Does TMS work for anxiety?

Today, the most common treatments for GAD, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, are pharmacotherapy such as antidepressants and/or anxiolytics as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Unfortunately, 1/3 to 1/2 of patients do not achieve symptom remission from these traditional treatments. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has shown to be a promising treatment for generalized anxiety disorder for those who have not benefitted from traditional treatments.

What causes anxiety?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1 percent of the U.S. population and is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. While the exact cause of GAD is not fully known, factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental stresses seem to contribute to its development.

Symptoms of GAD

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, GAD is diagnosed in adults when they experience at least three of the symptoms below on more days than not for at least six months; only one symptom is required in children:

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

How TMS helps Anxiety

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation administers short pulses of a magnetic field, stimulating the inactive or disrupted area of the brain or suppressing the overactive area of the brain, reducing symptoms of anxiety.

TMS Therapy is administered for a period of weeks. The in-office treatment typically takes less than an hour depending upon the condition. Patients remain awake and alert during the treatment and are able to return to their daily activities following treatment.

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