Massapequa Psychiatrist

TMS Treatment ProcessMassapequa, NY

The TMS treatment process is a non-invasive approach to improving the symptoms of depression. It involves using magnetic fields to target and stimulate nerve cells in a patient’s brain. The acronym TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and it is typically recommended when other treatments for depression have been exhausted.

TMS treatment involves delivering magnetic pulses into the brain. It is called repetitive TMS when delivered at regular intervals.

Depression is a treatable mental health condition, but some patients do not respond to standard treatments for depression like psychotherapy and medication. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is often recommended when more traditional treatments for depression have failed.

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The TMS treatment process

The standard TMS treatment session involves placing an electromagnetic coil on a patient’s scalp, right by their forehead. The electromagnetic coil is used to send magnetic pulses to the region of the brain that regulates mood and feelings of depression – the prefrontal cortex. The treatment is believed to stimulate areas in the brain that have reduced activity due to depression.

How the treatment works is not yet fully understood, but it helps to improve mood and alleviates the symptoms of depression.

The TMS treatment process is non-invasive, and it does not require implanting electrodes in the patient’s brain or any form of surgery. It does not entail the use of any anesthetic and sedatives, and it does not lead to seizures like other forms of brain stimulation such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

The different components of the TMS treatment process include the following:

1. Psychiatric evaluation for TMS

Psychiatric evaluations are used to diagnose developmental disorders or conditions, behavioral issues, and emotional issues like depression. A patient’s first evaluation might include going over their cognitive and emotional thinking weaknesses and strengths, life concerns, environmental and social influences, family history, medical history, and developmental history.

The evaluation process is unique for each patient and their psychiatrist, and there is no guarantee a complete diagnosis might be made after the first visit.

Evaluations also vary based on the age of the person being examined. For example, a child’s first psychiatric evaluation for depression might involve the therapist having a session with the parents alone or with the child, before a one-on-one session with the child. An adult would typically go right to the one-on-one evaluation and the session might end with a clinical formulation or recommendation.

2. Depression treatment

Psychotherapy and medications are an effective way to deal with most cases of depression. Medication helps to reduce the symptoms of depression, and sessions with a psychiatrist help to get rid of underlying issues that might be causing a person’s depression.

People with severe depression might need an outpatient program or a hospital stay to help bring their condition under control.

Medications commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms of depression include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): These are typically the first set of drugs prescribed to patients with depression. These drugs are viewed as safer alternatives to other types of drugs used to combat depression, and they’re less likely to cause side effects
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): These might be recommended when SSRIs are not leading to the desired results
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): These are often prescribed when other types of drugs have not effectively reduced a patient’s symptoms. These drugs force patients to restrict their diet since they can have potentially deadly interactions with certain foods like pickles and cheese

A doctor might combine multiple drugs for depression to create a cocktail that addresses the patient’s specific needs. Other medications like antipsychotics, anti-anxiety medication, or mood stabilizers might be prescribed to go with antidepressants.

3. Antidepressant alternatives

Also known as psychological therapy or talk therapy, psychotherapy helps to treat depression by talking to the patient about mental hang-ups they might have. It can be used to help identify negative behaviors and beliefs and to develop positive ones that replace them.

Psychotherapy can help to teach patients better ways to cope with any triggers they might have and navigate through them. It helps patients to restore a sense of control and satisfaction in their lives, and it can reduce symptoms of depression like anger and hopelessness.

Psychotherapy has historically been performed as face-to-face office sessions, and that remains an effective option. New formats have emerged due to advances in information technology like online sessions or video therapy. The level of guidance provided by a psychiatrist varies based on each patient’s unique needs.

Other ways to treat depression that do not require using antidepressants include:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): This involves passing electric currents through a patient’s brain to alter the behavior of neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing the symptoms of depression. ECT is usually recommended when antidepressants fail to bring the desired results, or their use poses a risk to the patient’s health. ECT comes with serious side effects like memory loss and convulsions
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): The TMS treatment process is less invasive than ECT, and it provides an effective alternative to using antidepressants. Most patients only need one round of TMS therapy to put their symptoms behind them. It can be combined with antidepressants

4. OCD treatment

TMS treatment is an effective way to reduce the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), particularly when other treatment options have failed. The TMS treatment process involves sending magnetic pulses into the patient’s medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. Research shows the TMS treatment process is a highly effective way to address OCD.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental disorder that leads to a combination of thoughts and behaviors that induce anxiety. The condition can lead to wasting time on irrelevant things to the point it takes a toll on relationships with family and friends.

The two main components that make up the condition are obsessive thoughts and actions, both of which can be troubling. 

The obsessive thoughts are usually the result of repetitive thinking or things that lead to distress. Common examples of obsessive thoughts that can trigger OCD include a constant fear of tragedy, taboo thoughts, excessive focus on symmetry and organization, and a fear of germs.

Ruminative thoughts can lead to compulsive behavior as a way to soothe them. Ways this might express itself include excessive hand washing or constantly rearranging things.

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

(631) 773-1096