TMS Is an Appropriate Option for Patients Who Have Not Found Success with Antidepressants
Remission from depression is achievable for a sizeable percentage of those who seek treatment for it. Even in cases where first-line treatment options have failed, TMS is a sound alternative with the potential to help many patients reach their recovery goals.
Most people who suffer from depression begin their treatment journey with medication. Antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the usual jumping off point, sometimes in conjunction with a regimen of psychotherapy. For some patients, this does the trick, but for many others, the initial use of psychopharmaceutical therapy is just the first step in a longer therapeutic process of trial, error, and discovery. In 2006, the National Institute of Mental Health published the results of a massive study examining which depression treatment options were most effective for the largest number of people. The results were enlightening for anyone who is interested in the way that depression is treated in America.
The study was titled Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D), and it particularly sought to determine the effectiveness of depression medication treatments. Participants in the STAR*D study self-rated the severity and alleviation, if any, of their depression symptoms. Successful treatment, according to this study, was assessed as total remission of depression symptoms. If a patient’s depression did not go into remission upon initial treatment (using a single, common antidepressant), they continued to the next treatment level until their depression was sufficiently treated or they withdrew from the study altogether. A common reason participants withdrew from the study was the intolerable side effects of the depression medications prescribed in the later treatment levels.