Looking for information on transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)? Read on to learn about this alternative therapy for depression. Finding an effective treatment for depression is often challenging. Sometimes, medication or psychotherapy is not enough to address depression symptoms. When antidepressants are not effective, TMS therapy, a non-drug treatment, may be a viable option.Antidepressants function by…
How Effective Is TMS for Treating Severe Depression?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is one of the treatment options for treating cases of severe or treatment-resistant depression. After anxiety disorders, depression is the second most frequent mental ailment in the United States. In 2019, about 19.4 million individuals in the United States had at least one major depressive episode (National Institute of Mental Health). Read on to learn more about the application of TMS in the treatment of severe depression, as well as how effective it is.
TMS as a treatment for severe depression
Despite the widespread prevalence of depression, scientists have not developed a cure for this mood disorder that works equally well for all patients. This would be a groundbreaking achievement for both patients and physicians, but depression remains a complicated condition with several causes. As a result, experts created a comprehensive toolset of therapies that may assist those suffering from depression.
The effectiveness of any treatment is influenced by the patient's unique brain chemistry, the root cause of depression, and the extent of the symptoms. As a result, mental health experts often prescribe antidepressant medications, counseling, or a combination of the two as the first line of treatment.
Although many individuals react effectively to these therapies, for other people, therapy and medicine are insufficient or inadequate altogether. Some drugs, for example, might make a depressed person feel worse, and treatment alone may not be enough to conquer the underlying reasons for depression. Patients in these cases should not give up hope of finding a treatment.
Treating severe depression with TMS
TMS may assist when typical therapeutic approaches for treating depression fail to produce significant results or are not well-tolerated. Patients who select this option may be apprehensive since TMS is not widely discussed. It can be, nevertheless, an effective treatment option for severe depression.
TMS has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of depression. This authorization means researchers had to show that TMS was both safe and effective. TMS is also more well-tolerated than other antidepressants for some patients.
How effective is TMS therapy?
TMS, like any other depression therapy, is not for everyone. It is, nevertheless, one of the most effective therapies now accessible. According to Harvard Medical School, up to 60% of individuals who undergo TMS for depression notice improvements.
Antidepressants and TMS treat depression in completely different ways. So, if medication fails to yield results, there is a good chance TMS will. Also, the success rate is high enough to wait in hopes of improvements. The dangers of untreated depression cannot be overstated.
About a third of patients who improve with TMS go into full remission. They no longer have any depressive symptoms and are living their life as they were before the diagnosis. However, as with any mood disorder, patients may relapse. When a psychiatrist knows that TMS has previously helped a patient, they may immediately provide the same therapy and provide relief more quickly than before.
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To know whether TMS therapy is suitable for you, consider consulting with a psychiatrist. Contact our psychiatry office today to get started.
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