Depression symptoms are most often treated with psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. It is believed that antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. These changes have a positive effect on mood and on reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, treating major depression is sometimes more complicated and requires more than antidepressant medication alone.
Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, they do not work for everybody. Some patients may not respond to antidepressant medications. Additionally, since antidepressant medications are typically taken by mouth, they circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body, and may result in unwanted side effects such as weight gain, sexual problems, upset stomach, sleepiness, and dry mouth, among others. Over four million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medications. When a patient does not respond or cannot tolerate antidepressants, this is sometimes referred to as treatment resistant depression. Treatment resistant depression is a debilitating condition for those dealing with it.
For these patients, alternative treatments for depression are available. These depression therapies have been shown to work in some people who do not receive benefit from antidepressant medications. Such patients may also be unable to tolerate the side effects caused by these medications. These treatments may include: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) , combination therapy (taking an antidepressant medication with an antipsychotic medication), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).
Transcranial magnetic stimulation uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. These pulsed magnetic fields may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters levels. Treating depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation, also referred to as TMS Therapy , may provide an alternative depression treatment for those who have not benefited from prior antidepressant medication.
Could TMS Become Your Alternative?
To schedule an appointment or for more specific information about how SCTMSC and TMS Therapy might be a good fit for you, please visit our NEXT STEP page.