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4 Benefits of TMS Treatments for Your Depression

4 Benefits of TMS Treatments for Your Depression

Depression is the leading cause of disability in people under the age of 44, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Approximately 16.1 million American adults struggle with depression in a given year. Lifestyle modifications, talk therapy, and medication are three pillars of depression treatment, but those aren’t the only options. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is another option for treating depression δΈ€ and it’s available here at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health.

In this article, Dr. Hadi Estakhri shares four benefits of TMS treatments for your depression.

Quick overview of TMS therapy

TMS therapy is a non-invasive therapy that harnesses the power of a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate specific regions in your brain. TMS therapy is typically administered in a set of series, often 20-30 sessions total. That equates to about 5 treatments per week for 4-6 weeks. During your session, a magnetic coil is placed against your head, and you might hear a slight tapping sound. The magnetic energy targets a certain area in your brain, an area known to regulate mood.

4 reasons to consider TMS treatments for depression

TMS treatments don't require any anesthesia, and it can work even if other treatments (such as medication or therapy) haven't delivered the relief you need. TMS treatments don’t cause the same side effects that are common with medications, they don’t interfere with your ability to stay alert, they are effective, and they can even reduce your reliance on medication. 

1. Reduced risk of side effects 

Antidepressants refer to a large group of medications, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Other examples include tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and  monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Not everyone responds the same way to antidepressants, and for some people, medication is the right path forward. For some, though, the side effects of medication can be bothersome. Common side effects of antidepressants include nausea, low libido, headaches, insomnia, dry mouth, and dizziness.

If you haven’t been happy with the side effects of medication, TMS therapy could be a better option as there are fewer side effects. Some people don’t experience any sensations, but some may experience tingling or mild headaches. These side effects are short-lived and often dissipate shortly after your TMS therapy.

2. TMS doesn’t interfere with your ability to drive

One of the biggest advantages of TMS therapy is that it doesn’t limit your ability to drive. Some treatments, including ketamine therapy, require a friend or family member to drive you home after your infusion. Certain medications can also cause fatigue and drowsiness, which can make driving dangerous. 

3. It’s effective … even if other treatments aren’t

TMS is an effective treatment for depression. According to research published in Cureus, TMS treatments are an effective treatment, even for those with treatment-resistant depression. For those who receive TMS treatment, 60% of patients who haven’t found relief through traditional treatments like antidepressant medication see an improvement in their symptoms. TMS is effective thanks to its ability to stimulate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that is typically underactive in those with depression.

4. Can eliminate the need for medication

TMS treatments can eliminate the need for antidepressants, especially if you combine TMS therapy with psychotherapy and lifestyle modifications.

Is TMS right for you?

TMS is safe, effective, and can be a beacon of hope for those suffering from depression, but it’s not for everyone. Contraindications for TMS therapy include having a pacemaker, metal plates in your head, spinal or bladder stimulators, a history of epilepsy, or anerium clips. During your initial evaluation, Dr. Estakhri reviews your symptoms and your health history before determining which treatments are right for you.

To learn more about the benefits of TMS therapy and to find out if it’s right for you, request an appointment at our Newport Beach, California office by calling us at 949-258-7135 or using our online scheduler.

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