If you suffer from depression that won’t go away, even with medication and psychotherapy, there is a new way to treat the problem. It’s called Trans-Cranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS.
Lyn, an Atlanta mother of two, says when she found TMS back in February, she was at an all-time low. She was battling the worst episode of depression she’d ever experienced. Nothing was helping, and that’s when she tried TMS.
It sounds like a BB gun, and looks like a dental chair, but TMS has given Lyn relief from the depression that has dogged her for the better part of 25 years.
“It really wasn’t, ‘I woke up one morning singing,’ or anything like that,” said Lyn.
After two or three weeks of almost daily treatments, there was a shift in her outlook.
“Someone said, ‘Hi Lyn, how are you?’ And I said, ‘Good!’ And I realized, ‘Oh! That just came out without me thinking,’” said Lyn.
Lyn’s psychiatrist, Dr. Brian Teliho, says TMS delivers rapid-fire magnetic pulses into a golf ball-size area the brain that controls our mood. A depressed brain has much less activity than a healthy brain.
Teliho says TMS reawakens nerve cells to do their job.
“To help that person feel better, function better,” said Teliho.
Adjusting to the TMS treatments takes time. About half of the patients complain of headache. Teliho says it usually goes away after two or three treatments.
“It doesn’t require anesthesia. It doesn’t require sedation. Most patients come and go on their own over their lunch hour, before work, after work,” explained Teliho.
Lyn had 30 TMS treatments. She still takes medication, and comes in for therapy. She’s doing well.
“And I am absolutely as good as I’ve ever been,” said Lyn.
It’s been three months since Lyn’s last TMS treatment. Getting the treatment requires a commitment: Five days a week for about four to six weeks. Each treatment session is about 40 minutes. Since there’s no sedation, you can drive yourself home.