A person struggling with an anxiety disorder may feel as though they are living within a prison of their own mind. For many, anxiety symptoms can make the difference between functioning well throughout the course of a normal day, and feeling too mentally paralyzed to venture out of the house or make a simple phone call.
Of course, anxiety may manifest in a variety of ways ranging from social difficulties to severe and ongoing bouts of panic attacks. A complex set of risk factors may contribute to anxiety including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Each individual’s struggle with anxiety is a personal one.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a treatment method gaining attention for its increased success in treating individuals living with anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. TMS therapy is a procedure that painlessly revitalizes areas of the brain responsible for mood control, while it improves communication within the central nervous system. It has already proven effective for many people living with a variety of other major depressive and anxiety disorders, particularly for those that have proven resistant to prescription medications and other traditional therapies.
At TMS Therapy Louisville, we offer a safe, welcoming environment for providing non-medicated, results-orientated relief from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mood disorders. If you and your doctor have tried countless treatment options for your anxiety diagnosis and not experienced relief, TMS therapy could be the answer for you.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, or approximately 18 percent of the population each year. Anxiety disorders are considered highly treatable, yet only 37 percent of those living with any number of these conditions receive necessary treatment.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is perhaps the most common anxiety diagnosis. GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3 percent of the U.S. population, yet approximately only 43 percent are receiving treatment. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men. It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
TMS therapy may be the answer for many living with anxiety
While treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and anti-anxiety medications are effective for many living with anxiety, these options don’t work for everyone. While TMS therapy is FDA-approved for use with depression, it is an innovative treatment showing promising results for many people living with an anxiety disorder.
Several studies have shown that patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experienced a remission of symptoms after receiving TMS therapy. The procedure may not eliminate anxiety altogether, yet it may reduce symptoms and allow you to live a better quality of life when medications and other therapies have proven ineffective.
A National Institutes of Health study that followed TMS therapy for GAD patients consisted of six sessions over a three-week period, twice per week. Therapy sessions consisted of low-frequency stimulation over the brain’s right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). These TMS therapy sessions resulted in significant improvements for these study participants with anxiety symptoms. The study also reports that these improvements remained throughout a six-month follow-up period.
How does TMS therapy work?
Primary therapies for anxiety (and depression) typically include prescription medications and psychotherapy (“talk” therapy), or both. Yet, some people may need to try different treatments to discover what works best for their needs.
While anti-anxiety medications alter the brain chemically, TMS therapy uses magnetic fields to stimulate underactive nerve cells in the brain. At TMS Therapy Louisville, we use a top-of-the-line, FDA-approved device to direct magnetic energy pulses to the brain’s prefrontal cortex. As a result, transcranial magnetic stimulation can painlessly revitalize areas of the brain responsible for mood control while improving communication within the central nervous system.
TMS is a non-invasive, in-office procedure, and takes as little as three minutes, depending on the frequency, intensity, and range of stimulation needed. No post-treatment recovery time is required and patients may return to daily routines immediately following a session.
Trials have shown to produce lasting, positive effects on brain function in people who may have experienced a form of treatment-resistant anxiety disorder, PTSD, depression, schizophrenia, and more.
What can my anxiety improve with TMS therapy?
While completing a course of TMS treatment sessions for anxiety, patients may notice their anxiety symptoms becoming less intense, along with experiencing fewer anxiety-related thoughts and feelings. Many patients experience diminishing anxiety in about two weeks. Some others may notice improvement nearly right away, and still others may need more time to experience the positive effects of TMS therapy.
TMS therapy may improve a large range of symptoms common with anxiety disorders:
- Sleep disturbances
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent urination
- Muscle tension
- Blurred vision
- Concentration problems
- Excessive sweating
- Digestion problems
- Pounding heart
Other benefits of TMS therapy include:
- Non-systemic delivery – nothing enters the bloodstream
- No sedation – patient remains awake and alert during treatment
- Non-invasive – nothing is inserted or implanted into the body
- No medication – unlike with some drugs, there are no side effects such as weight gain, drowsiness, sleeplessness, stomach upset or sexual problems you may experience with medication.
Potential Side Effects of TMS
TMS therapy carries few risks and side effects associated with the procedure. There has been no evidence suggesting that TMS therapy has any effect on a person’s long or short-term memory. The most common side effects of TMS therapy include headaches and some scalp discomfort during or after treatment. These side effects are mild and generally improve over time with each session, as the client becomes more comfortable with treatment. There is potential for TMS to cause a seizure, but it is considered extremely rare. TMS Therapy Louisville is ready to discuss any risk factors and concerns with you in advance.
Patients with a dual-diagnosis of depression and anxiety may be able to benefit from insurance coverage. TMS Therapy Louisville is ready to help you, regardless of your insurance status. Find out if TMS therapy may be right for you – talk with your doctor and request an appointment with TMS Therapy Louisville today. If you are living with a diagnosed anxiety disorder and cannot find relief through traditional therapies, we are here to help you feel better.