Normally, the first approach to treating depression is therapy sessions and medicine-based approaches. However, what happens when those methods don’t work? When that happens, doctors usually turn to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy.
The first type was approved by the FDA in 2008. Just recently, in 2018, the same type of therapy under discussion was also approved for treating migraines and OCD.
Regardless, the idea or concept of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy isn’t a recent one. In fact, it can be traced to a 100 years ago. Today, thanks to a number of improvements, the therapy is known as an effective way of treating stubborn mental health disorders.
Below, we take a more detailed look at Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy. We answer the necessary questions that can help change your life or the life of a loved one.
What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy?
Also referred to as TMS, employs the use of magnetic objects to help treat depression. More recently, this therapy has been used to treat depression as a result of addiction.
These magnetic objects, placed on the head of the patient, focus on certain parts of the brain. In this case, they focus on parts that control moods and emotions. To do this, magnetic pulses are sent repetitively to the said sections of the brain.
This is where this treatment earns its other name: rTMS. Notably, patients usually turn to this therapy program when all others fail. Regardless of this fact, the procedures carried out during sessions are non-invasive and have little to no side effects.
How Exactly Does It Work?
The entire therapy treatment is based on depression developing as a result of a part of the brain not working properly. The magnetic fields placed on the head, close to the forehead target the region controlling moods. The aim is to activate this region and make it communicate properly with other parts of the brain.
Please keep in mind that these magnetic pulses sent through the skull to the brain do not hurt at all. It is unclear how these pulses can do this, other than from the information provided above. However, time and time again, this method has helped alleviate symptoms of depression in patients.
Given the safe nature of the entire therapeutic process, you can be assured of your health. You won’t have to be sedated and unlike the Sci-Fi movies, you’ll walk out with your memory intact.
Who Is It For?
As mentioned earlier, this treatment was developed to help those struggling with depression. It has, in recent years, been used for addiction treatment. However, in this field, it is used to treat depression as a symptom of withdrawal.
In America, this method can only be used on those suffering from depression. According to HelpGuide.Org, it can be used to treat a few conditions in several European countries. They include:
- Chronic pain
- Nicotine addiction
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Stroke rehabilitation
Are There Any Side Effects to the Treatment?
This treatment is extremely attractive because it does not use any medication or drugs. Of course, the fact that the procedures are painless add to that factor. However, this type of treatment is still new, and research is still being conducted on it.
It is true, however, that the side effects are few and far in between. Regardless, it is only fair for anyone considering undergoing the treatment, to know. The side effects include:
- Muscles spasms
- One might experience lightheadedness
- You may experience a certain level of twinge or discomfort around the area where they place the magnetic fields.
- More serious side effects include mania if one had been suffering from a serious mental condition. One might suffer from a seizure or even lose their hearing ability.
Before undergoing TMS, you are responsible for letting the medical experts know what they ought to know. Everything from medical reports and medical history, the therapist carrying the procedures out should know. This information will help them determine whether this treatment is safe to use on you or not.
Also, you are advised to seek medical advice first. Medical counsel will lead you in the right direction in terms of what treatments might work for you. Remember, not every treatment is a one size fits all.
What Information Should You Provide the Doctor With?
You’re probably wondering what information you should give your doctor. Such matters, although sensitive and seemingly private, should always be disclosed to the doctor. They include:
- Medical reports showing your medical history
- Give information if you suffer from any other mental condition
- Be sure to tell the doctor if you are taking any medication
- Are you pregnant? Be sure to mention it to the doctor
- If you’ve ever suffered from epilepsy, muscle spasms or seizures
- Any implants should also be brought to light