Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS treatment, is a non-invasive method of mood regulation. It uses magnetic energy to excite target neurotransmitters responsible for mental disorders like depression. Understanding what this treatment is about can help you prepare for it. Here are the details about what happens during a TMS treatment.Talking to the doctor before the…
TMS Therapy from a Psychiatric Clinic
A psychiatric clinic can provide transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) if you struggle with depression. It is a non-invasive, safe way to treat treatment-resistant depression. It is also effective on severe depression.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is usually not the first option a psychiatric clinic recommends. Psychotherapy and medication are typically the first lines of defense against it. However, not all patients see a significant reduction in their treatments after taking antidepressants. Also, some patients do not like the idea of taking medication for depression or experience side effects they would rather not deal with. TMS therapy provides an alternative that is effective with or without medication.
What to expect when getting TMS therapy from a psychiatric clinic
The Food and Drug Administration approves transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. It involves stimulating areas of the patient’s brain with magnetic pulses. Sending these pulses into the brain increases brain activity in the region, alleviating the symptoms of depression.
TMS therapy can be combined with medication or used as a standalone treatment. It is an outpatient procedure that does not require sedatives or anesthetics since the treatment does not cause pain. Patients do not feel much besides a tapping sensation on their forehead caused by magnetic waves penetrating into their brain.
The magnetic waves used for the treatment are generated by placing a magnetic coil on the patient’s head. Magnetic resonance imaging is usually used to map out the patient’s brain before starting transcranial magnetic stimulation. The map allows the psychiatrist to pinpoint the best areas of the brain to target during the treatment.
Treating depression with TMS therapy typically involves getting up to five treatment sessions per week for up to six weeks. The average patient gets 25 to 35 TMS sessions during their treatment. Each session lasts 30 to 60 minutes, with the patient’s initial appointment being the exception. The first visit is used to determine how well the patient can handle magnetic waves entering their brain. The psychiatrist gradually increases the intensity of the waves until the patient’s fingers or hands start to twitch.
TMS yields positive results for most patients, and its effect can be felt in as few as two weeks after starting treatments. Patients who complete TMS therapy can enjoy its benefits for over a year.
Here is what a typical TMS treatment session looks like:
- The patient is seated on a chair and given earplugs to protect their ears
- A magnetic coil is placed on the patient’s head
- The psychiatrist turns the coil on and off to send magnetic waves into the patient’s brain repeatedly
Patients are typically able to drive themselves after each treatment session. Side effects are rare, but the most common ones include headaches, nausea, and scalp irritation.
We can help you get past depression
Depression impacts all aspects of your life, and it takes the fun out of all your favorite activities. Ready to put it behind you? Give us a call or drop by our New York clinic to set up an appointment with our psychiatrist.
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