In healthcare, there is no such thing as a treatment that does not have a few possible downsides. For instance, a knee surgery can cause lingering pain during recovery or a particular pain reliever may result in headaches. When it comes to mental health disorder treatment, there are always a few side effects that you should know about.
TMS therapy is an effective treatment option for treatment-resistant depression, anxious depression and treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorders. By learning about the side effects before you start TMS therapy sessions, you can know what to expect so that you don’t have to stress over the uncertainty.
Read on to learn about the positive effects of TMS therapy, the potential TMS therapy side effects to be aware of and the steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of them in the future.
The positive effects of TMS therapy
Let’s start off with the basics of what TMS therapy is. Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is a neurostimulation treatment that delivers pulses of magnetic energy to areas of the brain that are involved in mood regulation. It is a non-medication, noninvasive option for treatment-resistant depression as well as anxious depression and OCD.
TMS therapy works by targeting specific areas of the brain that contribute to your mental health. Depression can cause your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to be underactive. The goal of TMS therapy is to increase activity in this area and alleviate depression symptoms.
The positive effects of TMS therapy are proven by looking at the results of past patients:
- 79% of our patients experience at least 25% less depression symptoms.
- 56% experience 50% less depression symptoms.
- 33% experience one year of remission from depression symptoms after a positive response to TMS.
Potential TMS therapy side effects
While the positives outweigh the potential negatives, it is important to acknowledge the possibility of side effects. Not only does learning about them ahead of time help you prepare for them and prevent any surprises, but you will also know if you are experiencing a symptom that is not caused by the TMS therapy. In this case, you may require further assistance from your healthcare provider.
The potential TMS therapy side effects are mild and do not linger for long.
TMS therapy patients may experience:
- Mild discomfort around the treatment site.
- Mild headaches.
- Contracting facial, scalp and jaw muscles.
It is important to note that the possible side effects for TMS therapy are much fewer and less severe than those of other depression treatments. For instance, antidepressants have been known to cause a variety of side effects that can interfere with your quality of life, such as fatigue, insomnia and weight gain.
What to do if you experience TMS therapy side effects
Since it is impossible to guarantee that you will not experience TMS therapy side effects, it is important to know what to do if you have them.
The TMS therapy side effects often go away on their own, but there are steps that we can take to reduce the risk of you feeling them again in your future sessions.
When you feel TMS therapy side effects, you should immediately let your TMS technician know, and they will pass on that information to the provider. Then they will determine how to adjust your therapy in future sessions, such as reducing the stimulation. They may also recommend that you take over-the-counter medication before a session if you have experienced mild headaches.
Active Path Mental Health can help alleviate TMS therapy side effects
Even though there is a possibility of some mild TMS therapy side effects, it should not deter you from exploring the treatment option. If you have treatment-resistant depression, meaning that you have not shown improvement after two trials of antidepressants, it can be easy to lose hope in ever seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
TMS therapy can help you make notable progress on your mental health journey to help reduce your depression’s impact on your day-to-day life. With our help, you can look forward to the future, form important connections with others and find joy in your hobbies.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.