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What Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

For those struggling with depression or other mental health disorders, talk therapy, medication, and other more traditional approaches to treatment can be helpful. However, there are many people who have forms of mental health disorders that are resistant to treatment. Treatment-resistant depression, for example, is a type of depression in which a person has failed to respond to two or more antidepressant medications. While this can be disheartening, there are alternative approaches to treatment that can make a difference. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is one such alternative approach for those with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

TMS is a safe and non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the region of the brain responsible for mood regulation. It can be used as an alternative to or in combination with medication and often helps individuals who have not responded to other treatment options.

If treatment-resistant depression has kept you from true healing, reach out to Honey Lake Clinic at 888.428.0562 today to learn more about transcranial magnetic stimulation in Greenville, Florida.

An Overview of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a process involving the application of a specifically calibrated, pulsed magnetic field to parts of the brain. While the use of electrical currents to bring about physiological changes in the brain goes back over a hundred years, transcranial magnetic stimulation is relatively new, with the first iterations of the devices currently in use being created in 1985. TMS devices were first approved by the FDA in 2008, and the technique has since been shown to effectively treat depression in cases where medication and other treatments have been unsuccessful.

How Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Work?

The brain is made up of billions of neurons that communicate with one another by sending electrical signals. TMS devices use strong, focused magnetic fields to affect these neurons. The electrodes used in transcranial magnetic stimulation are placed on the scalp near areas of the brain that are associated with mood regulation. When the magnetic field is activated, it causes a tiny electrical current to be sent through the neurons in those areas. This electrical current can stimulate the neurons, causing a change in their function.

TMS is non-invasive and does not require any anesthesia or sedation. Sessions typically last for 20 minutes. During a session, you will sit in a chair while the technician adjusts the transcranial magnetic stimulator to reach your scalp. You may feel a tapping sensation on your head, similar to a massage. Most people find that transcranial magnetic stimulation is comfortable and relaxing.

How TMS Therapy Fits Into Your Treatment Plan

TMS therapy is rarely used as a standalone approach. Instead, it is most effective when used in combination with other forms of treatment, such as talk therapy and medication.

Other therapies that can be used in tandem with transcranial magnetic stimulation include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy – This type of therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative patterns of thought and behavior that are contributing to your depression.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy – This approach can help you learn how to cope with difficult emotions and build healthy skills for managing them.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) – Past trauma or experiences can contribute to depression and anxiety, but EMDR can help you process these difficult memories in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Neurofeedback – This type of therapy uses biofeedback to help you learn how to change the way your brain responds to stress.

TMS therapy is a safe and effective way to treat depression, particularly if other treatments have not been successful.

Discover the Benefits of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation at Honey Lake Clinic

Reach out to the Honey Lake Clinic team to find out if you’re a candidate for TMS therapy in our mental health treatment center in Florida. Call 888.428.0562 or reach out online today.