TMS therapy is a medical technological advancement for treating Major Depressive Disorder approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008. TMS uses magnetic pulses with an intensity comparable to an MRI machine to activate brain cells and alleviate depressive symptoms. Depression treatment with TMS does not involve any drugs or surgery. In addition,…
Guide to a Psychiatric Evaluation for TMS to Treat Depression
A psychiatric evaluation for TMS is necessary to determine if a patient is a good candidate for transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS devices, introduced in the 1980s, use magnetic pulses to stimulate specific brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for regulating mood.
How TMS Works
The stimulation of neuronal activity in the brain causes the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for mood regulation. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have all proven to respond well to TMS treatment. Therefore, the FDA has authorized its use in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
In TMS treatment, magnetic pulses stimulate the brain at regular intervals. There is no need for sedatives or anesthetics since the process is painless. Mental health professionals often recommend this option when other treatments for depression have been ineffective.
What happens with psychiatric evaluation for TMS
A psychiatric examination for TMS aims to identify the patient's problem and decide whether or not TMS is the best therapy option. A board-certified psychiatrist is qualified to handle the evaluation. In a psychiatric assessment, the doctor will check the following:
The interview is the initial step in any psychiatric examination, often conducted in a private, one-on-one setting with a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will inquire about the patient's symptoms, current health status, and past medical and family histories. The mental health professional will engage the patient in conversation concerning the patient's history of trauma and substance abuse. The discussion with the psychiatrist will also cover potential sources of stress, such as the patient's financial situation and interpersonal connections.
In addition, the patient will answer a series of questions designed to elicit information regarding physical and behavioral symptoms that may be indicative of depression or other mental health disorders. Giving the doctor a truthful account of these symptoms can help them pinpoint the source of the patient's problem.
The physical examination is the second aspect of a psychiatric assessment. This evaluation aims to rule out any physical causes of the patient's symptoms. For example, low thyroid hormone levels have been linked to depressive symptoms. The doctor may request blood work and urine analysis to test for physical issues that might be causing the patient's symptoms. Based on the assessment results, the doctor may also recommend magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, or an electroencephalogram.
Book an appointment for an evaluation
After an assessment has confirmed the patient's depression, the psychiatrist may suggest TMS as a treatment option. When medications have not helped enough, doctors may advise the treatment process. Unfortunately, TMS treatment processes for depression are sometimes only covered by insurance after patients have tried four different types of antidepressants with no improvement.
If you are struggling with symptoms of depression and are looking for information about depression treatment, you should book an appointment with a psychiatrist for a psychiatric evaluation for TMS. Call us today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
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