Medication isn't the only answer for patients suffering from depression and anxiety. Some doctors are turning to another treatment which involves magnetic waves from a helmet. The treatment is called Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and so far the results have been remarkable.
The whole treatment lasts 20 minutes. The helmet sends magnetic waves to your brain every 20 seconds.
My depression is gone. My anxiety is gone.
"Just talking about it I was afraid of it because of them going to do something to my brain," Patricia Minor said. She's been suffering from anxiety and depression and eventually decided to try this new treatment. Patricia is now a believer. "I don't have any panic attacks and I am really more stable on my feet because I was having problems even walking," said Minor.
"It really isn't sci-fi. This is very scientific," said Dr. Russ Voltin, a psychiatrist who administers the Deep TMS treatments. "We're able to create a mild electrical field beneath that magnet and that mild electrical field is able to excite and kind of correct the neurons in the brain in the area that is linked to depression," said Dr. Voltin.
He says the helmet has a powerful magnet similar to an MRI.
"We've seen sometimes nothing short of miraculous responses," said Dr. Dan Thistlethweit, a psychiatrist who also uses Deep TMS treatments.
Your spirits are lifted. You are not tense. You are able to breathe. Things look brighter.
Dr. Thistlethweit won't forget meeting a man during the holidays whose wife was getting helmet treatments. "He came to me and said you don't know this but you have been treating my wife for depression and this was the best Christmas," said Dr. Thistlethweit.
The Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatments last a year.
After that Dr. Voltin says some patients may need a couple boosters if their depression symptoms return. Patients are awake and relaxed during the treatment.
The FDA approved Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in 2008. Currently, the helmet treatments are only used for patient's suffering from depression. However, clinical trials are underway to use these types of treatments for obsessive compulsive disorder and chronic pain.