Treating Depression Through Deep TMS ‘Helmet’ Therapy
First it was the Cymbalta. Oh, how much hope one has when leaving the doctor’s office with a potential lifesaving prescription in hand. After suffering in silence with serious depression, all hopes for relief are pinned to a drug that might just change life for the better. Until it doesn’t. Next came Zoloft and then Paxil, and with them intolerable side effects. After gaining weight, losing your sex drive, and suffering nightly insomnia, it was becoming clear that finding a cure for depression may be impossible.
Then came along TMS therapy – sometimes referred to as the ‘depression helmet’.
The Search for Alternative Depression Treatments
When someone falls into the camp of treatment-resistant depression, they can either:
- Accept that there is no hope, or;
- Start looking for an alternative therapy.
For a number of people who suffer from debilitating depression, adding daily exercise and a healthy diet might do the trick. Others may find relief from regular yoga classes, massage, and even acupuncture. But when none of these bring lasting positive changes, it may be time to try deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS). This is also referred to as helmet therapy.
Deep TMS Is a Safe, Non-Invasive Depression Treatment
Depression rates are on the rise, according to data reported by the National Institute of Mental Heath. An estimated 16 million adults in the U.S. afflicted by a major depressive event in 2015. Traditional treatment for depression typically includes antidepressants and psychotherapy, which are effective for about 50% of those seeking help. With the emergence of dTMS ‘depression helmet’ therapy into the field, many with long-term mental health issues are now enjoying relief from symptoms.
Deep TMS is a safe, noninvasive brain stimulation technique that uses magnetic fields to help rebalance brain chemistry. The magnetic pulses are created by technology similar to an MRI machine, and transmitted through a coil that is position over the scalp. The magnetic fields penetrate the brain up to 6 cm in depth, inducing electrical currents that stimulates dormant brain cells in the prefrontal cortex. A succession of treatments eventually produces relief from the symptoms of severe depression.
A Typical ‘Depression Helmet’ Treatment Session
Prospective dTMS patients are prescreened to determine if they would be a good candidate for this alternative therapy. If so, they will be prescribed a series of five 20-minute dTMS treatment sessions per week for 4-6 weeks.
A typical dTMS session starts with the patient being fitted with the helmet containing the coil, through which the magnetic pulses are delivered. There is no sedation required and generally no discomfort to the patient during the treatment. Often, patients enjoy watching television or listening to their favorite music while the session is in progress. Immediately following treatment, patients are free to drive back to work, school, or home to continue with normal daily activities.
Deep TMS Helmets
Deep TMS helmets have been found to be very well tolerated by patients, with few, if any, adverse effects from the therapy. In a minority of cases, some discomfort on the scalp has been reported, as have been mild to moderate headaches. However, these side effects tend to dissipate as the treatments progress. Because there is no general anesthesia involved, dTMS does not carry the risks involved with sedation.
Achieve TMS East Leading Massachusetts Provider of DTMS Treatment for Severe Depression
Achieve TMS East has multiple locations in Massachusetts and is offering dTMS as an alternative depression treatment. The expert staff of doctors and clinical technicians specialize in providing this promising new treatment. This gives hope to patients who were unable to tolerate antidepressant medications, or found no relief from symptoms.
For more information about dTMS, please contact us to set up a consultation at (877) 297-5816.