Recovery from Mental Illness with the Help of TMS
Mood disorders are often the toughest to diagnose. They don’t manifest themselves with physical scars or other easily recognizable symptoms. Instead, they linger in the minds of those afflicted and sometimes go unchecked for far too long due to social stigmatization.
While medications are the common go-to remedies for many patients, they don’t always work. That’s why Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) could be the solution to your mental health issues.
Depression by the Numbers
Depression exacerbates one’s feelings of alienation, leaving the sufferer feeling out of step. But the numbers show that you’re not alone; it’s an all too frequent phenomenon. The statistics pertaining to depression are staggering: 350 million people worldwide have reported experiencing some form of the condition.
In fact, Americans aged 15-44 count depression as their #1 cause of disability. Unfortunately, the antidepressants prescribed to treat their maladies are ineffective for about 65% of first-time med users.
How the Brain Works
The various parts of your brain correspond to different emotions, cognitions, and reactions. In broad strokes, navigating the map of your mind looks a bit like this:
- Amygdala & Hypothalamus – Feelings of anger, romance, fear, and sexual desire are ascribed to this almond-shaped portion of the brain and its surrounding limbic system components.
- Prefrontal Cortex – This region dominates your decision-making processes and also helps regulate anxiety.
- Hippocampus – Your memory center, the hippocampus triggers emotions based on past experiences.
- Ventral Tegmental Region – Responsible for distributing dopamine throughout the brain, this area helps us perceive and accept pleasure.
This last point is of particular importance because dopamine dictates our mood. By stimulating the flow of this neurotransmitter, we can stave off the worst specters of depression and boost our natural propensity for positive thought.
How TMS Can Help
The term “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation” may sound daunting at first, but before you start conjuring up images from a science fiction flick, let’s dispel the myths. This is a non-invasive procedure, meaning that all of the equipment required function outside of your body. In fact, no anesthetic is required.
Instead, an electromagnetic woven coil is affixed comfortably to your forehead. This generates a series of pulses that flow harmlessly through your gray matter, stimulating the beneficial chemicals within. By activating these cells, you enter into a new cognitive chapter of your life.
Preparing for Your TMS Session
Before sitting down for your Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation procedure, you will be asked to remove any items from your person that may react to the magnets being activated. For example, all jewelry and credit cards must be put aside for your safety and the safety of the medical professionals administering the session.
Next, you will be measured for a coil that fits your unique cranial shape and size. A series of test pulses are administered to determine your motor function reactivity; these measurements help define the strength of the current needed to effectively stimulate your individual brain chemistry.
The TMS Procedure Begins
A typical session takes place in a calm, relaxed setting. If at any point during the procedure you feel uncomfortable, you can signal to one of our attentive staff and they will immediately address your concerns.
There is no recovery time necessary because there is no anesthesia or invasiveness involved.
The Joys of Recovery
Depression is a persistent condition, especially for those who subscribe to the traditional med-based remedies. An estimated 20-30 percent of those afflicted will never fully eradicate the symptoms, which is precisely why breakthrough methods like TMS are essential. We must rethink our approach to mental disorders in order to arrive at new answers, fresh ideas, and renewed hope.
Recovering from depression is akin to emerging from under a storm cloud. The darkness pulls you in and obscures your view until you feel like there’s no way out. By treating your depression, you begin to see the proverbial light. It’s the reverse of a downward spiral; you can elevate your perspective, your energy, and your outlook on life.
Some benefits of TMS may include the following:
- Increased Focus – Depression saps your cognitive strength, leaving you unable to perform even simple daily routines. By stimulating your brain cells through TMS, you may recapture your verve to tackle problems that you previously avoided.
- Better Sleep – Insomnia is a common side effect of mental disorders; they consume your thoughts and keep you awake with worry. But by clearing your neural pathways, you can deal with thoughts as they arise and put them behind you at the end of the day.
- Increased Self Esteem – Feelings of worthlessness encumber many of those who deal with depression. By moving forward with your mental health, you may also move upward in the way you see yourself and the way others perceive you.
- Healthier Life Habits – Depression can lead to self-destructive behavior such as overeating, abuse, and thoughts of suicide. Rerouting and amplifying your flow of dopamine through TMS can literally increase your appetite for pleasure. Your desire for stimuli such as sex, nutrition, and exercise are dictated by neurotransmitters, so they are essential ingredients to a happy life.
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned health issues, please contact a trusted mental health professional immediately. TMS may be the answer to your concerns. Even if the procedure is not exactly right for you, communication is the first step towards a brighter tomorrow. Talk, listen, and be heard. We’re here to start the vital conversation that lies ahead.