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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Adult Psychiatry & Child Psychiatry located in San Diego, CA

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) services offered in San Diego, CA


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can help treat mental health conditions when other methods aren’t able to provide you with relief. Experienced psychiatrist Sanjoy Sathpathy, MD, and his team at So Cal Psychiatric Care in San Diego, California, specialize in using TMS to help patients with conditions like treatment-resistant depression. To benefit from TMS therapy, call So Cal Psychiatric Care or book an in-person or telehealth appointment online today.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Q&A

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)?

TMS is a treatment that the So Cal Psychiatric Care team specializes in using for mental health disorders. It involves having a headpiece fitted with magnetic coils over your scalp as pulses of magnetic energy transmit into your brain.

TMS magnetic energy targets areas of the brain that slow down or become inactive when you have a psychiatric disorder. It’s an FDA-approved therapy for treatment-resistant depression, but it can also help with other mental health conditions like anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

You could be a candidate for TMS if you have depression or another illness that hasn’t responded to antidepressant medication and psychotherapy.

How does TMS help with depression?

Depression is a disabling condition that causes symptoms such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities
  • Lethargy or lack of energy
  • Irritability
  • Physical pain without a clear cause
  • Appetite changes
  • Disturbed sleep patterns

These symptoms can be so impairing that they impact every aspect of your daily life, affecting your relationships and decision-making abilities. Depression frequently causes difficulties with studying, working, and personal growth.

Most people with depression don’t have enough neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin in their brain. This deficiency causes the reduced brain activity that’s responsible for the symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders.

TMS stimulates an increase in neurotransmitter production and the creation of new connections between the neurons (nerve cells) in your brain. This helps to improve your mood and reduce symptoms of conditions like depression.

What happens when I have TMS?

TMS is non-invasive, painless, and doesn’t require sedation or anesthesia. You simply sit in a treatment chair while the So Cal Psychiatric Care team gently fits the TMS headpiece onto your head.

They adjust the fitting so the magnetic energy targets exactly the right place in your brain (usually toward the front). The team also ensures the energy levels are right for you, then turns on the magnetic pulses.

You’ll probably hear a tapping sound and feel the sensation in your head as the magnetic pulses enter your brain, but the process shouldn’t be painful. Some patients develop a mild headache after TMS, but this should soon disappear.

You may need to attend regular TMS sessions at So Cal Psychiatric Care for optimal effects. A typical schedule would be five weekly treatments for four to six weeks.

To find out how you could benefit from transcranial magnetic stimulation, call So Cal Psychiatric Care or book an in-person or telehealth appointment online today.

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