About 5% of American adults suffer from depression, according to the CDC, with other data reporting significantly higher numbers. While antidepressants and psychotherapy can help some people with depression, they don’t always work.
Fortunately, advances in mental health research have yielded new treatments aimed at helping people who don’t benefit from traditional therapies. One of those treatments is transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, an innovative therapy that uses magnetic energy to stimulate specific areas of the brain involved in depression symptoms.
At Bowman Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, our team understands that depression affects different people in different ways, which means tailored therapy is essential. If you have depression that hasn’t responded to other types of therapy, here are four reasons why TMS is worth considering.
1. TMS doesn’t rely on drugs
Antidepressant medications offer lots of benefits for many people with depression, but they don’t work for everyone. Plus, these medicines often have unpleasant side effects, including interference with normal sleep habits.
With TMS, no medications are involved. That makes it a good potential therapeutic option for people who don’t want to take medicines, who have side effects from medicines, and for whom antidepressants are either contraindicated or ineffective.
2. Treatment is painless
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is completely noninvasive. There are no incisions and no injections. Instead, the magnetic energy waves are emitted from a special device that rests just above your head.
The magnetic energy used by the TMS device is similar to the energy used during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, and just like an MRI, TMS is completely pain-free. As the waves are emitted by the TMS device, they’re directed to the parts of your brain associated with mood and depression.
3. TMS offers a high success rate
When medications fail to provide meaningful relief for depression symptoms, TMS has shown high rates of success and patient satisfaction. In fact, 50-60% of people who don’t find improvement through medication do find meaningful improvement through TMS. And, about a third of those individuals achieve complete remission of their symptoms.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is also repeatable, which means you can have therapy on a continuing basis. Furthermore, research shows that TMS can be a more cost-effective way to manage treatment-resistant depression compared to medications.
4. It may be useful in treating anxiety and PTSD, too
Many people who have depression also suffer from anxiety disorders, such as general anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While antidepressant medication may offer some limited benefits for these problems, most people require multiple therapies to treat these different issues.
However, recent research shows TMS is a useful treatment for people with PTSD and GAD. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is also widely used in research aimed at unraveling the mechanisms behind anxiety, with the potential to uncover new treatment approaches for the disorder.
The right treatment for real relief
At Bowman Medical Group, our team is dedicated to finding real solutions for each patient, based on their symptoms, needs, lifestyle, and other factors. That includes tailoring every treatment plan to the individual and adjusting treatment as needed to achieve the best possible results.
If you’re looking for an alternative to antidepressants, or if you’d just like to learn more about TMS, call 310-982-7003 to book an appointment with Bowman Medical Group today.