TMS Depression Therapy
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious mental health disorder that is characterized by symptoms that include depressed mood, feelings of despair and hopelessness, sleep disturbances, decreased energy, and a change in eating habits that persist for more than two weeks. When depression hits it has the potential to destabilize every aspect of an individual’s life. Many will suffer in silence, believing that the dark cloud will eventually lift and life will return to normal. Unfortunately, without treatment these depressive symptoms can escalate, possibly leading to thoughts of suicide.
Depression therapy has traditionally consisted of a regimen of antidepressant medications from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including such drugs as Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil, to name a few. Coupled with psychotherapy, about 50% of patients suffering from MDD find relief from the symptoms—leaving the other 50% feeling frustrated and hopeless. Meanwhile, their persistent depressed state continues to negatively impact work, family life, and relationships.
TMS Depression Therapy
Mental health professionals may prescribe successive medications, sometimes three or four various SSRIs, attempting to find the right fit for their patient. Unfortunately for many, none of the drugs produced successful results, leaving these patients feeling disappointed and dejected. However, once a patient with MDD has been found to be medication-resistant, they may benefit from the cutting edge depression therapy, deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS).
Deep TMS is a safe, noninvasive alternative to the standard treatment of depression, offering an option for those who weren’t helped by the antidepressants. Where medications often saddle patients with very unpleasant side effects—such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbance, nausea, and headache—dTMS produces few side effects, if any.
Deep TMS is depression therapy that can be administered without any anesthesia, eliminating the risks that go along with it. A patient is fully alert while seated in a comfortable chair, while a cushioned helmet that contains an H-coil inside is placed on their head. The magnetic pulses are delivered by technology similar to an MRI machine, penetrating up to 6 cm into the brain, and are targeted to the region of the brain associated with mood regulation, the prefrontal cortex. The magnetic fields result in electrical currents that can stimulate the brain cells and reset brain chemistry, positively impacting mood.
Since 2008, when the FDA approved TMS to treat MDD, thousands have found relief from depressive symptoms that had previously eluded them. Dozens of clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of TMS therapy for treating depression, including long-term results.
What does a Patient Experience in TMS Therapy?
The patient will feel the sensation of repetitive taps on the head where the magnetic fields penetrate the scalp. Each session lasts about 20 minutes and a regimen of 5 sessions per week for 4-6 weeks is typically prescribed. No medication is needed for TMS therapy.
Patients have reported few side effects, and those that do occur subside during the course of treatment. Those side effects include irritation at the scalp where the pulses are delivered, and mild to moderate headache. After each session the patient will be able to drive him or herself back to home or work and resume normal daily activities.
Patients usually report improvements in sleep and concentration after approximately 10 sessions. By week four or five, improved mood is commonly reported, supporting the research that has shown dTMS to be both efficacious and safe.
Achieve TMS East for Effective TMS Depression Therapy
Achieve TMS East is the premier provider for dTMS in Massachusetts, with locations in Springfield and Northampton to serve your needs. Our clean, comfortable offices offer a soothing, therapeutic environment and an expert staff with a team of professionals trained specifically to treat MDD. Call our friendly office with any questions you might have about dTMS therapy at (877) 297-5816.