Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy is an effective, non-invasive, outpatient treatment with few known adverse effects. TMS is a series of painless and safe magnetic pulses used to stimulate brain cells over time, delivered by a electromagnetic coil that is placed against the scalp. Our proven method of delivering treatment is comfortable, the biggest anxiety many feel would be only prior to the first treatment. You’ll immediately discover the mild nature of TMS treatments. There is absolutely no radiation or electrical current, it’s all magnetic.
TMS is recommended for treatment resistant depression, OCD, and other neurological ailments, including those just seeking to improve cognition and brain health.
The national average for a full TMS course is $9,000 – $12,000. Our full treatment breakdown can be found on our Payment information page.
Insurance covers situations for major depression where both cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants and/or other mood stabilizing/stimulating medications have failed; or the side effects have proven too disruptive to a patient’s lifestyle or system. Evidence has shown TMS to be effective in treating other conditions as well.
Most insurance providers cover TMS when administered following the FDA recommended treatment guidelines (30-36 sessions performed 5 times per week over a 7-8 week course).
At Able Psychiatry, we accept insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) PPO.
Don’t have BCBS insurance? No worries! We may be able to ask for an adhoc contract with your particular insurance company, and we also have competitive self-pay pricing.
It feels like someone is lightly tapping on your head with their finger very quickly, similar to the frequency of a woodpecker. The tapping is caused by a magnetic coil that is precisely positioned next to the scalp. If the treatment is not considerately delivered, it may be painful, like a rubberband snapping exposed skin. Our treatments are delivered in such a way that it is painless while retaining efficacy. The intensity of the tapping depends on the machine level and can always be adjusted to ensure comfort. You direct the level.
The typical remark from people’s first experience with TMS relates to how ordinary it feels. During the treatment there are no noticeable changes in thought or emotion.
You won’t notice any major changes in awareness, thoughts, or mood immediately after treatment. However, people often report feeling brighter and more engaged later in the day (even after the first treatment). Others have reported difficulty or improved sleeping. Because your head muscles have been lightly stimulated, you may experience a very mild headache which is typically only an issue during the first 2-3 treatment sessions, until you adapt.
Benefits can take a while to take hold. Results are often felt after treatment is completely finished. Neurons take a while to fully respond to an intervention. In fact, some people report feeling temporarily worse before they feel improvement, which is not uncommon. Some report ongoing benefit starting early and maintaining throughout treatment.
“Things are brighter”, “I feel more present”, “Thinking isn’t as effortful”, and “I can sustain good moods and thinking better” are things we’ve heard.
A single treatment session can range from 3 – 33 minutes. The length of your session depends on a variety of factors including the condition being treated, severity of the condition, and your brain’s reaction to stimulation. The exact session duration is determined by the protocol evaluated to be most effective as you progress through your treatment.
Side effects are generally mild to moderate and improve shortly after an individual session and decrease over time with additional sessions. They may include:
– Headache lingering after treatment
– Scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation
– Tingling, spasms or twitching of facial muscles
– Lightheadedness or disequilibrium
– Although TMS can help treat tinnitus or migraine, it may also worsen these symptoms at least temporarily
Serious side effects are rare. They may include:
– Seizures – these are highly rare and may not be possible for the typical seizure-risk patient with the settings we are using
– Mania – particularly in people with bipolar disorder
– Hearing loss – if ear protection is inadequate or refused during treatment and if the treatment settings are high
Nope! You can perform your normal daily activities prior to and after the treatment with no restriction of eating, drinking, or driving.
If you are on regular medications make sure you keep the same schedule whether they are psychiatric or non-psychiatric medications. If you take medications as needed for anxiety or pain, make sure you mention it to the doctor prior to treatment; there are typically no restrictions.
TMS treatment often augments current medication regimens and can even fully or paritally replace some. It can also allow some medications to be used in different ways. This issue should be addressed on a case by case basis and discussed with your medication provider.
We keep up with the latest research on TMS findings, led by a literature-competent, TMS-experienced psychiatrist. As a private practice in Chicago, we are able to allow for greater appointment flexibility and treatment customization based on need. Such adjustments may allow us to do a rapid protocol bringing the time to remission to within a few weeks.
We believe in delivering high performance, versatile TMS solutions so that our patients receive the best treatment possible. We go through the TMS journey with you, ensuring that each day and treatment guides the next, because we know that a one-size-fits-all approach does not always yield the best results for everyone. If you’d like to see the space and machine, feel free to come in. We can discuss day-to-day logistics such as parking, etc.
TMS has been found to help with a wide range of conditions. To date, TMS is FDA approved to treat Major Depressive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Off label, there is evidence to support the use of TMS for improvements in:
– Certain subtypes of Bipolar Disorder
– Improved working memory
– Improved Sleep
– Improved Energy
– Certain Eating Disorders (Binge eating)
– Smoking Cessation
– Parkinson’s Disease
– Chronic Pain
– States of psychosis, including those with auditory hallucinations
Patients with any type of non-removable metal in their heads (with the exception of braces or dental fillings), should not receive TMS. Failure to follow this rule could cause the object to heat up, move, or malfunction, and result in serious injury or death. Patients with specific types of mental conditions may experience worsening of their symptoms.