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TMS Therapy for Anxiety

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a non-invasive procedure that is widely used for the treatment of mood disorders, such as depression. It can also be an effective treatment option for other behavioral health conditions, like obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, and anxiety disorders.

How Can TMS Therapy Help My Anxiety?

A brain without anxiety can regulate emotions, impulses, and behaviors by controlling the limbic system—the emotional center of the brain. If you suffer from an anxiety condition, like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), your brain is hyperactive in the amygdala. The amygdala is crucial for processing emotions, especially when you’re in a threatening situation. It is heavily involved in your fight-or-flight response. When your amygdala is hyperactive, you get the excessive and disruptive worrying that characterize an anxiety disorder. TMS uses magnets to generate an electromagnetic wave, just like an MRI scan. An HPR Treatment Centers technician gently places a coil on your head that delivers an electromagnetic pulse. It has been shown to brings the neurons in your brain back to a normal level of activity, easing your symptoms of anxiety.

Can TMS Cure My Anxiety?

The benefits of TMS for anxiety disorders are supported by research. Treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and anti-anxiety medications don’t work for everyone. TMS is often used to treat anxiety when other types of treatments have failed. TMS therapy is an innovative treatment with promising results. TMS therapy may not eradicate your anxiety, but it can reduce your symptoms and allow you to a live a better quality of life. And it does so without the side effects associated with anxiety medications. The treatment can prevent your anxiety from becoming so intense and uncontrollable that it interferes with your work, your relationships, and your day-to-day life. You can better manage your mental states and avoid feeling overwhelmed by irrational thoughts. Alex is an HPR Treatment Centers patient who received TMS to treat his anxiety.

How Will I Know I’m Being Helped by TMS for Anxiety?

After a regular course of TMS treatment sessions to treat anxiety, patients notice that their anxiety is less intense, and the likelihood that they experience anxious thoughts is less. You may notice an improvement in anxiety symptoms like:
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent urination
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration problems
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headaches
  • Digestion problems
  • Pounding heart

When Will I See Results from TMS Treatment for Anxiety?

When you start to see results can vary depending on individual factors, such as the severity of your symptoms and how long you’ve been affected by anxiety. Many patients experience lessened anxiety in just a couple of weeks. For others, the positive effects take place sooner. tms for anxiety

What Research Supports TMS for Anxiety?

Several studies have shown that patients with generalized anxiety disorder experienced a remission of symptoms after receiving TMS therapy for their anxiety. One study of TMS for GAD patients consisted of six sessions over three weeks (twice a week) of low-frequency stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). These sessions of transcranial magnetic stimulation resulted in significant improvements in anxiety symptoms. The improvements remained over a six-month follow-up. At the 2014 American Psychiatric Association (APA) meeting, the results of a randomized controlled study were announced. GAD patients were given either active TMS or a placebo treatment using a ‘sham’ coil. In this particular study, low-frequency stimulation was applied to the DLPFC for 30 sessions—5 sessions every week for 6 weeks. The scientists found that over two-thirds (71%) of the TMS group responded favorably to the treatment. Only one-quarter of the sham group experienced positive effects. At the three-month follow-up, the positive effects were sustained in the group receiving repetitive active TMS. Forty-three percent of patients in this group experienced symptom remission. Only one patient in the sham group experienced the same thing.

Will My Insurance Cover TMS for Anxiety?

While several insurance providers don’t yet cover TMS therapy for anxiety, many patients have a dual-diagnosis of depression and anxiety. If this is found to be the case, we will work with you to try to treat both, with your insurance covering the treatments for depression. Find out more about insurance coverage and get pre-approval, if applicable, by calling 800-604-0208. At HPR Treatment Centers, we want you to get the help you need for your anxiety. That’s why we offer flexible financing options to pay for treatment.

Living with Anxiety? TMS Therapy Can Help You Take Control of Your Life

Whether you have social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or another form of the mental health disorder, you know it can be debilitating. You may have tried countless treatment options in hopes of bringing some stability and happiness back into your life. Don’t give up hope! Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for anxiety could be the thing that finally banishes your worried thoughts.

Questions about TMS Therapy?

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