Depression is a complex mental illness that affects every aspect of your life. Psychotherapy and antidepressant medications are first-line treatments for depression. Although helpful for many, not everyone feels better with therapy and medication.
At Reviv Functional Medicine & TMS Wellness Center in Fullerton, California, our compassionate psychiatrist, Dr. Hina Sidhu, takes a holistic approach to depression. We may consider transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy when traditional interventions fail to relieve symptoms.
In this month’s blog, we want to discuss TMS for depression and when it’s time to consider it.
TMS is a noninvasive therapy that uses magnetic energy to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. Treatment involves wearing an electromagnetic coil on your head that sends powerful magnetic pulses to the brain.
We direct the magnetic pulses at the areas of the brain responsible for your low mood. The magnetic pulses improve activity in this area of the brain, helping to alleviate depression symptoms.
TMS is an outpatient procedure we perform at the office. There’s no anesthesia, surgery, or downtime with TMS.
TMS for depression
TMS is FDA-approved for people with treatment-resistant depression. If you’ve tried two or more antidepressants and continue to experience depression symptoms despite your active participation in therapy, you may have treatment-resistant depression.
Depression is a complex condition, and no single treatment works for all. If we’re unable to lift the cloud that hangs over your head with traditional interventions, then we may turn to TMS therapy.
We don’t recommend TMS to treat bipolar disorder or people with seizure disorder. However, we may suggest TMS therapy to treat other mental health conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and some anxiety disorders.
What to expect
TMS therapy is safe and painless. During therapy, you may feel or hear a tapping sensation. The first session is the longest because we have to find the areas of your brain that need stimulation. We call this brain mapping.
Follow-up treatments take 30 minutes or less, and you can resume your normal routine after your session. It’s even safe to drive. Results aren’t immediate, but most people notice improvements in their symptoms within two weeks after starting treatment.
You need TMS therapy five days a week for several weeks to achieve the best results.
Although you may feel better with TMS, it’s not without effort from you. We need you to continue to take your antidepressants and participate in therapy while undergoing TMS. The noninvasive procedure allows you to form new connections in your brain. We want to ensure these new connections have a positive result, so we need you to continue with your other treatments.
Are you experiencing treatment-resistant depression? Do you want to learn more about TMS therapy and how it can help? Schedule a consultation by calling our office today or clicking the book online button. We can also talk to you about TMS for your depression by telemedicine.