Fighting PTSD & Depression Using TMS
Fighting depression and PTSD with drugs isn’t for everyone. There are the side-effects which sometimes compound the problem, as well as marginal results for many. Pharmaceuticals can come with both a financial cost and an emotional one as well.
That is why many are turning to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS. TMS is a safe, non-invasive, FDA-cleared process for the treatment of depressive disorders, anxieties and for some, PTSD. Since 2008, TMS has been in the medical community and known as a safe and effective alternative treatment for depression without the side effects commonly associated with medication.
“TMS has been recommended by the American Psychiatric Association since 2010 for treatment of major depressive disorders,” said Dr. David Penner, an MD who operated Olympia TMS along the water in West Olympia. “During treatment, magnetic pulses are delivered through a magnetic coil to stimulate nerve cells in the parts of the brain controlling mood. Repeated stimulation of this area of the brain can have an antidepressants effect on people suffering from major depressive disorder.”
It is not shock therapy. In fact, most patients feel just a light tickling sensation.
“It is non-invasive, meaning that it does not involve surgery,” Penner added. “It does not require any anesthesia or sedation, as the patient remains awake and alert during the treatment.”
Penner is quick to note that depression is not someone’s fault, nor should it be considered something to feel ashamed about. It is a medical condition like any other, that requires a treatment to heal.
“For depression, this area is the prefrontal cortex of the brain,” he added.
These magnetic fields can create electrical activity in the nerve cells, according to Penner. It is well accepted by researchers and clinicians, that the magnetic stimulation effects not only the targeted area, the prefrontal cortex, but also the connected areas of the brain, the cingulate, amygdala, hypothalamus, and thalamus.
Once these areas are opened, depression lifts. Sometimes, a pateint will need to follow up down the road to get a boost, however in others, they could receive lasting effects and not need it ever again.
While drugs aren’t used, and therefore side effects from chemicals can be a thing of the past, TMS does require several appointments over the course of several weeks. There is a commitment to the process, however, for those who have suffered in silence, the time investment can be worth every moment.