Blog: Join the Conversation

What Does TMS Therapy Feel Like?

We often get asked questions regarding what TMS Therapy feels like. Most patients have a comfortable experience throughout their TMS Therapy sessions. Sometimes a light tapping sensation to the scalp can be felt that eventually dissipates as the patient acclimates to treatment. For the few who experience discomfort, it often has to do with an individual’s anatomy and not their innate pain threshold. Discomfort can arise from inadvertent stimulation of a scalp or facial nerve.

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September is National Suicide Prevention Month

National Suicide Prevention Month is observed throughout the month of September, and this week is Suicide Prevention Week. Every year, approximately 44,000 Americans die by suicide, meaning there are about 120 suicides every day.1 Just last year, it was reported that suicide rates in the U.S. had reached a 30-year high.2

There are many ways that you can help spread awareness and prevent suicide.

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Will TMS Therapy allow me to stop taking the medication used to treat my condition(s)?

The decision to incorporate medications in a patient’s treatment plan is very individualized and usually requires coordination between the TMS physician and your prescribing behavioral health provider. Most patients receiving TMS take psychiatric medications before and after their treatment. There is indirect evidence that medications can increase the likelihood of responding to TMS and help sustain the benefits of TMS after treatment is complete, though more research is needed to confirm and clarify this idea.

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Patients & Providers
Invited to Open House: Chapel Hill Center
Tuesday, August 29th

Learn How TMS Therapy is Successfully Helping People with Depression

Please Join Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers in an informational session about how Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS Therapy) is helping people that are struggling with Depression. Presented by Kellie Tolin, M.D., a psychiatrist with Greenbrook TMS with a special interest and experience in TMS Therapy, an FDA-cleared and proven treatment for depression. Dr. Tolin will fully discuss TMS Therapy and answer any questions.

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I’m Undergoing TMS & Haven’t Found Relief Yet. What Should I Do?

If you are treating with TMS Therapy and it has not brought you relief, we understand your concern. Response times are quite variable and while 3 weeks is an average time to begin to see a response, there are some patients that respond sooner while often many respond later. We have even treated patients that show response at the very end of treatment or after treatment has concluded. The older the patient, the longer it may take to see a response, but regardless of age, about 15% of patients make a subset of late responders and can require TMS Therapy beyond 6 weeks.

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Alcohol & TMS Therapy: Is it Safe?

A question that we are frequently asked with regards to TMS Therapy is if consuming alcohol is safe while undergoing TMS Therapy.

Alcohol use in TMS is not well studied, but some of the reports of seizures associated with TMS are believed to have resulted from alcohol use. In addition, alcohol is a known depressant, meaning alcohol can cause depression even when the person is not actually intoxicated. Therefore, most providers advise patients to abstain from alcohol if they are having trouble recovering from a depressive episode. We advise our patients that they should try and limit their use to an occasional drink at most. That being said, some patients prefer and intend to drink alcohol regardless.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Summer

Hand InSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is depression that occurs during a specific season. Most assume that SAD only occurs in the fall or winter, but research shows that it can appear in the summer as well. While about 4-6% of Americans have SAD, it is estimated that at least 10% of them experience symptoms of the disorder during the summer.1

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July: National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Hand InOver 40 million Americans struggle with mental illness in any given year.1 In racial and ethnic minority communities, mental health issues have often gone unaddressed. To raise awareness of this issue, July was declared as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), minority populations have less access to mental health services and when they do seek help they are unfortunately more likely to receive lower quality care.2

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Men & Depression: Symptoms & How You Can Help

Prince HarryIn a rare and stunningly candid interview with the Telegraph (April 2017), Prince Harry spoke openly about his struggles with his mental health. His mother, Princess Diana of Wales, passed away when Harry was only 12 years old and he hadn’t talked about his loss in almost 20 years. Harry even avoided thinking about his mother, which caused him emotional turmoil for most of his life. After coming very close to breaking down with feeling unusually aggressive and anxious, he finally sought professional help with the encouragement from his brother, Prince William, among others.1

Prince Harry is certainly not the first man to struggle with his mental health, but he is one of the few to bravely speak so openly about it. Between 10-17% of men will develop major depression over the course of their lives, though very few seek the help they need and/or get a proper diagnosis. This is why when compared to women, four times the amount of men die from suicide.2

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