In this weeks article we are talking about all things TMS Therapy. You can expect to learn what it is, how it works, expected results, and more. Keep reading, and don’t forget to contact our office with any questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment.
What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy is a safe, non-invasive, non-medication treatment option for depression. The goal of TMS Therapy is to target areas of the brain that are underactive in depression sufferers.
How does TMS Therapy work?
TMS Therapy uses repetitive magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. This form of treatment is typically used for severe depression or treatment-resistant depression symptoms.
Treatment takes just 20 - 40 minutes, is administered 5 days a week for 4 -6 weeks, and can be performed right in our office. During a treatment session you will be comfortably seated, with a magnetic coil lightly touching your head. This coil is what delivers focused magnetic stimulation directly to specific areas of the brain. You may hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation on your head during treatment. Every patient is different - your doctor will determine the treatment plan that is right you.
Once your session is completed you can immediately return to your normal daily activities. TMS Therapy doesn’t affect your memory or alertness, so you are able to drive yourself to and from appointments.
Side effects of TMS Therapy are usually mild and improve shortly after your session ends. If you do experience any mild side effects, they may decrease over time with additional sessions. Some mild side effects include headache, scalp discomfort at the treatment site, tingling sensation in facial muscles, or lightheadedness.
What results can I expect from TMS Therapy?
TMS Therapy may take several weeks of treatment before noticeable symptom relief takes place. However, if treatment is successful, you can expect your depression symptoms to improve, or in some cases, go away completely.
If your depression symptoms improve, but you later have another episode or recurrence of symptoms, it is safe to repeat TMS Therapy.
Is this non-drug treatment option right for me?
If you haven’t received adequate relief from other forms of depression treatment, including antidepressant medications, TMS Therapy may be an option for you. It is also a great treatment option for those who can’t tolerate the side effects of depression medications.
TMS Therapy is a proven, non-pharmacological form of depression treatment. However, TMS Therapy may not be for everyone and you ultimately need to speak with your doctor to determine if this depression treatment option will be beneficial for you.
You can find more information on TMS Therapy, including videos and patient testimonials, on our website. We also recommending reading 3000 Pulses Later: A Memoir of Surviving Depression without Medication. The memoir describes the authors challenges with drug-resistant depression symptoms, and her struggle to find an alternative to the medications that failed to relieve her symptoms. The author also shares her experience with TMS Therapy and how it returned her to an even better place than where she started.
Contact the Signature Psychiatry office today to speak with our staff and schedule an appointment.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/transcranial-magnetic-stimulation/about/pac-20384625. Published November 27, 2018. Accessed February 18, 2019.
How NeuroStar® Treatment Works. NeuroStar. https://neurostar.com/neurostar-tms-depression-treatment/how-neurostar-tms-works/. Accessed February 18, 2019.
Common Treatment Options for Clinical Depression. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-treatment-options#1. Accessed February 18, 2019.