Massapequa Psychiatrist

Psychiatric Evaluation For TMSMassapequa, NY

Psychiatric evaluation for TMS is the first step towards getting past depression using an alternative approach, which is known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. Depression is a mood disorder that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It can be broken down into a variety of sub-groups like seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, chronic depression, or major depression.

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What to expect during psychiatric evaluation for TMS

Talk therapy is typically the first step when it comes to diagnosing depression. Based on the diagnosis, extensive laboratory tests and blood tests might be performed for a more conclusive diagnosis.

Therapists typically use a standard series of questions to screen patients for depression. Questions might be asked about things such as the patient’s behaviors, lifestyle habits, and moods.

Clinical depression can express itself in many different ways. That makes diagnosing the condition more challenging. Some people dealing with depression tend to fall into a state of apathy, while others might become increasingly agitated as a result of their depression.

Depression can also affect a person’s eating habits in various ways. For some people, depression might lead to excessive sleeping or eating, while others might try to eliminate both activities as a result of their depression.

Some people who are battling with depression have no observable symptoms, while simultaneously dealing with inner turmoil.

The process

During the psychiatric evaluation for TMS, doctors will use interviews, lab tests, and physical examinations to diagnose health issues that might be causing depression. The therapist will also go over the patient's medical and family history. Patients will be asked many questions to determine if they are experiencing symptoms of depression like:

  • Depressed mood or sadness for most of the day virtually every day
  • Not getting enjoyment out of things that were once fun
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • An increase or decrease in appetite
  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Frequent feelings of sadness and depression
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness regularly
  • Feeling fatigued or low energy virtually daily
  • Difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  • Suicidal/morbid thoughts

Patients who experience at least five of the symptoms listed above are likely to be diagnosed with depression, especially if they experience the top two points almost daily for over two weeks.

Impact of depression

The symptoms of depression last only a few weeks for some people, while others struggle with it for years. It can alter a person’s personality, their work/school habits, and social relationships, making it harder for those who interact with depressed people to empathize with them.

For some people, the symptoms of depression can be disabling enough to interfere with their ability to function daily. Even simple tasks like personal hygiene and meals can be difficult for a person with severe depression to manage.

Depression can be a one-time thing, recurrent, chronic, or long-term issue. Some people struggle with depression throughout their lives. Symptoms of depression might be precipitated by life crises, such as death. However, they can also be random, with no identifiable cause. 

Clinical depression often occurs along with medical conditions like cancer or heart disease, worsening the patient’s prognosis.

Physical signs

Depression does not always come with noticeable physical symptoms, but there are a few observable signs. These include the following:

  • A need to always appear busy
  • Not making eye contact during interactions
  • Poor concentration, poor abstract thinking, and memory loss
  • Pulling on hair, hand wringing, and pacing
  • Psychomotor retardation like long pauses during speech and slowed speech
  • Belligerence, defiance, or a self-deprecating manner
  • Slow movements
  • Sad demeanor or tearfulness

How lab tests help with psychiatric evaluation for TMS

Once a doctor has compiled a list of symptoms and signs that the patient is experiencing, a complete medical history, and a physical examination; lab tests might be ordered to rule out physical conditions that might be causing the patient’s depression, such as hypothyroidism. The doctor will also go over any medication the patient is currently taking or recreational drugs.

Patients can make it easier for a doctor to diagnose their condition by writing down any symptoms they experience. Talking to family members about any history of depression also provides vital information that helps with diagnosis and treatment. Other important things patients should write down before their psychiatric evaluation for TMS include:

  • Physical and mental health concerns
  • Past medical issues
  • Current medications
  • Dietary supplements
  • Lifestyle habits like smoking or drinking
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Sleep patterns
  • Stress factors
  • Side effects caused by any medication taken recently

Treating depression after a psychiatric evaluation for TMS

Medication and psychotherapy are the standard way to treat patients with depression and it is an effective treatment option for most patients. However, some patients might have negative side effects to antidepressants, or they might not get the desired results.

For such patients, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) might be recommended to treat depression. It involves targeting areas of the brain that regulate mood with electromagnetic pulses, changing their behavior.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive alternative approach to treating depression, and it does not involve inserting electrodes into the patient’s head. Treatments last about 20 minutes for each session, making it easy to incorporate them into each patient’s routine. Patients typically need a series of treatments to alleviate the symptoms of depression, however, each patient's reaction will vary. 

TMS treatment is a pain-free procedure, and it does not require the use of sedatives or local anesthetics. Patients can drive themselves home after their treatments, but arranging transportation for the first visit is recommended for support. 

During the treatment, a magnetic coil is placed on the patient’s head, and it is switched on and off repeatedly to send pulses into their brain. Patients remain awake throughout the process which lasts about 20 minutes. It might take a few weeks of TMS treatment for noticeably reduced symptoms.

TMS treatments might be followed up with psychotherapy and medication. Some patients might need to get more TMS treatments in the future if their symptoms reoccur. These treatments are called re-induction.

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Evolve Psychiatry is located at
5550 Merrick Rd Suite 300
Massapequa, NY

(631) 773-1096