For an estimated four million Americans, until recently there was little hope of treating their debilitating depression. Categorized by pervasive and prolonged periods of extreme sadness that impact an individual’s ability to concentrate and enjoy daily life, some individuals who suffer from depression are also eligible for disability benefits. Today there is new hope for individuals for whom the traditional treatments of medication and therapy were ineffective.
Some long-time sufferers of depression are calling transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, “a miracle”. After trying various prescription medications to treat her deep depression, one mother who lost three children in a tragic accident, turned to TMS.
Since undergoing TMS treatments, the woman has been able to once again smile and find joy in recalling stories about her children. Likewise, she has more energy and interest in everyday activities. For her, TMS treatment appears to have been effective when other traditional treatment options for depression failed.
Using magnetic pulses of energy to help stimulate brain nerve cells, TMS is a fairly non-invasive form of treatment with few side effects. While the procedure may have few physical drawbacks, the cost is prohibitive for some. To be effective, patients typically need to undergo 30 TMS treatment sessions. Costs associated with TMS run around $8,500 and the treatments are currently not covered by insurance in many states.
Positive results thus far have many within the medical community hopeful that TMS treatments will soon be widely covered by health insurers and Medicare. For many who have lost hope of ever overcoming depression, TMS provides a viable treatment option.
Source: Courier-Post, “Treatment may help some with depression,” Aug. 18, 2012, Chrstina Mitchell,