What To Expect with TMS - Active Path Mental Health in OR and WA

Introducing TMS Therapy

There is no single treatment for depression or obsessive compulsive disorder which has been proven to work for everyone. While antidepressant medications help many, some people experience no benefits and/or cannot tolerate the side effects. Fortunately, alternative treatments for depression and OCD are available. One alternative therapy is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

How Does TMS Work?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood.
What Is the Course of Treatment?
TMS therapy is an outpatient procedure. The typical treatment course consists of five treatments per week over a six-week period for a total of 36 treatments. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes. Patients can drive themselves home after each session and immediately return to normal activities.
When Does TMS Start Working?
Most trials indicate that patients experience improvement by the fourth week of treatment. However, each patient is unique in their response, and some may improve before or after the fourth week.
How Long Do the Effects of TMS Last?
Clinical studies indicate that 45% of patients with a good response maintain remission 12 months after treatment. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some patients who experience a recurrence of their symptoms usually respond to repeat sessions of TMS.
patient undergoing NeuroStar treatment

The tms experience

TMS treatment is administered by a specially trained technician, under the supervision of a psychiatrist, who places a magnetic coil against the scalp near the forehead. The coil emits a magnetic pulse that stimulates increased brain cell activity in this area, which regulates mood and emotional response.

The first TMS treatment is called the mapping session. In this session, we take precise measurements to make sure that the device is correctly positioned on the patient’s head.

After the placement and the strength of the pulses are determined, you’ll start your first TMS treatment that same day. The treatment feels like someone is tapping you on the side of the head. It’s an odd sensation, but it’s one that most people adjust to quickly and the side effect is only present while the machine is on. We make sure patients know exactly what’s going on during the entire treatment, and we can stop the treatment at any time.

This first appointment takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. Regular sessions of TMS are only 30 minutes. Patients come in five times a week for six weeks. After you finish treatment, you’ll be ready to walk out the door and get back to your life.

Hear One Patient’s Story With TMS Therapy

“The staff here are some of the nicest, most competent people I’ve had the pleasure to be treated by. Everyone, including the assistants, has a genuine interest in the patient’s mental health. The technology itself is borderline miraculous and took me down from moderate-severe depression to barely mild. Plus, the entire treatment was covered by my OHP plan and I had no side effects whatsoever.”

– George Z.