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Depression: Best Treatments And How TMS Helps

Depression is the much talked about word, yet the least understood emotion by people who have never experienced it. Depression is a state of disarray of mind where a human becomes tenaciously sad, loses interest in daily activities and becomes negatively charged up with an array of poignant emotions. For a diagnosis of depression to be carried out, the symptoms must last for at least two weeks. Sometimes certain medical conditions like vitamin deficiency, thyroid might seem to impersonate the symptoms but should not be confused with. Depression is different from normal sadness; it leads to extended periods of the mind being sad and overly loaded with self-loathing. It is more likely to occur in the late twenties, with females being the more common victims.

Depression is categorized as follows-

  • Major Depression
  • Minor Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder

As the ailment, so the treatment. For every different type of depression, there is a specifically targeted treatment. Few years back, it was believed that depression is mainly caused due to low levels of chemicals –serotonin and norepinephrine. But a meta-analysis of around twenty studies hard pressed the fact that no relation could be established between both, leading to streamlining of treatment for mild and severe depression.

  • The first step should be trying to take control of your own feelings through sharing what you feel. Exercise and Yoga can be a good initiative in this regard.
  • One of the most sought after techniques for curing depression is CBT which stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is now regarded as one of the best treatments for depression. It was believed CBT could not treat depression alone, which was countered by a research that proved otherwise. It helps to determine negative thoughts thereby suggesting ways to weed them out. It is a time-bound therapy comprising of 8-16 sessions.
  • One could consult a counsellor who will listen to everything that is going on within your mind and try to understand the pattern of your behaviour. She/he helps you by therapy sessions helping you to resolve the difficulties in life by your own power of discretion.
  • Antidepressants which are of around thirty types can be taken only when advised by a doctor.In case of severe depression, it is recommended to take a combination therapy comprising of antidepressants and CBT.
  • Brain Stimulation Techniques are recommended in cases of severe depression when none of the above suggested methods work. It incorporates these four procedures-
    • Transcranial direct current stimulation(tDCS)
    • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation(rTMS)
    • Electroconvulsive Therapy(ECT)
    • Lithium

Let us discuss about the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation i.e. tms depression treatment in detail. It is a more acceptable, less painful alternative to ECT that was the barometer therapy for depression resistant to any other treatments.

What is TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation depression treatment also known as tms depression treatment involves no cutting or putting of instrument inside the body, all the equipments involved are placed outside, and there is a transmission of magnetic pulses to parts of brain that have been affected by depression. It might sometimes result in headache and rarely seizures and is not recommended to people who have had a history of head injuries, epilepsy or anything similar. It was first introduced in 1985.It involves two basic laws of physics: Faraday’s and Ampere’s Laws.

Repetitive TMS (rTMS) is so called because the whole process necessitates delivering of repetitive magnetic pulses.

Plausibility of TMS:

Among the many treatments available these days, tms depression treatment has proved beneficial to around two thirds of people suffering from depression who tried to take medications but in vain considering it amongst the best treatment for depression for people with mild to severe depression. Although TMS has an intermittent behaviour and the symptoms might bounce back, in that case ECT might be suggested as a viable and effective option. Yet it is believed that around one third of people benefitting from it have shown no signs of any symptoms coming back.

The Process of Therapy:

A person needs to be thorough with his body conditions and get his physical examinations and psychometric evaluation done before appearing for tms depression treatment. It is not advisable in the following conditions:

  • Probable or existing pregnancy
  • Any medical metal devices already implanted in the body.
  • Epilepsy or seizure history
  • Brain damage
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Based on history of prior rTMS treatments

A typical tms depression treatment does not need sedative dosage and can be done over a period of four to six weeks. There are five sessions in a week. A typical session lasts for about thirty minutes.

The process involves making the patient sit comfortably and placing an electromagnetic coil around his head and passing carefully measured current through the coil. While putting the coil, the technician makes sure to determine the most effective part of the brain which is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is the target area of the brain which is responsible for regulating our moods and thereby causing depression. The idea is to pass the magnetic currents through this part which induces activity of the brain. Furthermore one can feel tapping sensations on your head which is known as Mapping. The dose of magnetic energy will be increased until hands begin to quaver, and that is the threshold which is the maximum amount of magnetic energy the body can sustain. A single session is helpful in changing the activity of the brain, yet improved results can be seen only after many consecutive sessions.

A person can carry out tasks normally immediately after a session like driving and other activities. Memory and sleep patterns are not affected negatively. Also in contrast to antidepressants one does not feel any gastrointestinal disorders, sedation or dry mouth.

TMS and its scope:

Having carved out its own niche among sustainable treatments for curing severe depression tms depression treatment is considered by doctors consider it as a safe procedure and one of the best treatment for depression and it largely strikes out any need for taking antidepressants post treatment. TMS can also be used in curing bipolar disorders, pediatric depression, post traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder, curbing smoking habit. It has laid out groundwork for further research but nothing can be definitive with regards to the feasibility of it.


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