Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
No two people experience major depressive disorder in the same way. Oftentimes, treatments that work for one person won’t work for another. The team at Psychiatric Wellness Center in Bakersfield, California, offer a variety of treatment options that include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is an evidence-based, noninvasive, drug-free treatment for depression. Call or schedule a consultation online today to find out if TMS can help with your depression.
What is TMS?
TMS is an evidence-based, FDA-cleared treatment for depression that uses targeted magnetic fields to improve communication between the different mood centers in your brain.
While the exact causes of depression are unknown, studies show that people with depression have different brain chemistry and activity than those without depression. Your brain creates neurotransmitters that carry information through your brain. With depression, your neurotransmitters are depleted, which disrupts that communication.
How does TMS work?
Treatment for depression focuses on increasing the number of neurotransmitters. Neurons — the brain cells that create neurotransmitters — are electrochemical cells. With TMS treatment, your neurons are stimulated into producing more neurotransmitters with electromagnetic pulses instead of chemically with antidepressant medications.
The team at Psychiatric Wellness Center uses NeuroStar® equipment to deliver TMS treatment. The device includes an integrated treatment coil to send targeted stimulation to specific mood centers in your brain. As your neural pathways become more active, the increased communication triggers other mood centers deeper within your brain, starting a chain reaction of improved neural activity.
Who is a good candidate for TMS?
If you have major depressive disorder and have been experiencing symptoms for a year or longer, you may benefit from TMS. TMS is often used when other treatments like medications and electroconvulsive therapy have not been effective or if the associated side effects have been intolerable.
What happens during a TMS session?
During your TMS sessions, you relax in a comfortable treatment chair. Your doctor places the NeuroStar device against your scalp on the front left side of your head. At your first treatment, your doctor gradually increases the electromagnetic pulse until they reach your motor threshold. Each patient has a different motor threshold and this allows the doctor to customize treatment specifically for your needs.
Then, during your 18-40-minute session, the NeuroStar device releases pulses of electromagnetic waves at varying intervals. You feel a tapping sensation during the treatment. Once your session is complete, you can return to your normal daily activities. For optimal effectiveness, it’s recommended to have daily treatment for five days a week during a four-to-six week period.
TMS treatments are noninvasive and painless. You don’t need any anesthesia and are awake during your sessions. Some patients report having a slight headache briefly after their initial treatment; however, the headaches dissipate throughout treatment and are preferable to many of the more severe side effects that some may experience with antidepressant medications.
If you’re living with depression and want to know if TMS is right for you, call or schedule a consultation online today.
Learn about NeuroStar by clicking here.