Bipolar disorder, sometimes still referred to as manic depression, is a neurological disorder that affects roughly 1% of Americans. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder experience huge differences in moods that can last weeks or even months. These moods change from manic episodes, categorized by enormous energy, euphoria, and irritability, to depressive lows, marked by depression, lack of energy, and feelings of hopelessness. And here’s a frightening statistic to consider: more than 15% of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder will die at their own hand. Suicide is the leading cause of premature death among bipolar individuals. Sadly, there’s no known cure for bipolar disorder. However, professionals can effectively treat and manage it. With proper care and maintenance, individuals with bipolar disorder can lead productive and fulfilling lives. One technique is TMS therapy for bipolar disorder treatment.
TMS Therapy for Bipolar Disorder
Treatment for bipolar disorder usually consists of psychotherapy, along with at least one mood-stabilizing or antipsychotic medication such as lithium or valproic acid (Depakote). These drugs are known to be effective in treating mania. Sometimes, doctors will add to an anti-depressant to help address the depressive aspect of the problem. Also, other newer medicines like Abilify, Zyprexa, Latuda, and Symbyax treat bipolar disorder.
However, there are other methods for addressing the problem, including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
TMS therapy for bipolar disorder is a painless, non-invasive method of treating mental disorders. Using an electromagnetic coil placed near the patient’s forehead, TMS delivers short, powerful magnetic pulses to a targeted area of the brain, particularly the prefrontal cortex. These pulses stimulate neural activity in regions of the brain known to regulate mood. The most common side effects are minor headaches and scalp irritation.
TMS therapy for bipolar disorder is a second-line defense for most patients. If the traditional methods of treatment fail to provide adequate results, TMS becomes a viable option.
Don’t mistake TMS for other treatments involving magnetic energy, particularly Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). Once called electroshock therapy, ECT requires anesthetization since it is a more intense treatment. Despite also being a safe and effective treatment, ECT has an image problem due to overly dramatic portrayals in movies and on television.
How Does TMS Work?
TMS therapy for bipolar disorder is an out-patient treatment applied in a clinic or hospital setting. The patient sits comfortably in an adjustable chair as the electromagnetic device fits their head. The coil sends small magnetic pulses to the appropriate areas of the brain. During this process, the patient will hear clicking sounds and feel tapping on their head. Treatments last about 40 minutes and given five days a week for 4-6 weeks.
The precise reason why TMS works is unknown, and TMS therapy for bipolar disorder is still being studied. TMS has been shown remarkably effective in treating stubborn cases of depression that did not yield to traditional methods of psychotherapy and medication.
South Tampa Psychiatry
If you’re considering TMS therapy for bipolar disorder, South Tampa Psychiatry can help. Staffed by some of the best psychiatrists in the state, South Tampa Psychiatry has years of experience dealing with mental health issues like addiction, depression, anxiety, and bipolarity. Don’t spend another day wrestling with this life-threatening issue. Call us at 866.273.5017 today.