Medication and therapy are the two primary methods for treating depression. Unfortunately, not everyone responds well to common antidepressants, and therapy can require time and money before the patient sees noticeable results. The lack of overwhelming success from traditional mental health treatments means more options are always better. One recent, promising development is TMS therapy. TMS is short for transcranial magnetic stimulation. Many mental health providers are beginning to recognize this treatment as a viable therapy method. But what is this treatment, and what kind of success rates does it have? Get answers and learn about TMS therapy for depression by reaching out to South Tampa Psychiatry at 866.273.5017.
What Is TMS Therapy for Depression?
TMS therapy is a non-invasive treatment method used to alleviate depression symptoms. A trained treatment professional provides this therapy in sessions that last up to one hour. During a session, the patient wears a magnetic coil atop their head. This coil delivers electromagnetic pulses to specific brain areas. Some people may feel slight discomfort in their scalp near the coil, but otherwise, the procedure is painless. As soon as a session is over, the patient can go about the rest of their day normally. Experts believe that the treatment activates regions of the brain that depression prevents from properly functioning.
What Is the TMS Therapy Success Rate?
Most patients find symptom relief after just a few weeks of treatment. Typical cycles of treatment last a few months at most, though some people may engage in another round of TMS therapy later down the road if they experience a symptom flare-up. Research into the effectiveness of the treatment reports a typical success rate of between 70% and 80%. Approximately 50% of people treated experience complete remission following just one round of treatment.
These results indicate the incredible promise of this treatment compared to medications, which have a typical success rate of about 25%. Moreover, it often takes some trial and error before patients receive an antidepressant that not only relieves symptoms but doesn’t cause annoying side effects, such as:
- Upset stomach
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weight gain or loss
While it remains less common, some patients receive TMS therapy in order to treat bipolar disorder.
Does This Treatment Have Any Side Effects?
TMS may result in a small set of mild side effects. Most are experienced immediately after a TMS session and improve quickly. They may not even appear after multiple sessions. The most common TMS therapy side effects are headache, scalp discomfort where the coil attaches, tingling or facial twitching, and lightheadedness.
Seizures, mania, and hearing loss occurred in rare cases. On the whole, side effects are much less than those experienced by most people who take an antidepressant. There are limited circumstances where patients should avoid TMS therapy. This is particularly true among people who have metal or implanted medical devices in their bodies. That’s because the implant may react to the magnetic pulses delivered during treatment. Always coordinate with medical professionals before pursuing this treatment program to ensure safety.
What Does TMS Therapy Cost?
This treatment is a largely affordable medical intervention. Individual sessions cost as little as $10 under some insurance plans, and the typical session cost is likely around $50 per session. In addition, TMS therapy is a depression treatment covered by Medicare. Patients with Medicare get 80% of treatment costs covered. For people paying entirely out-of-pocket, most treatment providers offer payment plans and other options to ensure people receive the help they need.
Seek Treatment at South Tampa Psychiatry
If you have treatment-resistant depression, then we might be able to help. Find out more about TMS therapy for bipolar depression and other mental health conditions when you call South Tampa Psychiatry at 866.273.5017.