TMS Treatment May Benefit Those with Severe Depression

During the course of our lives, we are affected by various occurrences and circumstances which cause us to become angry, fearful, bewildered, joyful and sad. It is normal and expected that we will experience each of these emotions from time to time. It is not unusual for us to go through an entire range of emotions within the same day.

But when any of these emotions linger for an inordinate amount of time or appear to have become inescapable, there is a good chance that a potentially serious mental health issue exists.

Depression is the most common mental illness, affecting millions of people around the world. It is a condition that carries symptoms such as prolonged sadness, an inability to concentrate and feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and despair that are at times intense.

Fortunately, approaches to depression treatment have become more refined over the years, helping many get back on their feet and live productive, fulfilling lives. But conventional treatment such as medications and talk therapy do not necessarily work for everyone, especially those suffering with severe depression.

TMS: An Effective Alternative

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a treatment technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This relatively new form of treatment is non-invasive and requires no medication. The patient sits comfortably in a specially-made chair while a device is placed over their head. This device creates a magnetic field which is targeted toward the prefrontal cortex; the mood-regulating area of the brain. TMS treatment stimulates activity in this area and decreases activity in surrounding regions of the brain.

After having undergone a series of TMS therapy treatments, many patients have shown marked improvement and a significant diminishment of their depression symptoms. The long-term effectiveness of TMS is not yet known. However in the short run, it has proven to be successful where other treatment methods have failed.

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This blog is written and published by Lindner Center of HOPE.