FAQs About Bellingham’s TMS Center

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 18.5% of adults experienced symptoms of depression in the two weeks before the survey. Over 13% of adults were taking antidepressants within the last month. As medical professionals are working to normalize the treatment of mental health issues, more patients are seeking vital mental health services in Bellingham, WA.

Just south of the Canadian border, Bellingham experiences the lowest average sunshine of any US city. This makes it a prime location for mood dysfunction like seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or depression. After artificial sun lamps, supplements, and lifestyle modifications, antidepressants are a common treatment. You should know there are alternative treatment options if you suffer from the side effects of antidepressants, aren’t responding to drug therapy, or simply want to avoid medications.

TMS treatment in Bellingham can alleviate severe depression symptoms, thus improving your sleep, focus, and relationships. If you haven’t explored this treatment option, here are some frequently asked questions to get you started:

What Is TMS?

FDA-approved in 2008, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a breakthrough for treating depression locally where it originates. TMS providers use it to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), treatment-resistant depression (TRD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), among many other physiological and mood disorders.

TMS is a non-invasive, outpatient treatment option for depression. The American Psychiatric Association lists TMS in its best practice guidelines for treating MDD.

How Does TMS Treat Depression?

During your TMS session, a technician follows your unique prescription and places a magnetic coil temporarily on your scalp. This coil, paired with the delivery device, creates a magnetic field over the part of your brain associated with mood regulation. The technician will activate the device to administer deep, MRI-like magnetic pulses to your brain cells. This will activate them to regenerate, grow, and release neurotransmitters.

These neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers in your brain. They can contribute to depression when there’s an imbalance or insufficient circulation. Through multiple sessions, TMS encourages healthy brain cells and restores neurotransmitter balance. By doing this, TMS can relieve depression symptoms. It can fix the underlying cause in your brain without medications that affect your whole body.

How Would My TMS Treatment Look?

After your initial consultation, your first treatment session will be the longest. Because each person’s response differs, the first session is crucial for a successful TMS treatment course. The practitioner will do a series of short tests and checks to ensure the coil is in the correct position and emitting appropriate strength pulses for you. For example, they will identify your motor threshold to see what pulse strength will result in hand movement.

At subsequent treatments, it takes less time to get you started. You get to relax in a comfortable treatment chair. You can listen to music, watch a TV episode, or simply rest your eyes during therapy. The pulses may feel like tapping on your head without the sensation of touch.

Experienced providers understand that TMS treatment must be individualized, so you’ll get a personalized plan after your consultation. However, you can expect an average of 30-36 sessions. These will be five days a week over a month or two. The sessions are short enough for most patients to squeeze them in on their way to work or during lunch. You can immediately go about your day, driving and working without disruption.

Will I Experience Any Side Effects?

Because TMS treatment only directly affects your brain, you won’t encounter any systemic side effects like you would from antidepressants. You can sometimes have some scalp discomfort from the treatment coil placement. Because of the tapping sensation, some patients report a mild headache during or immediately after the first few treatments. The scalp irritation and headaches disappear within the first week of treatment if you are one of the few to encounter them. They are also relieved by ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which you can take safely during therapy.

Is TMS Covered By Insurance?

Depending on your insurance policy’s guidelines, TMS is a recognized and covered treatment for MDD and other mood disorders. NeuroStim TMS is in-network for most insurance plans, such as Aetna, Kaiser, Premera Blue Cross, United Healthcare, Tricare, Medicare, Medicaid, and more. TMS is typically covered if your health insurance is through your work policy.

NeuroStim’s TMS experts believe therapy should be accessible to all, building a team of patient advocates to help you navigate your specific insurance requirements for treatment approval. If you are concerned about cost or coverage, call (888) 963-9467. You can have a free phone consultation to determine your out-of-pocket expenses, if any.

Is There A TMS Center Near Me?

Because sunlight is vital to maintain mood equilibrium, Northern Washington’s lack of sunshine can be challenging for anyone with mood instability. Plenty of TMS centers are in the area to combat this problem. Whether you’re in Spokane, Puget Sound, or Bellingham, there are nine conveniently located NeuroStim treatment centers in Washington to help you feel better.

Why Choose NeuroStim TMS Centers?

When choosing brain stimulation therapy, you should be confident in your provider. NeuroStim staff exclusively specializes in TMS therapy, making them the number one doctor-recommended TMS provider in Washington. NeuroStim is also the leading TMS provider in the Pacific Northwest, treating over 200 patients daily across all centers.

You should also go with the provider most likely to have a favorable outcome. NeuroStim has completed over 100,000 successful treatments and routinely produces success rates higher than the national average; Since 2018, 71.5% of NeuroStim patients experienced a minimum of 50% symptom improvement, and 46.4% achieved full remission. While some may take a bit longer, patients typically start to feel better within the first two to three weeks of treatment.

And finally, you should go with a treatment team that not only recognizes you as part of the team but one that values you. At NeuroStim, you are the team’s most important member, and everyone is focused on positive and sustainable results in your life. You’ll receive individualized patient care with the latest TMS technology.

NeuroStim wants to make TMS accessible to everyone. If you are searching for depression relief, visit the Bellingham location at 2200 Rimland Drive, Suite 115, Bellingham, WA 98226. You can meet with TMS coordinators on-site for a free consultation. Parking is always free, whether you’re a patient or not. Schedule a consultation online today if you can’t visit in person. There shouldn’t be any reason barring you from getting more information about the best alternative depression treatment in Bellingham.