TMS Therapy & Depression Treatment: All You Need to Know
Depression is a medical condition comprising constant feelings of sadness, loss, rage, or a combination thereof. Despite being a common disorder, depression can become nigh devastating if left untreated; major depressive disorder or MDD has a high suicide rate.
However, patients have easy access to a wide range of treatments for depression in today’s world. Anyone struggling with depression can rest assured that with professional help, they’ll be able to get back on their feet in no time. Effective depression treatment options range from psychotherapy to medications, or innovative approaches like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
TMS is a type of non-invasive brain stimulation therapy utilizing electromagnetic pulses to provoke brain cells to reduce the neurological symptoms of mental disorders like depression. What makes TMS extraordinary is that about 60% of patients who didn't respond to antidepressant medications have demonstrated excellent progress with TMS therapy.
Here below, we’ll discuss this novel treatment for depression and how it works.
How TMS Therapy Works
TMS treatment is usually prescribed by a physician and carried out by a technician. There’s no need for patients to be hospitalized during their TMS sessions. It is 100% an outpatient process easily performed in a clinic.
Here is a summary of what will happen during a TMS session:
- You will be seated on a comfortable chair, and a technician will give you earplugs to make the noise less discomforting. There will be no need for anesthesia during the procedure.
- The technician will take head measurements to determine where to place the magnetic coil. They may also take other body measurements to personalize the settings of the TMS machine.
- The treatment officially starts with the technician placing the coil on the front part of your brain.
- You’ll hear some clicking sounds & feel a knocking sensation beneath the coil.
- A TMS session lasts from 30-60 minutes. You’ll be able to resume your daily activities immediately after your session concludes.
There is no exact length for this treatment, and the duration primarily depends on the patient’s condition and how they respond to the treatment. Although, according to experts, one has to repeat the treatment five days a week for 4-6 weeks.
TMS therapy and depression work effectively and hand in hand, with the results being quite promising. The electromagnetic coil causes painless magnetic pulses that can stimulate brain cells responsible for mood control and depression. Scientists believe that activating regions of the brain deactivated in depression can help control the condition and ease symptoms.
Preparing for the First Session
It might be wise to take a physical exam and run some lab tests before undergoing TMS (certain conditions might preclude individuals from the procedure). Experts also advise psychiatric evaluation with a therapist.
These tests can help to verify that TMS is the proper treatment course for the patient’s current predicament. If you happen to have a specific condition you’re aware of; it might be best to consult with your doctor or health provider first.
Benefits of TMS Therapy
According to reliable statistics, TMS therapy and depression have worked in tandem so far, as half the patients who underwent TMS showed significant signs of improvement after undergoing the procedure, with symptoms completely disappearing in about 30% of them. Other benefits of TMS include:
- It's performed anesthesia-free
- It's highly effective & non-invasive
- The procedure is outpatient & well-tolerated by most patients
TMS Therapy for Other Mental Disorders
The remarkable results of TMS on depression have made professionals optimistic that this treatment might also prove effective with other mental conditions. TMS therapy for other mental disorders includes anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, OCD, and BPD. With help from TMS, the tension in the prefrontal lobe loses its intensity.
TMS has also been reported to have therapeutic effects on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Schizophrenia. TMS can play a vital role in treating Alzheimer's disease by mutating the connections involved in memory and learning.
TMS therapy at Los Angeles Therapy Institute
If you’ve tried other treatments for depression and didn't receive a satisfying response, TMS might be your best option. If you're interested in this procedure and are concerned about possible risks and consequences, there’s nothing to worry about. Just contact us at Los Angeles Therapy Institute for further information and guidance.