Anxiety can be extremely hard to deal with, but there are psychiatry treatment options that can significantly help people who suffer day to day from feelings of anxiousness or fear. Psychiatry is a field of medicine that focuses on diagnosing, managing and treating behavioral, mental and emotional disorders. High levels of anxiety fall under the…
TMS Therapy Process for Treatment Resistant Depression
The TMS therapy process is performed to determine if the procedure can help patients with treatment-resistant depression. The procedure was developed a few decades ago, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it as a treatment for depression in 2008.
According to the National Library of Medicine, about two-thirds of patients who undergo transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) experience a noticeable reduction in their symptoms or complete remission.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that involves stimulating a patient’s brain with magnetic waves. This encourages the production of neurotransmitters and reactivates deactivated portions of the prefrontal cortex. People with depression typically have low activity in their prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that regulates mood and emotions.
The TMS treatment process for treatment-resistant depression
Let us look at how the TMS therapy process works when used to treat depression.
1. Initial consultation
This typically involves a psychiatrist talking to the patient about their symptoms and mental state. The psychiatrist also talks to the patient about any treatments they have already received.
TMS treatments are usually recommended for patients with treatment-resistant depression who have used antidepressants for more than six weeks without positive results. It is also recommended for people who have severe reactions to antidepressants and those who prefer a medication-free solution.
The psychiatrist will also provide patients with questionnaires that go over the symptoms of depression. Patients are asked to rank the frequency and intensity of their symptoms.
The psychiatrist might perform a physical examination to rule out physical issues as the cause of the patient’s depression if a doctor has not already done so. Blood tests might be ordered for this exact reason. Consent will be requested to contact any medical professionals the patient has worked with in the past.
The patient will also be evaluated to determine if there is anything that disqualifies them from getting TMS therapy like:
- Metal screws or plates in their head
- Medical implants
- A history of seizures
Antidepressants and psychotherapy are the standard treatments for depression, so psychiatrists typically recommend them first. TMS therapy is used as an alternative when standard treatments have failed.
2. TMS consultation
If the patient is cleared for TMS therapy, they are asked to come in for a consultation. During the appointment, the psychiatrist goes over how TMS therapy works and answers any questions the patient has. They also lay out a timeline for how soon the patient should expect to see positive results. People who get transcranial magnetic stimulation often report a reduction in their symptoms as early as a couple of weeks into their treatment.
A brain scan is also usually taken using magnetic resonance imaging during this appointment. It maps out the patient’s brain and highlights areas with low activity. Stimulating these areas with magnetic pulses leads to increased activity and neurotransmitter production, which improve brain function.
Put depression behind you
Depression can leave you feeling the blues all the time and remove the joy you get from your favorite activities. Call or stop by our New York clinic to get the help you need.
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