Perhaps you have stumbled across transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) through your own research, or maybe it was recommended to you by your doctor.
If you’ve been struggling with depression with no help from medications and talk therapy, TMS may seem like the next step in dealing wiht your depression.
You’ve made it this far and want to ensure you get the best results from TMS. Let’s discuss what you should do to prepare for TMS Therapy and ensure you get the most out of your treatments.
What Is TMS Treatment?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Treatment is a non-invasive treatment for people with treatment-resistant depression. It can be helpful for people with other types of psychological disorders, such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and substance use disorder.
TMS treatment involves stimulating the brain through electromagnetic waves. This stimulation jumpstarts a process known as synaptic plasticity, a term used to describe the development of new connections between neurons.
It may sound intimidating to some, but these magnetic waves are painless. The worst pain you will feel could be a mild headache after your first couple of sessions, but after your brain adjusts, this pain should disappear.
During treatment, you attend a daily, 30-minute session, five days a week, for four to six weeks. Some patients choose to continue treatment until their depressive symptoms disappear entirely.
Preparing for Treatment
Before beginning treatment, tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had seizures, if you have any metal implants, take medication, or are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Full disclosure of your medical history is imperative so that your doctor can adequately assess your eligibility.
You will be given a physical and psychiatric evaluation before you start treatment regardless, but it is your responsibility to share your complete medical history with your doctor.
Before starting TMS treatment, you may want to tell friends and family in your support network about your upcoming treatment. While your friends and family may be as nervous as you are, having a support network will help you through the process.
With the potential side effect of having a headache during or afterward, asking someone to drive you to your first couple of appointments may set your mind at ease! You can never go wrong with the proper moral support.
You may want to take some items with you for each session.
For instance, you may want to bring a pain reliever, just in case you get a headache. You may also want to bring a list of your medications along with their dosages.
Also, you may want to bring headphones to listen to music or videos. You will have idle time and may want to keep your brain occupied. And don’t forget to bring a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated!
TMS Treatment Tips for Best Results
Now that you are all ready to go, follow these TMS treatment tips for the best results.
1. Drink Lots of Water (and No Alcohol)
Stay hydrated! Drink lots of water. Water is crucial for your body, including your brain, to work at its peak capacity.
You will want to stay clear from alcohol during treatment. For one, alcohol will make you feel dehydrated, and also, alcohol affects your brain. You want your brain to be alert and stimulated during treatment.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting a good night’s rest will help you feel your best. By sleeping at night, it will be easier for you to stay awake during your appointment, and you will want to be alert during your session to gain the best results for your TMS treatment.
Helpful hint: if you are still feeling groggy after a goodnight’s sleep, drink coffee, or your preferred caffeinated beverage, before your appointment.
3. Eat Right and Exercise
Giving your brain the proper vitamins, minds, and nutrients will optimize your TMS treatment results. Exercising elevates your heart rate and also helps you to think more clearly. By exercising during the day, you will be able to sleep better at night, too!
4. Talk During Treatment
This tip may seem less obvious, but talking during the session will keep your brain engaged. You want the neurons in your brain to be firing during stimulation.
5. Stay on Track
If you are on medication, keep taking your medication. You do not want to do anything drastic that would jeopardize your treatment results. Quitting medication suddenly can have adverse side effects on your overall health.
In addition to staying on track with your medication, you will want to keep track of your TMS treatment attendance. Healing the brain takes time, but it is time well spent. Consistency and repetition are paramount for long-term results.
Start Your TMS Treatment
Are you considering TMS therapy for your treatment-resistant depression? Perhaps you have already scheduled your treatment sessions with Brain Center TMS.
If you’re still considering whether TMS treatment is right for you and your condition, give Brain Center TMS a call for a free consultation today!