyle changes, psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of treatments. 

When you develop depression or experience a traumatic event, call Smart Brain and Health or book an appointment online today.