Striving To Cover All Your Mental Health Needs
Depression is so widespread it is sometimes referred to as the common cold of mental illness, which is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression can stem from many factors ranging from genetics to environmental stressors to chemical imbalances, including low serotonin in the brain. It is essential to know it is not your fault or your “choice” and that you are not alone.
People with metal above their neck are not candidates, as this is an MRI-like magnetic field. Coils, shunts, and other metals in the head are a contraindication. Most titanium and dental fillers are safe.
It is important to inform your doctor if you have a history of bipolar disorder, as TMS can cause a manic episode in those with a history of bipolar.
Neurological conditions and substance abuse can increase the risk of seizures. Those with a history of seizure disorders, strokes, brain tumors, dementia, and Parkinson’s should notify their doctor before starting TMS therapy.
Symptoms of depression generally consists of low motivation, low mood, guilt or hopelessness, changes in sleep and appetite, low energy, poor concentration, moving unusually slowly, and sometimes, thoughts that you just might be better off gone.
TMS feels like a gentle tapping or thud on the scalp. The procedure is pain free but may be “awkward” the first week until you get used to it. We typically start at a low dose and increase it, as tolerated.
Most insurances cover TMS treatment if you meet criteria. Criteria includes a diagnosis of depression, trials of antidepressants without results, and trials of psychotherapy. The TMS team will do all the work for you after your initial consult! We apply for the authorization and gain approval by your insurance on your behalf. However, depending on your insurance plan, there may be a deductible or co-payment. We will always inform you about these requirements before starting.
In order to qualify for the treatment, you must have:
1) A clinical diagnosis of depression
1) Tried therapy in the past with minimal improvement to your depression.
2) Tried multiple antidepressants with minimal effect or overbearing side effects.
You do not qualify if you have a seizure disorder, neurological condition, or substance use disorders. Because the machine is like an MRI, you cannot have metal implants above the shoulders, besides dental work. Titanium is acceptable in many cases.
If all the criteria are met and you wish to pursue, an administrator will reach out to you to help you embark on your TMS journey.
If you do not meet criteria or are simply not interested, do not worry, My TMS has plenty of other resources, such as those offered by My Psychiatrist, to help you get better.
The effects for TMS can be long-lasting, but some people may require additional sessions after years of remission, in the event they experience a future episode. After 30-36 treatments, most people experience great relief for depressive symptoms, starting in as little as two weeks after their first treatment. Some people can eventually stop their antidepressants, while others may require a low dose to sustain relief after treatment.
TMS is known to be safe and effective and is not associated with any long-term side-effects or damage.
Our machines offer 3- to 20-minute treatment sessions. Typically, we offer appointments the same time each day, to keep a consistent routine and work around your busy schedule. Patients are typically in and out of the office within 25 minutes! Some patients even come during their lunchbreak.
The treatment is non-invasive. Any side effects are typically related to the area of the scalp and brain being stimulated.
Side effects can include
– Slight headache
– Jaw discomfort
– Slight facial twitching during the treatment
These side effects, however, are much more tolerable than those accompanying medications due to the non-invasiveness of TMS.
Side-effects are more common in the first few weeks of treatment while you are getting used to the stimulation. If you experience discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers typically do the trick. We can always lower the stimulation dose as well!
It is important to note that there is a very rare but severe side effects include seizures in those with an underlying neurological condition or substance use disorders, and mania for those with an underlying bipolar disorder. It is important to tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions prior to starting treatment.
TMS uses MRI technology that uses magnetic impulses to stimulate the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain known to be under-stimulated in those with depression. This magnetic pulse induces an action potential to go across the synapses in the brain which allow those “feel good” chemicals to enter. Undergoing TMS essentially wakes up the area of the brain where your depression resides and helps turn that frown upside down.