TMS Treatment is an Antidepressant Alternative
When conventional antidepressants fail to alleviate depressive symptoms, psychiatrists commonly suggest transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an antidepressant alternative. This non-invasive, non-systemic treatment stimulates the mood-regulating neurons in the brain with magnetic fields. TMS treatment may be useful when traditional antidepressant treatments like medicine and talk therapy have not produced positive outcomes.
TMS as an alternative to antidepressants
Antidepressants and TMS treatment may complement one another if necessary. However, while antidepressants may help some patients, they may still have debilitating symptoms that compromise their quality of life. Patients in this situation often do best when they keep taking their medications while undergoing TMS treatments.
Medications like antidepressants and other things in the body, food, and alcohol may interact with devices like those used to transmit magnetic pulses during TMS treatments. In addition to potentially harmful side effects, interactions may alter a drug's therapeutic efficacy in other ways.
TMS is generally categorized as augmented therapy when used in conjunction with antidepressants. TMS has shown to increase the efficacy of antidepressants in clinical trials. Studies have also shown that TMS treatment can enhance the effects of several antidepressants. Patients who mix TMS with medicine report improvement in their depressive symptoms within a week.
The effects of stopping antidepressant treatment
When individuals stop taking their antidepressants, around 50 percent experience withdrawal symptoms. Some patients may take years to wean off of the medication because of the severe withdrawal symptoms. Research also suggests that only around half of those who use antidepressants are ultimately successful in discontinuing their use. Most individuals said that their withdrawal symptoms were rather severe.
TMS is an effective treatment for depression and has FDA approval. The procedure is non-invasive and does not require general anesthesia or overnight hospital stay, so it is convenient. On average, a therapy session lasts around 20 minutes, and patients may need as many as five sessions each week for seven weeks. Within a few weeks of beginning transcranial magnetic stimulation, many patients see a decrease in depressive symptoms.
The patient is awake and aware for the whole course of treatment, which takes place in the doctor's office or clinic. Precisely, an electromagnetic coil-containing device is positioned over the patient's forehead. The device delivers magnetic pulses through the skull and into the brain's prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for controlling one's emotional state. TMS therapy requires no recovery time, and side effects are uncommon. The patient may go about their routine, including driving back to their home.
About half of those who did not respond to antidepressants also benefited from TMS treatment, showing its efficacy in treating depression. For around one-third of patients, TMS is effective in permanently alleviating depressive symptoms for approximately one-third of patients.
Get treatment for depression
When depression symptoms become too much to bear, manifest as physical symptoms, and linger for an extended period, they might interfere with your ability to lead a regular, active life. Seek professional treatment if you experience symptoms of depression. You will have taken a significant step toward obtaining the assistance you want. Even after beginning antidepressant treatment, TMS helps alleviate depressive symptoms.
Contact our office to learn more or schedule an evaluation to determine whether TMS is right for you.
Request an appointment here: https://nycpsychiatricassociates.com or call NYC Psychiatric Associates at (917) 391-0076 for an appointment in our New York office.
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