Depression is a serious illness that requires medical attention and it is one of the most common mental disorders in the country. Many people experience sadness of the “blues” at times in their life, but an inability to shake that feeling for more than two weeks would consulting a physician. Other feelings that arise can be feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and loss of interest in daily activities. Someone suffering from depression might even have difficulty concentrating or contemplate suicide. The most common age of onset is 32 years old and women are 70% more likely to experience depression than men because of their hormonal cycles.
Any of these symptoms should not be ignored and treatment for depression is available. Many psychiatrists prescribe antidepressants to stimulate production of particular neuropeptides in the brain. While this does help a number of patients, almost a third of those suffering from depression achieve remission from the illness. In order to combat this, a new therapy has been approved to aid patients who did not respond to antidepressants. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy uses a coil that attaches to the patient’s head to stimulate neurons in the brain using highly concentrated magnetic fields. TMS for depression has proven successful for many patients; out of a study of about 300 participants who had shown no improvement on antidepressants, TMS resulted in a 57% positive response from these patients.
Using TMS for depression might prove to be a solid alternative to traditional medication. Anxiety treatment can also benefit from TMS therapy as post traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder often accompany depression. Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is considered safe and does not produce any side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, or sedation like many antidepressants do. It is important to consult a physician before beginning any kind of treatment to treat depression.