Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Depression Treatment in Philadelphia

Finding effective care for treatment-resistant depression can be a challenge. At Belmont, we offer transcranial magnetic stimulation – a unique therapy that has helped many struggling with depression find relief.

Deciding to seek our help is a big step, which is why Belmont’s staff thoroughly and confidentially evaluates your needs before deciding upon your individual treatment plan. Belmont staff acts as liaisons with the recovery support groups which hold meetings on the campus to promote an atmosphere of recovery support for the community.

These are informal support groups, run by and for recovering people and often feature discussions and speakers. These support groups are open to the public, as well as patients who are currently in treatment at Belmont.

TMS Depression Treatment Overview

Depression impacts countless people throughout the world, and those who are battling the symptoms of this mental health disorder can face devastating effects in all facets of their lives.

Fortunately, there are numerous program options available for depression treatment in Philadelphia. Oftentimes, the use of certain psychotropic medications, namely antidepressants, can be immensely beneficial in alleviating the distress experienced by many people who are suffering from depression. For this reason, the prescribing of such medications is frequently cornerstone to thoroughly treating this mental health condition.

Yet, there are some circumstances in which the use of medication does not provide the desired results. Some individuals may not respond positively to the medication they are prescribed, and may, therefore, spend a significant amount of time trying various other types of medications in an attempt to find something that works. Even still, for some people, no medication eases their symptoms, which may only then serve to enhance their feelings of despair.

Today, however, there is another treatment program for depression that has been instrumental in helping many individuals for whom medication did not work. Transcranial magnetic stimulation, otherwise referred to as TMS therapy, is an innovative treatment program that is designed to help individuals who are suffering from depression, but whose symptoms have not been successfully alleviated by other forms of treatment.

What is TMS Therapy?

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008, transcranial magnetic stimulation is a procedure in which magnetic fields are used to stimulate certain nerve cells within the brain that are known to impact the development and progression of depressive symptoms.

The procedure is noninvasive and is completed while the individual is awake and alert, therefore not requiring anesthesia. It is completely pain-free, does not require hospitalization, and does not cause any disturbance or disruption in the individual’s functioning.

The TMS process includes four basic steps, which are outlined in the following:

  1. The person will be situated comfortably in a chair.
  2. A magnetic coil that lies inside of a small, curved device will be placed lightly on the person’s head.
  3. The device will produce focused magnetic stimulation onto targeted areas of the brain.
  4. When the process is complete, the person will be able to immediately resume his or her daily activities.

What is Deep TMS Therapy?

Brainsway Deep TMS Therapy was created to enhance the effects of traditional TMS therapy by allowing for a shorter procedure time, as well as a shorter treatment program duration.

The traditional TMS therapy process typically takes a little less than 40 minutes and can span for a duration of around six weeks. With Brainsway Deep TMS Therapy, on the other hand, the procedure only lasts for 20 minutes and may span for a duration of as little as four weeks.

The procedure itself is similar between traditional TMS therapy and deep TMS therapy, yet, as the name implies, the brain network is stimulated more deeply in the process of deep TMS therapy, ultimately resulting in increased efficacy.

Brainsway Deep TMS Therapy at Belmont Behavioral Health System

At Belmont Behavioral Health System, we are proud to be one of the first hospitals in the Philadelphia area to offer this state-of-the-art treatment program. Our staff is dedicated to making the process of receiving deep TMS therapy as easy and as comfortable as possible. From the moment patients begin TMS therapy with us, we develop relationships with them, ensuring that they feel supported and encouraged as they engage in this innovative care option and begin to heal from the symptoms of depression.

Deep TMS therapy at Belmont in Philadelphia can be done on an outpatient basis, and we make the procedure available at convenient times for our patients in order to accommodate their busy schedules. Because of the nonintrusive nature of the process, patients may even choose to enter their treatment program during their lunch break and will be able to return to work without complications once the treatment session is complete.

Furthermore, the treatment program that is devised for each individual patient will be flexible depending on his or her unique needs. For example, if someone would like to engage in treatment sessions five days a week, we will work with him or her to create an appropriate schedule. If someone would rather only receive the treatment three days a week, we will accommodate those needs as well.

During the deep TMS therapy process at Belmont, patients will be able to engage in conversation with the professional with whom they are working, asking them any questions they may have or simply discussing anything that they wish to discuss. Additionally, we have implemented the use of a television set which allows patients to watch positive images play across the screen, initiating further comfort and relaxation.

Throughout the duration of time that a patient spends engaging in TMS therapy at Belmont, he or she will be asked to complete weekly questionnaires. These questionnaires are brief and are meant to keep track of the progress that patients are making and to ensure that the therapy is eliciting positive results.

Click the link below to see a story Philadelphia’s WPVI Action News covered on our program:

Helmet with Magnetic Power Used to Treat Depression Patients (August 24, 2017)

Who Can Benefit from TMS Therapy?

As is true for any type of treatment program used to treat mental health conditions like depression, determining whether or not TMS therapy will be beneficial for a person will be deliberated on a case-by-case basis.

At Belmont Behavioral Hospital, we provide prospective TMS therapy patients with a thorough assessment in order to gain an understanding of their needs, presenting concerns, and ultimate treatment goals. During this evaluation, patients will be assessed on the current state of their depressive symptoms, while also reviewing their history of depression and/or other mental health conditions, as well as reviewing their history of previous treatment programs. This evaluation will also serve to show whether or not any contraindications exist that could prevent a prospective patient from fully benefiting from transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Patients who may be appropriate for receiving deep TMS therapy can include the following:

  • Aged 18 or older
  • Suffering from symptoms of major depressive disorder
  • Has not benefited from prior use of psychotropic medications

Additionally, transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is safe for pregnant women, which can an added benefit as many antidepressant medications are not recommended to be consumed during pregnancy. In these cases, even if a woman has previously benefited from the use of medication but does not feel comfortable continuing to consume that medication during her pregnancy, TMS therapy may be an ideal solution to avoid the reemergence of depressive symptoms.

There are very few contraindications that could prevent an individual from being able to engage in TMS therapy. The most predominant of such would be if an individual has experienced a medical condition or complication that resulted in the need for metal to be placed in his or her brain, such as in the case of a brain aneurysm.

Possible Side Effects of TMS Therapy

One of the many benefits of receiving TMS therapy is that there are rarely any side effects. In some instances, a patient may experience a mild headache immediately following the procedure, but it does not typically remain for an extended period of time. As a non-drug treatment program, TMS therapy does not provide any systemic side effects, and there are no documented long-term side effects.

Get Started Today

While transcranial magnetic stimulation may sound like an intimidating process, it is truly one of the most comfortable, most nonintrusive, and least restrictive forms of depression treatment available. If you have any questions about any aspect of TMS therapy, or if you would like to inquire about how to begin treatment, please do not hesitate to contact the trained and experienced professionals here at Belmont Behavioral Hospital in Philadelphia. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team will assist you in answering any questions that you may have about the procedure, scheduling an appointment for an assessment, or to review your insurance benefits.

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