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In 2020, about 21 million adults in the U.S. experienced one or more major depressive episodes. At least 66% of those people received treatment for their depression that year.
If you are experiencing Major Depressive Disorder, you are not alone. Many people feeling depressed are seeking medication or alternative treatments to relieve symptoms.
You should know your treatment options. Not everyone responds to antidepressants in the same way. One alternative option for people who have had little luck with antidepressants is TMS therapy.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about TMS therapy and decide if it is right for you.
How TMS Therapy Works
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, also known as TMS, is one way to possibly treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The treatment works by using magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain, specifically in the prefrontal cortex.
In patients suffering from symptoms of depression, their prefrontal cortex is underactive. TMS therapy may be able to help by increasing activity in this area.
The process is relatively painless, and you can get back to your normal activities after each treatment. If you are accepted for this type of therapy, you can expect to have it done five days per week for four to six months.
Each session can last up to an hour. However, your exact treatment lengths will depend on the provider, your condition, and your response.
Who Is a Good Candidate for TMS Therapy?
Any person over the age of 18 and suffering from MDD may be a candidate for TMS therapy. Typically, candidates also have shown little to no response to antidepressant medications in the past.
TMS treatment should be avoided by those who have metal in their head. This means if you have brain or neck stents, cochlear implants, permanent piercings, or metal plates, TMS therapy might not be possible.
You can visit Better Balance Psychiatry to learn if you qualify for TMS therapy and find out if you would benefit from this kind of treatment.
Potential Side Effects of TMS Therapy
Brain stimulation therapy rarely has any negative side effects. However, you should know what to look out for if you plan to participate in this treatment. Some possible side effects include the following.
- Twitching of the face
- Pain in the head or neck
Keep in mind many of these symptoms such as headache or dizziness may occur during your initial treatments. But they should go away within a couple of hours.
Potential Benefits of TMS Therapy
Even though TMS therapy has only been approved by the FDA to treat MDD, many believe that it could treat a wide range of conditions. All that needs doing is more research.
Some diseases that could benefit from TMS therapy include OCD, anxiety, PTSD, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Yet, little is known about the success rates of treating these conditions with TMS.
Consider Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
TMS therapy may alleviate many of the symptoms associated with MDD by sending magnetic pulses into the prefrontal cortex. TMS is thought to help people suffering from depression when antidepressants don’t work.
If you found this guide on TMS therapy helpful, check out the rest of our website’s health and fitness page for more articles on similar topics.