treatment modalities

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Depression

Southern Live Oak Wellness is excited to announce the availability of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS); we are one of the only facilities to be offering this treatment in the Metro Atlanta Area.

SLOW offers TMS as a service for those in our therapeutic living and day treatment programs. 

What is TMS?

TMS is an FDA-approved noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. 

For some people, standard treatments are not effective for their depression. TMS is typically used when standard treatment such as medication and talk therapy doesn’t work. 

TMS may be an appropriate and effective therapy if: 

  • You have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder 
  •  If your depression has not responded to medications
  •  If you have a treatment-resistant depression.

How TMS Works: 

Before your first TMS session, you will schedule a consultation with a psychiatrist to determine if TMS is an appropriate therapy to address your current depression symptoms and treatment goals. If it is determined that TMS will be beneficial for you, you will schedule a one hour appointment with the psychiatrist for a complete psychiatric history. After the psychiatric history is complete you will then schedule your first TMS session. 

For the session you will sit in a comfortable chair wearing earplugs and an electromagnetic coil will be placed against your scalp near your forehead. The coil will then deliver a painless magnetic pulse to stimulate nerve cells in the region of your brain that controls your mood and depression. You will hear clicking sounds and feel tapping on your forehead. The procedure will last roughly 40 minutes and you will remain awake and alert. You may feel some scalp discomfort during the session and for a short while afterward. 

Commonly reported side effects of TMS are mild scalp discomfort at the treatment site and headaches, which usually subside after the first week of treatment.  There is also a small risk of seizure (less than 1%), so we suggest discussing any history of seizures with the psychiatrist before you begin treatment. 

Results: 

If TMS works for you then your depression symptoms may improve or go away completely within a few weeks of treatment. 

Why We Think TMS is Important: 

TMS offers another avenue for an underserved population to recieve help. When you are experiencing depression that is untouched by medication and talk therapy it is easy to feel as if there isn’t a solution or a way out. We offer TMS to show that there are more solutions than just the standard forms of treatment. 

For those who live in our therapeutic housing while getting TMS treatment, they will be provided an environment where they are supported fully during their treatment. We recognize how difficult it is to live with major depressive disorder and how it can harm and disrupt your ability to partake in activities of daily life. When you are struggling with completing daily activities it can be difficult to make and/or keep appointments. The success rate of TMS depends on your ability to repeatedly show up. Being in our therapeutic living will ensure you getting to and keeping your appointments, but it will also provide a supportive living situation for you while you receive your treatment. 

Location for TMS Services in Atlanta:

1535 Mount Vernon Road

Dunwoody, GA 30338