Beyond Well with Sheila Hamilton - Active Path in OR and WA

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Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Y Pritham Raj, sat down with Beyond Well Podcast’s host, Sheila Hamilton, to discuss bipolar disorder and bipolar depression, its misconceptions, proper treatment, and answer listeners’ frequently asked questions about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy. 

In this episode, Dr. Raj explains the significant differences between Bipolar I and Bipolar II diagnoses. Dr. Raj explains the significant differences between Bipolar I and Bipolar II diagnoses. As described by Dr. Raj, Bipolar I “means at one point in your life… you hit full-blown mania… anything that requires hospitalization” (02:40-03:24). Dr. Raj explains Bipolar II to be “mostly depression. 39 times out of 40 that a patient experiences symptoms, usually depression, 1 out of 40 being hypomania which is a mood elevation that doesn’t quite get to the level of full-blown mania” (03:52-04:11).  

Because of the similarities between Bipolar I and depression, diagnosing an individual can be difficult. Individuals with Bipolar I often fail medications because of the use of an antidepressant instead of a mood stabilizer. TMS therapy has been found to be a breakthrough treatment for bipolar disorder, however, it is not FDA-cleared to treat this disorder thus making insurance coverage difficult to obtain

In addition to discussing Bipolar I and II, Dr.Raj answers listeners’ frequently asked questions about TMS therapy. Listeners were curious to know what TMS feels like; Dr. Raj describes TMS as a tapping sensation on the scalp. Many were curious to know how long it would take for one to feel the positive effects of TMS treatment. Dr. Raj describes how efficacy varies from person to person but evidence suggests that it would take an average of three or four weeks to feel a benefit. Sheila and Dr. Raj discussed the differences between TMS and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Dr. Raj likens the “reset” of the brain to a computer restart, whereas TMS can be described as “upgrading a program” in the brain. For additional FAQs on TMS, visit our page.

To listen to the entire episode, click here.

If you or a loved one struggles with anxious depression, major depressive disorder, or OCD reach out to our team at 503-683-8438 or fill out the schedule a consult form to discuss if TMS therapy is a good fit. 

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