Is TMS a Hoax? (The Answer Is No) | Active Path

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The world of health care is constantly developing and evolving. For every one concept that works, there are probably 15 that didn’t. The effectiveness and safety of nearly every procedure, treatment and technique that’s available has likely been debated. 

In mental health care, TMS is a treatment that some may try to call a “hoax.” But it’s important that you pay attention to the many studies and positive results that have backed up the efficacy of TMS. By exploring how the research disputes any uncertainty about the treatment approach, you can see how much help it can provide for you on your mental health journey.

Read on to learn about the basics of TMS, reasons why it’s not a hoax and the benefits that it can offer.

What is TMS?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is an alternative therapeutic treatment to help alleviate mental health disorder symptoms. It’s a noninvasive, nonmedication therapy option that involves using magnetic pulses to stimulate the part of the brain that controls your mood. It’s administered by a trained technician while under the supervision of a psychiatrist.

The goal is to help regulate your mood by stimulating the brain cell activity in the targeted areas. Mood regulation can help reduce the symptoms of mental health disorders that interfere with your quality of life.

TMS is used to treat a variety of mental health disorders, including:

It’s especially helpful for depression and/or OCD that hasn’t responded to other treatment options, such as medication and therapy. Treatment-resistant depression and OCD means that there haven’t been positive results after at least two trials of medication.

Why TMS isn’t a hoax

If something is a hoax, that means that it has been disproved by research and not as effective as it claims to be. But TMS has the data to back it up. 

TMS has shown the best results in patients with depression, with 79% of our patients experiencing at least 25% reduced symptoms. Some patients have their symptoms cut in half, with 59% experiencing 50% fewer depression symptoms.

It’s important to remember that TMS is a treatment for depression, not a cure. However, TMS can continue to provide symptom relief well beyond the completion of treatment. More than one-quarter of our patients with depression reach remission after TMS treatment and no longer experience symptoms. About 45% of patients experience one year of remission after a positive response to TMS.

Some may try to call it a hoax if they mix it up with another treatment that has more negative results. TMS may be confused with ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy, which tends to have much harsher side effects than those that could stem from TMS. It’s also important to understand the distinction between transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). While TMS sends magnetic pulses to the brain, ECT induces seizures with electric shocks. While still effective, ECT is more invasive than TMS and can cause side effects such as memory loss and disorientation. 

The benefits of TMS

If the positive results from research weren’t enough to convince you about how TMS can help you along your mental health journey, it’s time to consider the many benefits that it can offer:

  • No anesthesia — Since you won’t need to be given anesthesia, you will be able to drive yourself to and from the sessions without the assistance of another person. You can also immediately return to your normal activities.
  • Short appointments — Your first appointment can take between 45 minutes to an hour for the specialist to get your proper measurements. The regular sessions that follow are 30 minutes. The brief appointments make it easy to accommodate them within your schedule.
  • Insurance coverage — TMS has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an option for treatment-resistant depression and OCD. With an FDA approval, TMS is covered by most commercial insurance carriers

Active Path Mental Health can provide TMS therapy

It’s not uncommon to see conflicting opinions and reports about a health care procedure or treatment option. But it’s important to know the facts before you label something a “hoax.” Data proves that TMS is a viable and effective treatment option for mental health disorder symptoms. With the high response rates and remission probability, TMS is worth exploring.

Active Path Mental Health has locations in Oregon and Washington that can help you learn how to take control of your depression and OCD with TMS.
To learn about TMS, contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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