What to Expect from TMS Treatments at HPR
When you come to HPR Treatment Centers for TMS therapy, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible. One aspect of that is caring, supportive staff who are happy to answer any questions you have. The other is knowing what to expect before you arrive.
Your First Appointment
Your first appointment with us is an evaluation session. First, you’ll spend a brief amount of time completing paperwork. Then we'll review your medical records and speak to you about your mental health history and experience with depression and other behavioral health modalities, like anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), to determine if you’re a good candidate for TMS therapy.
We will also speak with you about TMS therapy and what you can expect from it. You should feel free to ask questions and voice any concerns or thoughts you have about the treatment.
Your TMS Therapy Treatment Schedule
Once you’re ready to start TMS therapy, your schedule will include up to five treatment sessions per week, and those will last up to six weeks. Sessions will then begin to taper off. You’ll complete the remaining treatments in two to three weeks. We’ll work with you to make sure your schedule matches your specific needs.
Each treatment session lasts for 25 to 30 minutes. The treatment itself is only about 20 minutes.
To help you plan your calendar over the treatment period, you’ll receive a full schedule of all your appointments at the start of your course of treatment.
What Is a Treatment Like?
You’ll sit in a comfortable chair to receive your TMS treatment. First, your technician will place an electromagnetic coil on your forehead. Then he or she will switch the TMS device on. The coil delivers magnetic pulses to targeted areas of your brain. These magnetic pulses stimulate your brain to relieve your depression or other symptoms.
TMS treatment doesn’t hurt. During the first week of treatment, you may feel slight discomfort at or near the treatment area, but this typically goes away by the second week. You may feel a light tapping sensation on your forehead and hear clicking sounds. These are caused by the activity of the mechanism that creates and delivers the magnetic pulses.
You’ll be able to sit comfortably in your chair, awake and alert throughout your treatment. You can read, listen to music, or just relax for the brief, 20-minute treatment.
After a Treatment
After each of your TMS sessions, you can complete the rest of your day normally. Treatment doesn’t involve any kind of sedation, so it’s safe for you to drive afterwards.
Most people start to notice positive mood changes within two to three weeks of starting treatment. The positive changes that occur as a result of TMS therapy last a long time, but if you feel the need for maintenance treatments, we can set those up for you.
TMS Therapy Alongside Other Depression Treatments
TMS can be safely used alongside other depression treatments, including antidepressant medication. You should let your doctor know that you’ve started TMS therapy. If you’re taking medication for depression, you don’t need to reduce your dose or stop taking it until you’re ready to do so.