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Do you or someone you know deal with one or more mental health disorders? You’ve likely heard of many treatment methods like talk therapy, exposure therapy, medication or even electroconvulsive therapy. There’s no shortage of treatment methods for those struggling to manage their mental health disorders. But have you ever heard of one called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS therapy for short? It’s a unique type of mental health treatment. This treatment uses pulses of magnetic energy to treat severe depression and OCD. 

If you’re new to transcranial magnetic stimulation, you can find out more about how it benefits patients with depression and anxiety disorders, as well as what patients can expect during their TMS sessions.

How can TMS therapy help someone with depression?

TMS is most frequently used for treatment-resistant depression but can also be used for anxious depression and OCD. It’s often recommended after a patient’s symptoms fail to respond to more traditional treatment methods, such as medication and talk therapy. 

When used to treat depression, transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy involves the use of pulses of magnetic energy to target the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that is heavily involved in the regulation of mood. For individuals with anxiety and depression, the process is similar, with treatment now focused on target areas of the brain involved with fear responses. The end goal of TMS therapy is to ease a patient’s depression and anxiety symptoms by stimulating the proper area of the brain and bringing balance to the chemicals in those areas.

What can you expect during a TMS treatment session?

If you’re new to TMS, you will likely be curious about how the sessions work. You can find out more about what a transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy session looks like by reading the details below:

  • You’ll be asked to sit down — One of the first things you’ll be asked to do during your session is sit in a chair. Sitting down allows you to relax during your treatment and provides your technician access to your head.
  • You’ll be given earplugs — Next, you’ll be given earplugs. TMS therapy involves clicking or popping sounds. Earplugs are usually given to patients to provide comfort and protect against any potential hearing damage.
  • You will have a “mapping” — Coil placement is determined based on the condition being treated and then “mapped” specifically to each individual patient’s neuroanatomy. 
  • Treatment is administered — Pulses of magnetic energy are sent to the specific area of your brain located during the mapping.

While these are just the general steps involved in TMS treatment sessions, it’s also important that you know some of the effects of TMS therapy. During your sessions, it’s likely that you’ll hear popping or clicking sounds. You might even experience tingling or tapping feelings on the outside of the skull. You may also feel some discomfort on your skin around the affected area briefly after your session. 

Active Path Mental Health can provide transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment for your depression

Depression can negatively impact the quality of your life and every aspect of your life, from your eating habits to how well you sleep. Fortunately, transcranial magnetic stimulation can be effective in treating the symptoms of depression. With treatment, we’re confident that your symptoms will begin to improve. Our goal is to guide you toward active recovery and transformation. Not sure if you’re dealing with depression? You can take our self-assessment quiz here.

Active Path Mental Health has locations in Oregon and Washington. Each one of our clinics can help you manage your depression or other mental health disorder with TMS therapy and psychotherapy. 
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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