TMS Therapy When Antidepressants Are Not Effective

TMS Therapy When Antidepressants Are Not Effective from NYC Psychiatric Associates in New York, NYLooking for information on transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)? Read on to learn about this alternative therapy for depression. Finding an effective treatment for depression is often challenging. Sometimes, medication or psychotherapy is not enough to address depression symptoms. When antidepressants are not effective, TMS therapy, a non-drug treatment, may be a viable option.

An overview of antidepressants and TMS therapy

Antidepressants function by affecting neurotransmitters, which are substances in the brain that influence emotions. Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are three neurotransmitters that transmit information across the neurological system. Many different antidepressants have been developed to function with each neurotransmitter.

Neurotransmitters are underactive in depression, preventing nerves from communicating properly. Antidepressants function by preventing the elimination of these "chemical messengers," ultimately boosting their activity and restoring regular nerve transmission. These antidepressants are called reuptake inhibitors, and the most common form is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI.

Many patients generally start noticing improvements after a few weeks of taking medication. Antidepressants, however, may have adverse effects, and some individuals may only notice minor relief. The level of response to an antidepressant is influenced by the person's general health, individual symptoms, and the medication's adverse effects. Persons typically take many different antidepressants before getting an effective one, and one out of every three people does not notice any improvement from antidepressant medication.

How TMS therapy works

When antidepressants are not effective, TMS therapy might be a good alternative. TMS treatment works by directly targeting certain parts of the brain. Magnetic pulses activate the emotional-control areas of the brain. This stimulation can improve depression symptoms by altering the functionality of the nerve cells in that part of the brain.

TMS therapy typically takes four to six weeks to complete, with at least five sessions each week. Each session lasts around 20 minutes. Minor discomforts, such as a headache, might occur, although they are usually temporary. Approximately 60% of those who attempt TMS notice improvements. With every effective depression therapy, there is always the possibility of relapse months or years later. TMS treatment is usually just as successful the second time around as it was the first.

The differences between antidepressants and TMS

One of the most important differences between the therapies is how they impact brain function. Antidepressants function by traveling via the circulation to the brain. These affect other body systems, and there is a potential of adverse effects, such as nausea, weight gain, reduced libido, and others, depending on the drug and the patient's physiology.

TMS treatment works to reactivate the portions of the brain responsible for depression by targeting a particular area of the brain with mild magnetic pulses. Instead of altering nerve signals, TMS restores normal brain activity directly. The therapy is laser-focused and prevents the need to introduce a chemical into the circulation. Because of this distinction, TMS treatment may occasionally assist if antidepressants are not functioning or are generating unpleasant side effects.

Check out what others are saying about our TMS services on Yelp: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in New York, NY

In conclusion

If antidepressants are not helping, it may be time to try an alternative treatment such as TMS.

Request an appointment or call NYC Psychiatric Associates at 917-391-0076 for an appointment in our New York office.

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