Depression can be difficult to treat. If you struggle with depression, you might not get the results you need from taking medication, or the medication might give you side effects that make you feel worse. This can be very frustrating for you, especially since there are so few quick and effective treatments for depression. You may want to talk to your doctor about transcranial magnetic stimulation treatments. These are showing promise at treating depression, and side effects from the sessions are rare. Here's how TMS works.
You Need Approval From The Doctor
Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatments are given by a psychiatrist trained in the use of a machine, such as the NeuroStar. These treatments are FDA approved and safe for most people. They are also usually covered by insurance. However, you need approval for the treatments since some conditions, such as epilepsy, may prevent you from undergoing the therapy.
The psychiatrist considers your history of depression, your general health, and the medications you've tried when deciding if TMS therapy is right for you.
The Treatments Are Painless
Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatments are given with you in a reclining position in the psychiatrist's clinic. The treatments take several minutes and consist of the psychiatrist positioning a device on a precise spot on your head. You don't need any anesthesia, and you'll feel no discomfort since there are no injections involved.
The device emits magnetic pulses that stimulate your cells to produce neurotransmitters that help fight your depression. There is no downtime or drowsiness when the session is complete. You can drive your car and go right back to work when the treatment is over.
Side effects are rare, but you might have a slight headache after a TMS treatment. The headache should go away quickly and not interfere with your activities. You might also notice tingling in your scalp with the treatments. You might notice these effects with the first few treatments and then notice they don't appear with later treatments.
You'll Probably Need Multiple Treatments
Before you undergo treatment with the NeuroStar device, your psychiatrist establishes a treatment plan. You'll probably need multiple treatments, and the treatments might be daily for a few weeks. You might need to have several treatments behind you before you notice the benefits and relief from your depression. The best thing about transcranial magnetic stimulation is that it is completely drug free. However, in some cases, your doctor may want you to continue medication, wean from medication, or continue with therapy for lasting results.