Depression is more than “the blues.” It’s characterized by terrible symptoms such as long periods of unexplained sadness, a lack of interest in typically pleasurable activities, fatigue, and more. All types of depression are chronic health issues that can have life-altering and even life-threatening consequences if left untreated. Depression often causes a person to feel isolated and alone, though many people have it.
More than 17 million adolescents and adults in the US live with depression. And while treatments are available, they aren’t useful for everyone. If you relate to this scenario, you may want to consider transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
To find out if you’re a candidate for TMS, contact one of our LifeStance Health locations or email us through our website.
How transcranial magnetic stimulation works
TMS uses electromagnetic induction to stimulate particular areas of the brain associated with moods and mental health. We place an insulated coil over your scalp, which generates magnetic pulses. This process is safe, and the pulses are the same kind and strength as the ones produced by MRI machines. By stimulating activity in brain regions linked with depression, TMS can help reinstate your natural responses. Gradually and with repeated sessions, this can lead to significantly decreased depression symptoms.
What a TMS session is like
During your TMS treatment, you’ll sit comfortably in a chair. Your provider will place a protective cap on your head then position the magnetic coil over the treatment area of your head. You won’t feel any pressure or pain as we administer the pulses, and the procedure only takes about 30 minutes. Your provider will help determine how often and how many sessions you’ll need to begin, then determine a maintenance plan.
While research is ongoing, some studies have shown promising evidence for how effectively TMS can minimize depression symptoms, such as chronic sadness, an inability to find pleasure in typically pleasurable activities, appetite changes, and sleep problems. Some people prefer the treatment of oral medications. Others find it useful as a supplementary treatment form when other care options, such as medication and psychotherapy, only help so much.
Although TMS is primarily used to treat depression that doesn’t respond to other therapies, some researchers are looking into possible benefits in people with other conditions, too, such as anxiety, OCD, and schizophrenia.
If you suffer from depression and haven’t yet found a practical solution, contact our office today. Our team of experienced professionals would love to help you with your mental health journey.