Medication and psychotherapy are effective treatments for many people with major depression, but not all. At Fort Lauderdale Behavioral Health Center, we want you to know that other forms of symptom relief are available.
We are one of only a few behavioral health centers in Broward County to offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for depression. TMS is a drug-free therapy for medication-resistant depression. Our staff is TMS-certified and has helped many people find new hope beyond mental illness.
What is TMS?
TMS is an outpatient therapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults (18 and up) with major depression who have not benefited from medication. Research is ongoing about its benefits for other mental health disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring substance use disorders.
During the procedure, magnetic pulses stimulate specific nerve cells in your brain that affect your mood. TMS targets areas of the brain that are typically underactive in adults with depression. TMS is noninvasive and doesn’t have the side effects that patients often experience when taking antidepressants, such as weight gain, nausea and mood swings.
TMS Versus ECT: What’s the Difference?
TMS and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are both types of brain stimulation therapy for major depression. But the two treatments have important differences:
- TMS uses magnetic energy; ECT uses electrical energy.
- TMS is available on an outpatient basis for adults 18 and up; ECT is approved for adults and adolescents on an inpatient or outpatient basis.
- TMS is only approved to treat depression; ECT can treat depression, schizophrenia, psychotic episodes and other mental health disorders.
What Are the Benefits of TMS?
There are several benefits of magnetic therapy for depression. TMS:
- May help people who aren’t candidates for ECT due to certain health conditions
- Does not require general anesthesia
- Does not cause memory loss and has fewer side effects than ECT
- Is less invasive than ECT and does not produce seizures
- Does not affect driving ability, so you can drive during the weeks you’re receiving TMS
What Can I Expect During TMS?
Before your first treatment, we carefully map and measure your head to determine the correct placement for the electromagnetic coil. We target your left prefrontal cortex (toward the front of your head), the part of the brain that’s often weakened in people with severe depression.
TMS is a painless, in-office procedure. You don’t need general anesthesia, so you’re awake during the treatment. During TMS, we place an electromagnetic coil on your head and deliver brief magnetic pulses. The pulses activate your prefrontal cortex and help it work better. TMS treatments typically last about 20 minutes.
Unlike ECT, you can drive, go back to work and resume your regular activities immediately after your treatment session.
You typically need a minimum of 35 TMS sessions over several weeks or months.
Get Help Now
Call 954-734-2002 or contact us to get help now. At Fort Lauderdale Behavioral Health Center, our staff is available 24/7 for no-cost, confidential assessments.