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TMS for Major Depression: What to Expect

TMS for Major Depression: What to Expect

You’re tired of living in the darkness and hopelessness that define depression, and you've tried to find a way out through medications and therapy, to no avail. It might be time to consider another approach to depression — transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS therapy.

At the Institute for Advanced Psychiatry, Dr. Diana Ghelber and our team fully appreciate how difficult treating depression can be, which is why we offer several different approaches. As part of our treatment options, we provide TMS therapy, which was approved by the FDA in 2008 to treat depression.

To give you an idea of what you can expect with TMS therapy, we take a closer look at this highly effective treatment here.

TMS therapy basics

There are still many unknowns when it comes to the exact mechanism that causes major depressive disorder, but we do know that faulty mood regulation in your brain can play an integral role.

With TMS therapy, we apply magnetic fields into the areas of your brain that are associated with mood, such as your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, to stimulate newer, healthier neural pathways.

To give you an idea of the success of TMS therapy, one report found that the response rate in major depressive disorder is between 50% and 55% and remission rate between 30% and 35%.

Undergoing TMS therapy

One of the greatest advantages of TMS therapy, aside from its success rates, is that the treatments are completely noninvasive. At our practice, we turn to industry-leading BrainsWay® technology, which was cleared by the FDA to treat depression, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

When you come in, we make you comfortable in a chair and then place a helmet over your head that contains BrainsWay’s patented H-coil. For just 20 minutes, the device creates a temporary magnetic field around your head that stimulates your brain. 

This procedure is very well tolerated by most of our patients, with only a few complaints of a headache or scalp irritation afterward — both of which are typically short-lived.

For depression, we recommend that you undergo five TMS sessions per week for four to six weeks. These treatments are not only brief, there's no downtime afterward, which means you can get back to your day after each session, and this includes driving.

As you progress through your treatments, we monitor you every step of the way so that we can make any adjustments to your treatment plan.

If you’re tired of being imprisoned by your major depressive disorder and you want to explore whether you’re a candidate for TMS therapy, please contact one of our locations in Fort Worth or Granbury, Texas, to set up a consultation.

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