In 2018, the FDA approved TMS therapy as a treatment for depression. If you have tried every other avenue to treat your depressive symptoms without success, you may feel hopeless. In your case, this alternative treatment may be a viable option for you.
What is TMS Therapy?
TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation. This treatment sends magnetic stimulation to a specific area of the brain that handles depression and anxiety symptoms. That stimulation activates the neurotransmitters connected to depression, helping to relieve the associated symptoms. Keep in mind, this magnetic stimulation is not a form of radiation.
TMS vs. ECT
Many people compare this therapy to ECT (also known as electroconvulsive therapy). ECT passes small electric currents through your brain.
However, TMS is entirely different:
- TMS is done in an office, while ECT is done in a hospital.
- ECT requires anesthesia, but TMS therapy does not.
- TMS does not have any major side effects. You may experience a little bit of discomfort during the session, but that goes away as soon as you are done. With ECT, on the other hand, patients have a possibility of memory loss.
What Does a Typical TMS Session Look Like?
In our first session, we map your brain to locate the area that needs stimulation. During every session, a coil will be placed on your head to stimulate a particular part of the left frontal-temporal side of your brain.
Every other session is simply a matter of putting the coil in the same place. For a typical appointment, you get to sit back in a comfortable chair while your practitioner takes care of everything. At Mind & Soul, there is a TV in our office so many people begin watching their favorite show as they receive the treatment. After 18 minutes and 45 seconds, they can get up and continue their day as normal.
There are 36 sessions in total, but the first 30 serve as the main treatment. The last six sessions help you taper down from the therapy. They take place Monday through Friday, five days a week. Each session generally lasts 18 minutes and 45 seconds.
TMS and BHRT
Neurotransmitters and hormones are two of the main organic causes of anxiety and depression treatments. That is why our office typically combines TMS therapy and hormone replacement treatment to target the chemical imbalances in your brain and your body.
Am I Qualified?
Your insurance may require that you be diagnosed with resistant depression. Depending on your insurance, this means you have tried between two to four anti-depressants. Additionally, you must have tried individual therapy.
If you have any type of metal devices or objects in or around your head, you should not undergo the treatment. Many people have braces or standard amalgam dental fillings, but these will not interfere with your treatment.
Discover if TMS Therapy is Right For You
While you would typically stay on your anti-depressants while you receive the treatment, our psychiatrist’s particular goal is to help you function safely without medication. Once you finish treatment, your psychiatrist will reevaluate you in about a month to see if you are ready to decrease your medication dosage.
To find a depression treatment path that works for you, book an in-person or telehealth appointment today.