Generally, the treatment methods for depression are mainly divided into two categories: drug and non-drug therapy.

For patients with mild depression, psychotherapy with support from relatives and friends, as well as adjustments to daily life (such as regular exercise, schedule, etc.) are all very helpful.

But for people with moderate to severe depression, they often need the professional psychotherapy and medication from clinical psychologists and psychiatrists respectively.

Pharmalogical treatment

At present, the drugs used to alleviate the symptoms of depression are mainly divided into four categories:


  • Tricyclics
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)


Although antidepressants have certain effects on some patients, the side effects caused by drugs, such as dry mouth, hand shake, rapid heartbeat, decreased physical strength, and headaches are often very troublesome.

Non-drug treatment

Clinical Psychology

Clinical studies have shown that “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”, “Interpersonal therapy” and “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy” are very effective in treating depression and creating long-term changes in patients and demonstrated a lower chance of relapse compared to medication.


In the process of cognitive behavioral therapy, clinical psychologists will guide patients to identify their negative thoughts and beliefs, and assist patients in cognitive reconstructing, thus causing behavioral changes.


Our Center provides professional clinical psychology service. For any enquiries , please contact us.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Although clinical psychotherapy combined with psychiatric medication is currently the most widely used method for treating depression, many patients cannot tolerate the side effects caused by drugs, or the resistance to antidepressants.


At present, TMS has been widely used in the treatment of brain-related diseases in Europe and America:

  • The related technology was recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a non-invasive and effective treatment for depression as early as 2008.
  • The American Psychiatric Association (APA) also included TMS as a clinical treatment guideline for depressed patients in 2010.


The treatment principle of TMS is to stimulate the position of the brain to control emotions with a short pulse magnetic wave of a specific frequency – the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which activates the nerve cells in the emotional management area.


Studies have shown that nearly 70% of patients who have taken two antidepressants have remission for more than one year after completing the course of TMS treatment.

The Importance of navigation

high accuracy

Without navigation, TMS relies solely on the statistical data of the scientific literature to estimate the treatment site of the patient. Errors may occur during the stimulation process, which may affect the treatment effect.

Studies have shown that TMS without navigation has only about 30% chance of stimulating the right area of the brain when treating depression.

The advantage of the Apollo Navigated TMS system is its navigation, which allows TMS to accurately target the correct position of the patient’s brain, ensuring treatment efficacy.

high transparency

Apollo Navigated TMS provides the 3D model of the patient’s brain using their MRI head scans. Both the therapist and the patient can see the entire process of stimulation, making the treatment transparent.

TMS treatment procedure

  1. Create a unique 3D brain model according to the MRI head scan of the patient
  2. Calculate the optimal treatment intensity for the patient with reference to electromyography (EMG) of the patient
  3. Find and determine the stimulation area through the neuronavigation system
  4. Start the treatment which lasts for 19 to 37 mins


Blackburn, M., Gloaguen, V., Cottraux, J., & Cucherat, M. (1998). A meta-analysis of the effects of CT in depressed patients. Journal of Affective Disorder, 49(1), 59-72.

George, M.S., Lisanby, S.H., Avery D., McDonald, W.M., Durkaiski, V., Pavlicova, M. et al. (2010). Daily left prefrontal transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy for major depressive disorder: a sham-controlled randomized trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 67(5), 507-516.