TMS Treats Medication-Resistant Depression
Anyone who suffers from major depressive disorder (MDD) or persistent depressive disorder (PDD) would agree: They would do anything to feel like themselves again. The debilitating effects of depression have the potential to completely level a person in every aspect of their daily life. Persistent feelings of profound sadness, hopelessness, lethargy, and a loss of interest in the things that were once enjoyed permeate the world of one suffering from depression.
The statistics are startling. In the United States, 16 million people had at least one major depressive episode in 2012, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Prolonged depressive events impact emotional and physical health, and can even become life threatening. Approximately 50% of people who die by suicide suffer from major depression.
In seeking treatment for depression, many find relief to be elusive, as the traditional treatment methods of antidepressants and psychotherapy fall short. For these individuals who are resistant to conventional treatment, a relatively new treatment modality called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has shown great promise in treating depression. The FDA cleared TMS in 2008 for use in the US to treat depression in patients who had not found relief with antidepressants.
Imagine receiving effective treatment for depression that is non-invasive, requires no anesthesia, no electrical shocks, and is absent the side effects associated with antidepressant medications, such as weight gain, nausea, sexual dysfunction, and dry mouth. Instead, TMS offers long-term symptomatic relief of clinically diagnosed depression in an outpatient setting.
What is TMS?
When the brain’s neuro-transmitters (including dopamine and serotonin) get out of whack it can cause a malfunction in the neural pathways, impacting the brain’s communication system involving emotions, drive, decision-making, coping with stress, and mental alertness. TMS is a method of brain stimulation using electromagnetic induction. The repetitive magnetic pulses are delivered through a coil that is placed over the scalp, strategically positioned to focus on the area of the brain that plays a role in mood regulation, the left prefrontal cortex. The pulses are of the same strength as those administered by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. The patient is awake and alert during the sessions and is able to drive home afterward.
The pulses delivered by TMS are magnetic, not electric, and painlessly penetrates the cranium. The pulses stimulate the brain’s neurons that travel along the prefrontal cortex’s neural pathways into deeper sections of the brain. Over a period of 4-6 weeks, these 20-40 minute sessions of consistent brain stimulation will cause an eventual re-balancing of brain chemistry, producing relief from the symptoms of depression.
The systematic delivery of the magnetic stimulation is what leads to the desired result in treating depression, and is also effective in treating anxiety and other related conditions. TMS is not a quick fix and does require a commitment to the prescribed number of sessions determined by the clinician. The treatment process should be approached with patience, and seen as a continuum that will ultimately produce a positive and lasting change in one’s life.
About Achieve TMS Centers
Achieve TMS Centers is the leading provider of TMS in the United States, with sixteen locations currently operating throughout California, Oregon and Massachusetts, and several new location opening soon. Our expertise in treating depression through TMS is unequaled in the mental health industry.
Our highly skilled specialists are devoted to helping patients restore their brain’s chemical balance, culminating in healthy brain function. Our team of licensed and board certified psychiatrists are committed to providing the excellent care and treatment that has led to countless successful patient outcomes.
Achieve TMS Centers also offers TMS as an adjunct therapy to residential mental health and dual diagnosis treatment centers. Achieve TMS is looking to facilitate partnerships with mental health and dual diagnosis providers across the United States to offer TMS as a proven alternative to traditional treatment for depression.
Achieve TMS Centers Can Help
If you or your loved one is suffering from depression, the compassionate staff at Achieve TMS is here to help. Contact us for a discreet consultation and our knowledgeable admissions professionals will assist you with any questions you might have about our therapeutic program, and/or about insurance eligibility. Call us today at (877) 447-6503.