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Depression Treatment: Improving the Lives of Patients

When I first began my position at the West Coast TMS Institute as a Technician, I hoped that I would have the opportunity to witness chronically depressed patients benefit from this new treatment approach. After only a few months on the job, I’m pleased to report that I have seen firsthand the positive improvements that patients undergoing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS have experienced.

Depression has affected some members of my own family; therefore, I‘m familiar with how devastating and difficult it can be. That’s probably one of the main reasons I was so excited to first learn about TMS and that it was proven to be so effective. Since the American Psychiatric Association includes TMS therapy as a recognized treatment for Major Depressive Disorder in its practice guidelines, another milestone has been reached in the advancement of this safe, non-invasive and effective option and will aid in more patients receiving a depression treatment.

In my own personal approach to health, I believe that medications are beneficial. However, I also believe that there has been a strong need for more non-pharmacological options for those who haven’t had relief from depressive symptoms with their prior medications.

The idea of TMS therapy may seem scary, but it’s completely different from shock therapy or any of the procedures utilized in the past. During my TMS technician training, I hesitated briefly before voluntarily undergoing a TMS treatment myself in order to learn more about the process. Because I had already thoroughly researched this new technology beforehand, I quickly reminded myself that the data shows that TMS is very safe. Although the TMS chair looks the same as a dentist chair, the experience is not at all like a root canal! The pulses delivered by the magnetic coil feel less intense than they may sound. Due to the very low risk of seizure during the treatment (about 1/30,000), a CPR and TMS-certified technician stays in the treatment room and monitors patients carefully during the  treatments. Furthermore, I really enjoy spending time and connecting with the patients during TMS depression treatment.

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