Starting a new therapy can be exciting, but scary. If you’re thinking about starting TMS therapy, you probably have a lot of questions floating around in your head that you don’t know the answers to.
Here are nine of the most commonly asked questions we get at Genesis about TMS therapy, so you can go into this journey equipped with all the information you need.
If I have TMS, do I keep taking antidepressant medications?
Usually, if your antidepressant medication is working partially, you continue taking it while you are receiving TMS. If, however, the medication is not effective or is causing side effects, it may be discontinued. That decision will be between you and your doctor.
How does TMS therapy treat depression?
TMS is a brain stimulation therapy, which means it uses electromagnetic currents to directly stimulate the brain. Depression is a mental illness that affects how your brain works. If you live with depression, certain areas and functions of your brain aren’t working as they should.
TMS therapy directly activates areas of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex that are underactive in people with depression. If you can imagine these areas of your brain as being asleep (when they shouldn’t be), receiving TMS therapy is like waking them up. You can also think of TMS as physical therapy for the brain.
Am I a candidate for TMS therapy?
Most people with depression are great candidates for TMS therapy. The best candidates for this therapy are people who:
- Have lived with depression despite trying at least two medications and talk therapy. It is not as if TMS does not work on people who have not tried medications and talk therapy, but those are the conditions required for coverage by most insurances. For those people who do not want to take antidepressant medications, TMS is a very effective treatment.
- Don’t have any metal in their head. However dental implants are okay.
If you’re not sure if you’re a good candidate for TMS therapy, get in touch with us here. Our intake team can guide you through some questions and let you know if you’re eligible to receive this innovative treatment.
What’s it like to receive TMS therapy?
Knowing what the experience will be like may help lower your anxiety about it.
During your first session, you will be seated comfortably in the chair and the exact areas of treatment will be determined. When TMS therapy is actually delivered, you’ll feel a tapping sensation, and maybe a slight tingling on your scalp. This won’t be painful. You’ll also hear a clicking sound. At Genesis, while you’re receiving the treatment, the time will be spent relaxing or productively with talk therapy. Our technicians are licensed counselors who are there to help find your way out of depression. This boosts the effectiveness of TMS and is a unique service offered by Genesis.
Each session lasts for about 45 minutes or less. You’ll come in for a session 5 days a week for 6 to 7 weeks.
TMS avoids the side effects of medications
TMS avoids the side effects of medications. Some of the most common side effects of medications are:
- Weight gain
- Tiredness, lethargy
- Sexual side effects
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Nausea, constipation, stomach-ache
- Dry mouth
- Agitation, irritability
Are there side effects from TMS?
In general, TMS therapy has far fewer side effects than other depression treatments, including medication. Some of the most common side effects from TMS are:
- Scalp or neck pain
- Tingling or twitching in your face
These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own within a day. There is a very small risk of seizure from TMS therapy, but it is minimal. Overall, TMS has been approved as a safe and well-tolerated treatment for depression.
How do I know if I’ll benefit from TMS?
You can call our TMS Coordinator at (210) 404-9696 to ask if TMS therapy might be able to help you. In general, TMS therapy can help people who:
- Are diagnosed with major depressive disorder
- Have tried therapy and medication to no avail
- Have found that the side effects of medications have made it too uncomfortable to continue taking them
Where and how can I get TMS treatment?
If you live in the San Antonio area, Genesis Behavioral Health is equipped with TMS specialists who are ready to help you in your healing journey. You can get in touch with our intake department here to schedule an initial appointment.
If you don’t live near San Antonio, you can use this database to find a TMS provider near you.
Is TMS therapy covered by insurance?
There’s more good news: TMS therapy is usually covered by insurance as a treatment for depression. If you are diagnosed with depression, and you’ve tried medication in the past, then it’s likely that your insurance plan will cover TMS therapy.
Genesis Behavioral Health is in-network with the following insurance companies:
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield
- United Healthcare
Does TMS therapy hurt?
Here’s some good news: TMS therapy is painless and safe. It’s a non-invasive procedure, which means that you don’t even need to feel the prick of a local anesthesia shot to receive TMS. The magnetic coils that are placed on your scalp deliver micropulses; patients describe the feeling as “something tapping on the head.” In short, no 一 TMS therapy doesn’t hurt. Some people do feel some soreness on their scalp or some head pain after the procedure, but this discomfort is mild and temporary.
We are an out-of-network provider with all other insurance plans., However, we cannot take Medicare. At Genesis, we do our best to work with clients to find a payment plan that works for them and their needs. We genuinely want to see you heal 一 so we will do our best to make sure you get the treatment that works for you. Our TMS Coordinator can discuss our insurance and financing options with you.
Still, have questions about TMS therapy at Genesis Behavioral Health? Get in touch with us today.