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How Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Can Help With Your Depression

It’s easy to understand how depression affects your emotional and mental health, but you may not realize that depression takes a toll on your physical health as well. 

In fact, depression and its many emotional and physical symptoms are the leading cause of disability not just in the United States but worldwide. 

Our team of experts at US Neuropathy Centers understands that depression is much more than just feeling blue, and the physical symptoms can often go unacknowledged and untreated. That’s why we offer a treatment option for depression that addresses the issue at its heart — the brain. 

Here’s everything you should know about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and how it can help your depression and the painful symptoms that come along with it. 

A closer look at depression

Depression is a common mood disorder, affecting over 264 million people of all ages. It affects the way you think and feel, which can lead to a variety of both emotional and physical problems. 

Symptoms and severity can vary from person to person, but some of the most common signs of depression include:

In addition to emotional and mental issues, depression can also cause unexplained body aches and pains to crop up and disrupt your life. 

Some people experience symptoms only once during their life or go through multiple bouts of depression. Often, depression affects your daily life and can cause you to withdraw from your normal routine.

Depression can be the result of a traumatic event, but it’s not uncommon to experience depression without a clear reason.

So far, there are no known causes of depression. There are a few factors that contribute to the development of mental health issues like depression, including hormone imbalances and inherited traits, as well as biological and chemical differences in the brain. 

The link between depression and pain

Depression and physical pain are closely linked. In fact, you can often find yourself caught in a vicious cycle where your depression causes you pain, and, in turn, your increased pain exacerbates your depression. 

The abnormal chemical reactions in your brain that cause mood changes associated with depression can also cause your neuropathic nerves to misfire and malfunction, resulting in widespread pain. 

How TMS can help

TMS is a breakthrough treatment for depression that doesn’t require medication and is completely noninvasive. 

It involves using a magnetic field to target the neuropathic pain receptors and stimulate nerve activity in your brain. The machine accurately pinpoints and measures the structures of your brain where the nerves are misfiring. It then sends targeted magnetic fields at the exact angle needed to stimulate nerve activity. 

TMS effectively disrupts the cycle of false pain signals and regulates nerve function in your brain, relieving your pain and helping you manage your depression. 

We use a special kind of TMS system called CloudTMS®, which securely stores your data after each treatment, so we can access your information quickly and monitor your progress. CloudTMS logs your specific measurements, allowing the machine to calibrate to your exact specifications for every treatment. 

Candidates for TMS

TMS is an extremely versatile treatment that works for many patients. We take the time to conduct a thorough review of your health history and symptoms before recommending TMS. 

You must be at least 18 years old and cannot have any metal in your head or neck other than cavity fillings. Talk to our doctors if you struggle with OCD, anxiety, or addiction problems. You might benefit from TMS treatments as well. 

What to expect from TMS

During your appointment, you recline comfortably as we carefully position the TMS coils against your head. We allow the machine to calibrate before turning it on and activating the magnetic field. 

Expect your treatment session to last at least two hours for the first appointment, with subsequent appointments taking 20-40 minutes. You may notice a gentle tapping sensation or hear noise from the machine, but you won’t feel pain or need anesthesia. 

Once your treatment is over, you can drive yourself home or return to your normal routine without skipping a beat or spending any time in recovery. You return for a series of treatments, typically five days a week for several weeks, depending on your needs. 

If you’d like more information, call our Marietta, Georgia, office or request an appointment online today.

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