Postpartum Depression: Can TMS Help?

About one in eight women  in the United States experiences signs of postpartum depression, which goes far beyond the usual fatigue and frustration that comes with caring for a newborn. If you’re feeling abnormally overwhelmed and empty, please know that there is hope.

At the Institute for Advanced Psychiatry, Dr. Diana Ghelber and our team specialize in treating mood disorders, including postpartum depression. Using our noninvasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy, we’re helping women find the joy that comes with bringing a new life into the world.

In the following, we explore the signs of postpartum depression, why you should seek help, and how we can help with TMS.

Signs of postpartum depression

As we mentioned earlier, postpartum depression is very common, affecting one in eight women nationally, though some states report prevalence rates as high as one in five.

While a lack of energy, helplessness, and frustration are part and parcel of caring for a newborn, postpartum depression is another matter entirely. To help you recognize the signs of postpartum depression, we present here some of the symptoms that the CDC cites, including:

Some women are more at risk for developing postpartum depression, including those who struggled with fertility, who have high stress, or who have a history (either your own or a family history) of depression.

The risks of untreated postpartum depression

Postpartum depression can cast a wide net, affecting you, your child, and your family. If you’ve been struggling for months on end thinking the mood disorder will lift on its own, this is typically not the case. In fact, because your postpartum depression can send you spiraling into a hole that becomes seemingly more impossible to get out of, it can lead to harm to yourself or your child.

Please note that we use the word, “seemingly,” on purpose because despite the fact that you feel as if the situation is hopeless, there is hope.

Treating postpartum depression with TMS

At our practice, we use the Brainswave® TMS system, which was cleared by the FDA to treat depression, including depression that doesn’t respond to medications.

The mechanism behind TMS is our ability to stimulate certain areas of your brain, especially your prefrontal cortex, which controls your moods. By delivering pulses of magnetic energy into this area, we activate dormant brain cells to encourage them to release mood-regulating transmitters, including serotonin and dopamine.

To underscore the effectiveness of TMS in treating postpartum depression, one study found that, after treatment, remission rates ranged from 66% to 90%.

The treatments themselves are noninvasive, and there’s no downtime afterward. As you progress through your treatments, you should realize gradual improvements in your mental health, allowing you to become the mother you know you can be. 

If you’re struggling to find happiness after the birth of your baby, please contact one of our locations in Fort Worth or Granbury, Texas, to learn more about how TMS can remedy postpartum depression.

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