TMS is an effective treatment for depression and has been used to treat thousands of people worldwide. Patients can live lives free from depression and are able to reduce and sometimes even stop antidepressant use.
International guidelines recommend a step-wise approach to the management of depression:
- Stop taking any substances that can affect mood
- Introduce lifestyle changes such as improving sleep routine, quitting smoking, increasing exercise and eating a healthy diet
- Psychosocial interventions (e.g. education, support groups)
- Psychological therapy
- Combine antidepressants
- Augment antidepressants
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Treatment Resistant Depression, TRD, is defined when two more trials of antidepressants have failed to treat the patient. In these patients, TMS has shown a 58% response rate.
TMS is a very safe option that has been studied for over 30 years and doesn’t have any long-term side effects.
Although during treatment some side effects may occur, it is uncommon to have to stop treatment because of them.
– Scalp discomfort and/or headache near where the coil is placed
– Transient tiredness
These are usually minor and patients generally develop tolerance of the first two weeks of treatment. They do not prevent patients from driving or returning to work after a treatment session.
– risk of seizure (1:30,000 sessions); patients are screened for risk factors prior to treatment.
There are many doctors and psychologists offering quality treatment for depression in South Africa. We always encourage people to always seek out professional medical advice before they decide on what is best for their situation. This article explores the various options available when it comes to treatment for depression.
Treatment options here cover a variety of counselling methods including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and long term psychotherapy. These therapies usually require weekly to fortnightly treatment sessions lasting ten weeks to two years and they are best delivered by a psychiatrist or psychologist.
There are several classes of antidepressants, each with their own effects and side effects. Antidepressants typically increase neurotransmittor levels. Antidepressants usually begin working within 3-4 weeks, and need to be taken for at least 2 years for optimum effect.
TMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate or inhibit parts of the brain. It works on the circuitry of the brain. It is effective and safe. This treatment does not require anaesthetic and has little or mild side effects. Each session lasts 30-50 minutes and treatment consists of 20-30 sessions.For more details about whether TMS is the right depression treatment for you click here
ECT is an effective, but invasive treatment for depression. It requires the patient to be hospitalised for 2-6 weeks. The treatment involves passing an electrical current to the brain causing a seizure. It is performed under anaesthesia. Patients can experience a response to treatment within a week. ECT has side effects, including possible memory loss.
At ReWire we are constantly monitoring TMS protocols both in South Africa and Internationally to offer the most up to date treatments available.
TMS technology has been applied and researched for many conditions including psychiatric conditions, addictions, neurological conditions and others. Our clinic focuses on treating those disorders where a well established treatment protocol has been developed. Typically this means, that these protocols have been rigorously studied and are endorsed by a professional body or government agency internationally.