The National Institute of Mental Health states that there are an estimated 46.6 million people in the United States are living with a mental health disorder. Serious mental illnesses can make it difficult for some people to complete simple tasks at work, home, and in the community. When you hear someone say they are getting help with a mental illness like depression, usually the first thing anyone thinks about is they are seeing a therapist or taking antidepressants. What about those that do take the help, but it doesn’t get any better with either of those treatment options? That is called treatment-resistant depression, and it is very common.
It can be hard to accept the fact that other methods have not helped improve your depression. About one-third of adults with depression have a specific condition that does not improve with treatments like antidepressants and therapy alone. To be classified as treatment-resistant, a patient has to have not responded to two different antidepressants for roughly six weeks. This does not include other forms of treatment like talk therapy, holistic medicine, or non-invasive procedure. There are cases where psychiatrists might keep a patient on one medication for longer than six weeks to give it more time to work for certain people. It is also common for them to find a combination of drugs that work well together for a patient.
Why Treatment-Resistant Individuals Should Try TMS
Dealing with treatment-resistant depression can be exhausting and feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, which is why people often turn to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). It is a non-invasive procedure that delivers electromagnetic pulses to different parts of the brain that are responsible for mood control. In people with depression, certain regions of the brain have less activity than in a healthy brain. TMS is still a relatively new form of treatment within the last 30 years.
In a typical TMS treatment session, the electromagnetic coil is placed in the forehead region. The coil delivers a painless pulse to stimulate the nerve cells in different areas of the brain. All TMS does is activate those sections of the brain to allow it to release healthy neurotransmitters. The procedure is short, completely safe, and does not require the patient to be under anesthesia. The side effects are generally mild, including headaches or lightheadedness after treatment.
TMS Treatment With Affiliated Family Counselors
At Affiliated Family Counselors, we offer FDA-approved TMS treatments for people suffering from major depression. You will start the process by meeting with one of our psychiatrists to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. When you are approved, the doctor will recommend a daily treatment schedule that will usually last around 6-8 weeks. Our psychiatrist will also go over additional treatments that may work in conjunction with TMS. The procedures are done in either our N Webb or N Rock office, and we accept most major insurance plans.