TMS treatment for depression: What it is and how it can help you - Active Path Mental Health in OR and WA

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Have you noticed your depressive symptoms persisting or becoming worse? Is your depression not responding to antidepressants or therapy? It might be time to consider other options for treatment. 

One of those options is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is an FDA-approved method of treating depression without the use of medication or invasive technology. Continue reading to learn more about TMS treatment for depression and how it can help improve your depressive symptoms.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. 

Clinical depression is more than just a case of the blues. It can cause a variety of emotional and physical problems. This can include lack of energy, increased irritability and trouble completing daily tasks. To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must persist for more than two weeks. 

If you are struggling with depression, there are treatment options available. Most people with depression improve with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. However, some people do not respond to medication or therapy. Another treatment option for depression is transcranial magnetic stimulation.

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive treatment option for depression. It is often used in the case that an individual’s depression has not responded to other forms of treatment.

During treatment, a mental health specialist places an electromagnetic coil against your scalp. The coil delivers pulses of magnetic energy to the area of the brain that regulates mood. When an individual has depression, brain cell activity in this area is decreased. TMS helps promote brain activity in this region of the brain by transforming neuronal connections. This helps reduce the symptoms associated with major depressive disorder.

TMS treatment for depression often requires repeated sessions. After multiple sessions, symptoms should improve.

5 benefits of TMS treatment for depression

There are a multitude of benefits from TMS treatment for clinical depression, such as:

  • Long-lasting results — TMS treatment for depression has shown to provide lasting results. One study shows that approximately 58% of people in TMS therapy respond to treatment. The same study also found that 37% of TMS patients achieved full remission from their depression. These benefits are usually long-lasting or can be maintained with additional sessions.
  • Fewer side effects — Antidepressants often come with a long list of side effects. This can include weight gain, sexual dysfunction and chronic fatigue. For many patients, these side effects can cause a major disruption to their everyday lives. TMS treatment can provide symptom relief without the unwelcomed side effects of medication. The most common side effects of TMS are scalp pain/tenderness and headaches. These side effects are usually mild and short-term. 
  • Noninvasive treatment — Another benefit of TMS treatment for depression is that it’s noninvasive. This means that it is performed without using surgery or cutting the skin. You won’t have to have any recovery time after a treatment session. You can drive home, go to work and continue your regular activities as soon as possible.
  • Effectiveness — For some individuals, TMS treatment can be more effective than other forms of treatment. This is especially true for patients with treatment-resistant depression. Treatment-resistant depression does not respond to traditional treatment options, like medication or psychotherapy. About 79% of treatment-resistant patients saw improvement with TMS treatment for depression.
  • Reduced need for medications — TMS treatment can reduce a patient’s need for medication. Patients with treatment-resistant depression sometimes have to rely on multiple medications in order to manage their symptoms. With TMS, these patients can reduce their medication use or eliminate their need for medication altogether.

Contact Active Path today to see if TMS treatment is the right choice for you

Are you considering TMS treatment for your depression? If so, contact Active Path today to schedule an initial consultation appointment and see if TMS is the right choice for you. You can meet with one of our mental health specialists to discuss your depressive symptoms, your previous experiences with other forms of treatment and what to expect with TMS. After your consultation, our Active Path team can make a recommendation for next steps.

Depression is not a weakness. It is not something you can just “snap out” of. You deserve the help you need to get your life back on track. Active Path is here to help guide you along the way.
Contact our team today for more information or book a consultation appointment.

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