Mental health conditions like OCD, anxiety and depression can have debilitating effects on your life. The intrusive, worrying, and depressive thoughts and feelings can make daily life difficult, leading to isolation, hopelessness, decreased productivity, and even thoughts of self-harm. For many people, treatment for these conditions involves medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. However, these are not always effective, and your symptoms can persist despite your doctor’s best efforts. This is when TMS might be an ideal solution. This FDA-approved therapy is offered by Sandy Springs interventional psychiatry specialists and can help turn your mental wellness around. Here is how.
TMS Does Not Cause Extreme Side Effects
Medications like antidepressants can cause several side effects, like feeling anxious or shaky, dizziness, loss of appetite, insomnia or excessive sleepiness, constipation, and low sex drive. These symptoms often resolve with continued use but can be initially disruptive and worrying. Occasionally, they may also persist. Another mental health treatment, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), can result in side effects like slight memory loss, confusion, fatigue, seizures, and nausea. In contrast, TMS causes few to no side effects. You may experience mild scalp discomfort, tingling, and headaches, but these usually resolve within minutes before the session ends. The treatment is considered well-tolerated and safe.
It Is Non-Invasive
TMS is a non-invasive treatment that does not involve any electrode implantation or surgery – unlike deep brain stimulation of the vagus nerve stimulation. The TMS machine uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate your brain cells from the outside. Because the energy used is similar to MRI waves, it is completely painless and harmless.
It Does Not Require Anesthesia
Unlike ECT, TMS does not require anesthesia. This means there is a reduced risk of an adverse reaction to anesthetic medication or other anesthesia-related complications. Moreover, it means that you can resume your daily activities and drive home following your session without fear of impairment. You also do not need to fast or avoid certain foods and drinks in the days leading up to your session.
TMS Does Not Carry the Risk of Addiction
Medications like antidepressants used to treat mental health conditions can have debilitating side effects. Some even carry the risk of addiction, which can worsen an already-tough situation. Fortunately, TMS is non-addictive as it does not make significant chemical changes to your body. This is why it is widely used – off-label – to treat conditions like bipolar disorder and PTSD.
Its Results Are Long-Term
According to clinical studies, TMS has a 70 percent efficacy rate in treating mental health conditions. These results are also often long-lasting, with as many as 90 percent of patients reporting lingering effects up to 12 months after treatment. This can mean improved wellness and productivity for a longer period than can be achieved through psychotherapy and medication alone.
Discuss TMS with Your Doctor
TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, involves the delivery of short-lasting electrical pulses to the brain to stimulate your neurons. The resulting nerve cell stimulation has been shown to improve how areas of your cerebral cortex communicate with each other, which can have an uplifting effect on mental health symptoms. If you have anxiety, OCD, or depression that won’t respond to traditional treatments, you may benefit from TMS and its many benefits. Contact your doctor or mental health provider to discuss the treatment and whether you are an ideal candidate.