Dealing with depression and finding ways to treat it can be tough. By the time your doctor sends you for TMS therapy — which generally only comes after various antidepressants have failed to help you — it's only expected that you'll feel a bit frustrated, and maybe even a little anxious about trying yet another thing. However, TMS therapy is quite different from most other depression treatments. You really can and should feel confident walking into your TMS treatment. Here's why.
It Won't Hurt
TMS therapy involves placing a metallic, magnetic coil around your head. This coil delivers magnetic impulses that penetrate your skin and work on the parts of your brain that are related to mood. This looks and sounds like it might hurt — but amazingly, it doesn't! Some people get a little face twitching during treatment. Occasionally, you may have a headache afterward. But as far as pain goes, it's just not a problem, so you don't need to walk into your TMS appointment bracing yourself to tolerate it.
Side Effects Are Rare and Usually Minor
Are you worried that you might suffer some serious side effects after TMS treatment? Well, you can set those worries aside and approach your treatment without them. Most people don't have any side effects at all after TMS. If you do have side effects, they'll probably just be a headache or some minor twitches, as mentioned above. Take a dose of ibuprofen, drink a glass of water, and you'll be good to go soon. It's not worth working yourself up over the possibility of a headache; in fact, doing so might give you a headache!
You'll Be Awake
Have you seen old movies or documentaries in which the patient is put under general anesthesia prior to ECT therapy? The good news is, this won't happen to you. Not only is TMS therapy so much milder and different from ECT, but you'll also be awake and aware the whole time. There will be a nurse or doctor there to answer your questions and tell you what's happening every step of the way. And you won't have to worry about the possible side effects of anesthesia.
TMS therapy is different, and it can definitely be a little difficult to adjust to. But there is truly no reason to get worried or anxious before your appointment. Take a deep breath, meditate, or talk to a friend about your worries. Soon, you'll be receiving this friendly, painless treatment and enjoying the benefits of TMS therapy.