My Experience with TMS

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a relatively new treatment method that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It involves the use of a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain in order to alleviate symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions. Having struggled with depression and anxiety for several years, I decided to give TMS a try. Here is my experience.

What is TMS?

As mentioned earlier, TMS is a non-invasive treatment method that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. The treatment involves the use of a device called a TMS machine, which delivers magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain. These pulses are designed to stimulate nerve cells and increase brain activity in areas that are believed to be associated with depression and other mental health conditions.

Unlike traditional treatments like medication and therapy, TMS does not require any anesthesia or medication. Instead, it is performed while the patient is fully awake and alert. A typical TMS session lasts between 20-30 minutes, and is usually conducted five days a week for several weeks.

My Experience with TMS

My journey with TMS began when I decided that I had tried almost everything else to treat my depression and anxiety. I was skeptical about TMS at first, but decided to give it a try after doing some research and speaking with my doctor.

During my first TMS session, I was a bit nervous. I had read about the possible side effects, which include headaches and discomfort, and wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the treatment itself was painless and actually quite relaxing. The machine made a soft tapping sound and I was able to listen to music or read a book during the session.

After the first few sessions, I started to feel a difference. I found that my mood was improving and I was able to focus better. I also noticed that I was sleeping better and had more energy during the day. By the end of the first week, I was feeling noticeably better than before.

Over the course of the treatment, I continued to see progress. My anxiety levels decreased and I found that I was able to handle stressful situations better than before. I also noticed that I was able to enjoy things that I had lost interest in, such as spending time with friends and family.

Once the treatment was completed, my doctor recommended that I continue with therapy and make healthy lifestyle choices in order to maintain my progress. I was also given the option to do “maintenance treatments” on a less frequent basis.

Is TMS Right for You?

While TMS was a great option for me, it may not be the right choice for everyone. It is important to speak with your doctor and weigh the pros and cons of the treatment before making a decision.

Some factors to consider when deciding if TMS is right for you include:

  • The severity of your symptoms
  • Whether you have tried other forms of treatment
  • Your overall health and medical history
  • Any medications you may be taking

It is also important to note that TMS is not covered by all insurance plans, and can be quite costly if not covered.

Conclusion

Overall, my experience with TMS was a positive one. It allowed me to make significant progress in my treatment for depression and anxiety, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to try it. While it may not be the right choice for everyone, it is a promising new treatment method that has helped many people overcome their mental health challenges.

FAQs

1. What is TMS?

TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and is a non-invasive treatment procedure that utilizes magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.

2. What conditions can TMS treat?

TMS is FDA-approved for the treatment of depression, but it can also be used to treat other neurological disorders, such as anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, OCD and others.

3. Does TMS have any side effects?

TMS is generally safe and well-tolerated, with few side effects reported. The most common side effects may include mild headaches and scalp discomfort, but they typically disappear on their own within a week or two. However, there are some rare risks associated with TMS, such as seizures, hearing loss, and cognitive changes. Your doctor will discuss all potential risks and benefits of TMS with you prior to treatment.


References

1. Carpenter, L. L., Janicak, P. G., Aaronson, S. T., Boyadjis, T., Brock, D. G., Cook, I. A., Dunner, D. L., Lanocha, K., Solvason, H. B., Demitrack, M. A., & Richelson, E. (2012). Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for major depression: A multisite, naturalistic, observational study of acute treatment outcomes in clinical practice. Depression and Anxiety, 29(7), 587-596. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/da.21969

2. Brunoni, A. R., Ferrucci, R., Fregni, F., Boggio, P. S., & Priori, A. (2012). Transcranial direct current stimulation for the treatment of major depressive disorder: A summary of preclinical, clinical, and translational findings. Progress in Neurobiology, 99(2), 117-127. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pneurobio.2012.06.007

3. Fitzgerald, P. B., Hoy, K., McQueen, S., Maller, J. J., Herring, S., & Segrave, R. (2009). A randomized trial of rTMS targeted with MRI based neuro-navigation in treatment-resistant depression. Neuropsychopharmacology, 34(5), 1255-1262. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2008.231