There are millions of people suffering from mental illness like anxiety, depression, and OCD. Although treatment for these disorders have become more common and available over the years, many people are still suffering. The most common treatments for depression and anxiety are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or “SSRIs.” These include well-known medications such as Prozac (Fluoxetine) and Zoloft (Sertraline).
Studies show, however, that with resistant major depression and anxiety, 10%-30% of people do not receive the relief they need from SSRIs. If you’re one of those people, you may feel alone and hopeless. But, thankfully, there is hope. When your depression medication has failed to help, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, can help provide relief for you.
Depression, Anxiety, and OCD
Depression is common, with nearly 5% of all adults or approximately 280 million people suffering from it worldwide. In the United States, it is one of the most common mental illnesses today and the leading cause of disability for Americans aged 15 – 44 years old. At least one in five Americans will be affected by a mental illness at some point during their life.
Despite it being one of the most treatable forms of mental illness, millions still suffer from depression daily. Depression can affect people in different ways, but the most associated symptoms include a depressed mood, disrupted sleep, low self-worth, and even thoughts of self-harm. This change in mood can burden nearly every aspect of a person’s life such as work, relationships with others, and the ability to take care of oneself. Even basic daily tasks can become a chore.
OCD, also known as obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a chronic mental illness in which a person will suffer from uncontrollable obsessive thoughts. Often these thoughts can be negative, causing extreme anxiety. The person suffering from OCD may then act out in reoccurring behaviors or compulsions to alleviate that mental pressure. Some may do so to prevent something from happening, others may engage in compulsions to feel some semblance of control. Whatever the reasons may be, OCD can often grow to a point where it interferes with daily life, causing untold amounts of mental anguish. In the United States, 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with OCD.
General anxiety often shares a relationship with both depression and OCD. Anxiety disorders, such as OCD, are characterized by feelings of varying worry or fear. Everyone has some form of anxiety to a certain degree. In fact, anxiety and stress are healthy feelings, although they often get demonized and classified as “bad” emotions. Feeling stress can trigger the fight, flight, or freeze response, which is a crucial, self-preservation response to a stressor. Imagine a lion is chasing you—your stress response is responsible for telling your body to run away. However, when the stress response becomes overactive and these fears become so intense that it interferes with someone’s ability to go about their daily routine, it requires treatment by a mental health professional. Anxiety disorders are amongst the most common form of mental illness affecting 40 million adults in the United States.
If you’ve struggled with major depression with or without anxiety, or OCD that have proven resistant to most medications, life can seem hopeless with no light at the end of the tunnel. Or like a heavy ocean weighing down above your head. But there is hope, and it lies in one of the most revolutionary treatment methods to be developed in recent decades.
When Medication Doesn’t Work, There Is Still Hope
Those suffering from severe depression, anxiety, or OCD will usually be recommended some form of medication and counseling. But as effective and proven as these treatments are, they don’t always work for everyone. But now, there’s a new method of treatment that is non-invasive and has minimal to no negative side effects. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, first pioneered in the 1980s, has slowly become one of the most trusted alternatives to medication in mental health.
TMS provides its treatment through the innovative use of magnetic coils. This treatment then uses brief electromagnetic pulses to pass through the cranium and stimulate the underactive portions of the brain associated with depression, anxiety, and OCD. This method of treatment is similar to other non-invasive medical techniques like ultrasound and MRI.
According to Dr. Aaron Albert, a highly qualified practitioner of TMS and the founder of the Center for Brain Stimulation, “TMS has proven highly effective with what we call treatment-resistant depression or OCD. This means that patients have already tried medications and counseling, and those either haven’t been effective or they’ve helped a little, but patients still have severe symptoms. Or they just couldn’t tolerate the treatment due to medication side effects.”
Officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008, TMS therapy is gentle and non-invasive with little to no adverse side effects—nothing like old methods of Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) as some rumors might imply. Current statistics show that at least 70% of TMS patients feel relief from previous resistant severe depression and anxiety, or OCD.
“The nice thing about TMS is that it rarely has any side effects, and if it does, they are something very mild,” Dr. Albert says. Each session takes only about 10 to 20 minutes, meaning that TMS is easy to manage in your day-to-day life.
“When treatment is effective, we see someone’s personality come back to life, they feel lighter, happier, and ready to face the world again. Nothing makes me happier as a psychiatrist than being able to help someone feel like themselves again.”
Reclaim Your Life: The Center for Brain Stimulation
Dr. Aaron Albert is a highly qualified practitioner of TMS that has been helping patients find relief from their depression, anxiety, and OCD in his revolutionary practice, The Center for Brain Stimulation. The Center for Brain Stimulation is one of the only facilities in the Wilmington, North Carolina area that specializes specifically in TMS therapy to treat depression, anxiety, and OCD. Best of all, is that TMS is covered by most forms of medical insurance.
Dr. Albert has many years of experience in treating drug-resistant mental illnesses and is an official member of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association and the Clinical TMS Society. He has a true passion for helping people with medication-resistant mental illness who might feel like they’re in a hopeless situation find relief. If you’re looking for non-invasive, long-lasting relief from your depression and anxiety, or OCD, The Center for Brain Stimulation is your key to getting your life back.
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