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 can 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.
At South Tampa Psychiatry, we’re committed to providing up-to-date treatment options for each patient. Whether you’ve recently received a bipolar disorder diagnosis or you’ve struggled with this illness for many years, we can help. With TMS therapy, we can address instances of this condition that haven’t responded to treatment in the past. Don’t suffer from this condition by yourself. Get support at South Tampa Psychiatry today by calling 866.273.5017 or using our convenient online form.
Signs of Bipolar Disorder
Though there is more information about this condition than ever before, there is still a significant amount of stigma and misinformation surrounding bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that doctors often misdiagnosed as depression. However, depression only involves episodes of feeling tired, hopeless, and sad. On the other hand, those with bipolar disorder swing rapidly from depressive periods to manic episodes, meaning that they have a reduced need for sleep, increased confidence, and high amounts of energy. These mood swings can wreak havoc on a person’s daily life, making it difficult for them to hold a job or maintain steady relationships. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include:
- Periods of sleeping too much followed by periods where the person doesn’t sleep at all for days on end
- Poor decision-making skills
- Appearing unusually upbeat for a period of time after struggling with appearing withdrawn or hopeless
- Struggles with concentrating, cognitive abilities, and distractibility
- Thoughts of suicide
- Risk-taking behaviors
Finding treatment for bipolar disorder can feel difficult because many with bipolar disorder feel like no one understands what they’re going through. Fortunately, there are treatment options available.
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. Our experts often combine TMS therapy with traditional therapeutic options, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
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 outpatient 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 are 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 bipolar disorder that did not yield to traditional methods of psychotherapy and medication. It can also treat conditions such as:
- Substance abuse and addiction
To learn more about this treatment method, please reach out to South Tampa Psychiatry today.
Contact South Tampa Psychiatry
If your bipolar disorder has resisted other treatment options, it may be time to seek alternative treatment options. TMS therapy is a unique and highly potent therapeutic method, particularly when combined with other treatment methods.
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, or contact us online today.