How Often is TMS Therapy Needed?

Mar 24, 2022
How Often is TMS Therapy Needed?
Mental illness, depending on the condition, has the potential to devastate someone’s life, including their relationships and participation in tasks they love or need to do to survive.

Mental illness, depending on the condition, has the potential to devastate someone’s life, including their relationships and participation in tasks they love or need to do to survive. Included in the realm of mental illness are cases of depression and anxiety, with their associated symptoms ranging in frequency and severity. At Holistic Behavioral and TMS Therapy in Aurora, IL, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Babatunde Ogundipe provides patients with the latest treatment options to alleviate debilitating symptoms of mental illness, including TMS therapy.

What is depression?

Depression is a clinical mood disorder, also referred to as dysthymia, that impacts the way a person thinks, acts, and behaves. Symptoms persist for at least two years or more and are characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, and loss of interest in tasks that used to be appealing or of importance.

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Anger, agitation, irritability, or frustration
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of hopelessness or emptiness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Excessive sleeping

What is anxiety?

Anxiety also falls under the mental illness umbrella and is accompanied by feelings of excessive worry or fear in everyday, ordinary situations. Typical symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Feelings of panic or impending doom
  • Feeling fatigued or weak
  • Shaking or trembling

Like depression, anxiety comes in many diagnosable forms and ranges in severity.

What is TMS therapy?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a noninvasive treatment used to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, or neurons, to alleviate symptoms of depression. TMS therapy is also known as rTMS, or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, due to the repetitive delivery of nerve pulses. Aside from depression, TMS therapy has been used to treat anxiety disorders and additional mood disorders. TMS therapy is generally recommended when traditional medicines and therapy are no longer effective.

What does a TMS therapy session look like?

TMS therapy can be completed in the comforts of one of our private treatment rooms at Holistic Behavioral and TMS Therapy. An electromagnetic coil is placed on the scalp or near the forehead. The coil delivers repetitive pulses to the brain regions responsible for depression and mood stabilization. The ongoing theory is that the nerve pulses activate brain regions that are typically inactive during depression. Patients can return home the same day as their TMS therapy session.

How often is TMS therapy needed?

This depends on the patient’s symptoms, the patient’s reaction to treatment, and Dr. Ogundpipe’s expert recommendations. Patients often participate in an acute phase of treatment where sessions take place five times per week for 4 – 6 weeks. After the acute phase is completed, patients continue treatment for up to 12 weeks with two sessions per week. Since treatment sessions occur for several weeks, patients will need to plan their schedules accordingly.

What are the health risks associated with TMS therapy?

Since TMS therapy is noninvasive, complications and side effects are usually minimal. However, some side effects from treatment may include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Tingling or muscle spasms at the coil site
  • Scalp discomfort at the coil site

Less common side effects include mania, seizures, and hearing loss.

Is it safe to participate in TMS therapy?

For many patients near Aurora, IL, TMS therapy is a virtually painless and safe procedure. Certain people should not receive TMS therapy, including those who:

  • Are pregnant, or are planning on becoming pregnant
  • Have frequent or severe headaches
  • Have a history of seizures
  • Have other severe mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder or substance use disorder
  • Have used rTMS in the past and found it to be ineffective
  • Have metal or medical implants in their bodies
  • Have any other medical conditions or are taking medications that contraindicate the use of TMS therapy

Dr.Ogundipe helps each patient determine if TMS therapy is safe and right for them based on their goals, diagnoses, and medical history.

Learn more about TMS therapy and treatment options for depression and anxiety

If you reside in or around Aurora, IL, and are living with debilitating symptoms of depression or anxiety and have found little relief in other treatment methods, contact our team at Holistic Behavioral and TMS Therapy and schedule an appointment today. Dr. Babatunde Ogundipe will walk you through the basics of TMS therapy and help you ascertain if TMS therapy is the right treatment course for you.