What to Expect if a Baltimore Therapist Recommends TMS Therapy for Depression
As one of the most common mental health disorders, depression affects people all across the globe. Feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, and hopelessness infiltrate positive thoughts and a healthy mindset, leading to a long road to recovery for a number of depression sufferers. Moreso, there is so much we still don’t know and understand about the human brain, making it difficult to find relief. At Psych Associates of Maryland - the leading Baltimore therapist and psychiatrist office - we know how much our patients want to experience relief from their depression symptoms, which is why we used TMS therapy as an option for treating depression. Want to know more about this life-changing solution to depression? Check out these TMS therapy facts by the numbers.
Since the 19th century, scientists have been curious about the effects of magnetic waves on the brain. However, resources at the time were not capable of completing the research necessary for safe clinical trials. By the mid 20th century, these technologies began to emerge and make way for research into the effect of magnetic waves on the human brain.
This allowed for research to really begin by the mid-1980s. After a variety of research, TMS therapy was FDA-approved to treat depression in 2008 after finding that transcranial magnetic waves were effective in reactivation portions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that are underactivated in depression sufferers.
The human brain is decidedly complex (and powerful enough to have named and discovered its own internal functions, which we think is pretty cool). This complexity of the brain means that anti-depressants are far from one size fits all. As a matter of fact, at least 30% of people won’t respond to medication intended to treat depression. Other reports, like this one from Harvard University, says that this lack of treatment efficacy could affect as many at 50-60% of depression sufferers.
Medication management with a Baltimore therapist or psychiatrist is complex because there are a number of reasons that anti-depressants may not be effective for certain people. These include choosing an anti-depressant from the incorrect group, improper dosage, misdiagnosis of depression, or even genetics that predispose you to not being as receptive to medication.
These people who are unresponsive to traditional depression treatment are the perfect candidates for TMS therapy: the depression treatment that involves no oral medications.
As mentioned, TMS is the perfect option for people whose depression is not responding to traditional anti-depressants and medication. Tackling depression head-on (pun intended) allows practitioners to treat depression at the source and reactivate the portions of your brain that need a little stimulation to get moving again.
TMS therapy is generally well-received by patients. About 58% of TMS patients see improvement of their depression symptoms (quantitatively measured as a 50% or more reduction of symptoms). Additionally, 37% of patients experience complete remission of depression symptoms, providing hope for long-term sufferers and those non-responsive to medication alike.
When receiving TMS therapy treatment, patients can typically expect appointments to last anywhere from 40-60 minutes. This often includes time with your practitioner, setting up, and the treatment itself. Treatment is painless and results can sometimes be seen in just one week of treatment, however, treatment times and effectiveness vary from person to person.
TMS therapy, best of all, includes minimal side effects. Side effects are rare but include mild headaches, jaw pain, muscle tension, and facial twitching. However, these side effects decrease over time and are extremely short-lived.
Treatment decisions for depression aren’t solely based on your symptoms; they’re based on your lifestyle. TMS therapy involves receiving treatments nearly every day (or weekdays) for several weeks. Typically, patients need 20-30 sessions from start to finish to reach the full results they want.
Think TMS therapy could be right for you? Get in touch with the team at Psych Associates of Maryland today to finally tackle your depression once and for all.
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