If you’re suffering from depression and you’re not getting any relief from your symptoms with antidepressants, you may want to consider transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The experienced mental health team at Blackhawk TMS, with offices in Danville and Napa, California, offers some of the most advanced techniques to help treat depression, including TMS. To learn more about TMS and how it may help you, call the office today or request an appointment online.
TMS is a ground-breaking alternative treatment for depression that doesn’t respond well to traditional treatments. While researchers aren’t certain of the exact cause of depression, it’s scientifically theorized that the mood changes occur when there is a decrease in activity in the neural network of the brain that controls mood and motivation.
To address the symptoms of depression, TMS uses magnetic pulses that induce brief activity in the brain cells, causing the neurons to fire and release the neurotransmitters that often don’t work well in people with depression.
Your specialist at Blackhawk TMS determines if you’re a good candidate for TMS when you come in for a consultation. TMS is generally only recommended after you’ve tried and failed to get improvements in your depression from psychotherapy and antidepressant medication.
Your specialist at Blackhawk may recommend TMS as an alternative treatment for your depression or to augment your antidepressant medication or psychotherapy. You may also be considered a good candidate for TMS if you experience unpleasant side effects from your antidepressant medications.
TMS is currently FDA-approved for the treatment for major depression and under FDA review for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and addiction. You may also request the use of TMS for off-label conditions, such as fibromyalgia, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or stroke recovery.
TMS therapy at Blackhawk TMS takes about 15-20 minutes. To get the most benefit from treatment, your specialist conducts your therapy five days a week for 4-6 weeks.
During your session, you sit comfortably in a chair while your specialist runs through a series of tests to determine the best placement of the coils for your therapy. Then, your specialist measures your motor threshold, which is the minimum amount of power necessary to make your thumb twitch, and determines the amount of energy needed to stimulate your brain cells.
They then adjust the TMS coil accordingly and place it over the front region of your brain, and treatment begins. You may hear a series of clicking sounds and a tapping sensation under the coil during your TMS therapy.
After your TMS therapy, you can return to your usual activities without any downtime. Most patients report a more than 75% improvement in their depression after treatment, with 50% of patients reporting complete remission.
To learn more about TMS and how it can help you, call Blackhawk TMS today or request an appointment online.