The most common form of treatment for depression is medication therapy with various forms of antidepressants. This should not be the only answer to depression, however. There should be at least one complementary treatment so you don’t become dependent on antidepressant medication, which can be very dangerous. Cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy are forms of counseling that can help you control the way you think and improve your outlook. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment, also known as TMS therapy, is a new and innovative form of brain stimulation therapy that is helping many people with depression.
How TMS Affects the Brain
Antidepressant medications work by chemically stimulating different sections of the brain in order to change the emotional and mental state of the individual. The brain can also be stimulated in an electrical way through the use of magnetic fields. The magnetic pulses are sent into the brain directly through the cranium with TMS therapy. Repetitive magnetic pulses stimulate the brain, changing brain chemistry and reducing symptoms of depression over time.
The machines used for this kind of brain stimulation are equipped with magnetic coils that create the magnetic energy fields. There are two types of coils that are used for TMS treatments; therefore, there are generally two forms of TMS therapy: Surface TMS and Deep TMS. Surface TMS is the most prominent form of this therapy. This is the first form of TMS, and it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008.
Deep TMS is conducted with another device. This TMS device uses an H-coil that is much larger and can penetrate deeper. This was approved by the FDA in 2013, and is the younger of the two TMS options available. However, both kinds of machines have been equally as effective at relieving symptoms of depression.
What to Expect with the Treatment
After a consultation with you, we will decide which parts of your brain are in need of the most magnetic stimulation and at what dose. The first treatment will probably be the longest. It may take multiple weeks of treatment before you really begin to notice results. During the course of the treatment, we might raise or lower the magnetic dose based on how you are responding to treatment. After each treatment, you can go about your daily life just like normal.