Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Breakthrough In Treating Depression
In the 21st century, depression has become something which is now easily talked about in social circles, without worrying about the judgement received. It is seen as a disease, just like any other and requires treatment. So why the depression treatment does has to be only through social and psychological factors?
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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Breakthrough In Treating Depression

In the 21st century, depression has become something which is now easily talked about in social circles, without worrying about the judgement received. It is seen as a disease, just like any other and requires treatment. So why the depression treatment does has to be only through social and psychological factors?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is one such breakthrough in the treatment of clinical depression, in clinical ways. The name sounds big and scary, but the process is actually quite simply explained and non invasive. What happens is that our brain is the main powerhouse of our body, due to the chemical reaction in it, it helps our body movements and also to communicate in terms of actions and other factors that is all lead by the brain. The use of this magnetic stimulation process generates the stimulator in the brain and it gets more active in terms of reactions and communications to certain actions.

TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION

How TMS works?

The working of this stimulation process at a regular repetitive intervals is known as the repetitive TMS. The exact working of TMS is unknown. The pulse used in TMS pulses is the same as the ones used in MRI scans and are extremely safe. It does not require any anaesthesia or sedation and comes without any cognitive side effects or memory related.

What is TMS used for?

Although TMS is painless and very effective, in the US it is used in only the direst of situations when the usual therapy and medication fail. European countries have a more relaxed approach towards the entire process of TMS. It is in fact, used for treatment of various other disorders apart from depression such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alzheimer´s
  • Chronic Pain
  • Nicotine Addiction
  • TMS for Depression

Depression is a condition that not only affects you physically, but also psychologically and socially. In many cases, treatment is the only way to get through this. Otherwise it can affect even the most basic of your daily habits and leave you feeling incapable. In such cases people go for treatment such as therapy. They use medication and go to support groups and talk to their families and friends. This is a very healthy way for treatment of depression and generally is effective. Having a balanced diet, exercising, getting proper sleep, maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle overall, can do wonders for your mental health. Developing a new hobby, takes your mind off various things and keep you engrossed. Keeping oneself busy is also an effective trick.

However, sometimes everything fails. The depression is too severe and major for people to function even normally and the above mentioned ways also do not help. In such cases, TMS is very effective and is seen as a boon. It is the best option for treating depression that is out there.

Types of TMS devices

  • Surface TMS: This device uses a coil shaped like the number eight which can penetrate 0.6 inches and reach the area of the brain responsible for mood control.
  • Deep TMS: This device uses a coil shaped like the letter H which can penetrate 1.6 to 1.8 inches deep inside the brain.
  • Rapid theta burst therapy device: These devices are considered to be safe and to give resulted outputs for the treatment of major depressive disorder as standard TMS, but these devices they also require an installation time before making use of it just to avoid any negative consequences during the therapy.

To summarise what Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is, it is a depression treatment method that is non invasive and painless and works through magnetic radiations and pulses, in the same way as a MRI scan. It is used very cautiously in some countries like the United States but in European countries they do it for various other psychological disorders including depression. It should usually be done when the depression is too major and no other treatment is possibly left.

Before you go on with the process, your doctor will check your skull to determine where to apply the magnetic pulses. Things to keep in mind before your first appointment are:

  • The treatment begins by you sitting in a reclining chair and then you are asked to put earplugs.
  • This is followed by a process called mapping. Repeating pulses are created with the help of clicking simultaneously the magnetic pulses so that it creates an image of the head.
  • The next process is to determine your threshold motor level. It is determined by slowly increasing the frequency of the pulses to see what level of frequency suits you. It stops when once your hands start twitching and it is sensed that threshold frequency is reached.

Depression is a major issue. Every year, a third of the population suffers from it. Yet, awareness about its treatments are unknown. Only medically aware people have access to this idea. New breakthroughs take place every day, making it safer and more reliable. If technology is helping us to lead healthier lives, don´t you think we should accept it? Something as revolutionary as TMS as a depression treatment should not be kept under covers. However, at the same time, the awareness provided should be factually correct. It is strongly advised to go talk to your doctor or psychologist before you think about this procedure. They know best. It should also be kept in mind that depression is not something that can be treated and it is cent percent assured that it will not return. Depression is not dependent completely on your brain function, but a large part of where it comes from is through social, biological and psychological factors. And more often than not, whether we like to believe it or not, these factors are beyond our control. Therefore, after everything it is important to keep yourselves happy, in the best possible way you know how.