How to Combine TMS Therapy with Lifestyle Changes for Better Depression Management

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

Living with depression can feel like you’re walking through life with a heavy backpack, each step requiring more effort than it should. The weight of sadness, hopelessness, and exhaustion can be crushing, making everyday tasks like insurmountable challenges. Traditional treatments like medication and talk therapy, while commonly used as the first line of defense, may have varying effectiveness rates and potential side effects. 

Still, for many, these approaches fall short, leaving individuals feeling like they’ve tried everything without finding relief. Introducing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy, a revolutionary non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, offering new hope to individuals struggling with depression and providing an opportunity to regain joy, purpose, and a fulfilling life.

What is TMS Therapy

TMS therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate brain cells, helping to improve communication between different areas of the brain. This can help alleviate symptoms of depression, such as low mood, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. TMS therapy is typically administered in sessions, each lasting 30-60 minutes.

A study by the National Institutes of Health in a 2023 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that TMS therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of depression in adults, with response rates ranging from 25% to 40%. It’s important to note that while TMS is highly effective, its benefits can be amplified when combined with lifestyle changes that support brain health.

Fundamental Lifestyle Changes to Combine with TMS Therapy

While TMS therapy can be an effective treatment for depression, it is essential to remember that it is just one part. Making healthy lifestyle changes can help to support TMS therapy and improve overall mental health.

Diet and Nutrition

A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help support mental health. Avoid sugary and processed foods that can exacerbate symptoms of depression. To support brain health, include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and walnuts. Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine and alcohol intake.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Regular exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Find an activity you enjoy, such as walking, running, swimming, or yoga, and aim to do it for at least 30 minutes daily. Exercise can also increase self-esteem and energy levels, making it essential to overall mental well-being.

Sleep Hygiene

Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health and wellbeing, including mental health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent bedtime routine to improve sleep quality. Avoid screens and electronic devices before bedtime, and create a relaxing sleep environment to promote better sleep.

Stress Management

Stress can exacerbate symptoms of depression, so it’s essential to find healthy ways to manage it. Try meditation, deep breathing, or journaling to help manage stress. Take daily breaks to stretch, move your body, and rest your mind. Prioritize self-care and make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Role of TMS in Building Strong Social Connection

Depression often leads to social isolation, but human connection is a powerful antidote. As TMS therapy improves mood, engaging with others can reinforce these positive changes.

Group Therapy

Many TMS therapy clinics, like Delray Brain Science, also provide group therapy sessions. These gatherings allow you to share experiences with others undergoing similar treatments, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.

Hobbies and Social Activities

Engaging in hobbies or social activities you enjoy can boost your mood and provide a sense of accomplishment. Consider:

  • Joining a book club or art class
  • Volunteering for a cause you care about
  • Participating in local community events

These activities not only offer social interaction but also help rebuild your sense of identity outside of depression.

The Importance of Mindfulness and Stress Reduction in TMS Therapy

Stress can counteract the benefits of TMS therapy by triggering negative thought patterns, but incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine can help manage stress and enhance the effects of your treatment. Meditation, a powerful tool for training your mind to stay present and let go of negative thoughts, can start with 5-10 minutes daily focusing on your breath or using a guided meditation app. 

Additionally, nature therapy, which has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood, can complement your TMS therapy beautifully. Whether walking in a local park or on a weekend hiking trip, connecting with nature can profoundly impact your mental well-being.

By Incorporating these strategies, advanced treatment centers like Delray Brain Science can significantly improve the effectiveness of your TMS therapy and support your journey toward optimal mental health.

Impact of TMS Therapy on Substance Use

Substances like alcohol and drugs can hinder the effectiveness of TMS therapy by altering brain chemistry and function. Alcohol, a depressant, may offer temporary stress relief but worsens depression symptoms over time, so consider reducing or eliminating its consumption during treatment. 

Nicotine, found in cigarettes and vapes, affects neurotransmitter function and may counteract TMS therapy’s positive effects. If you’re a smoker, now is a great time to explore quitting options with your healthcare provider, enhancing your TMS treatment’s potential for success. 

Personalized Care and Comprehensive Approach in TMS Therapy

One of the most potent aspects of TMS therapy is the personalized care you receive. Your treatment team collaborates with you to integrate lifestyle changes that complement your TMS sessions, and regular check-ins allow for discussions on how these changes impact your mood, enabling your providers to offer guidance on optimizing your treatment outcomes. 

Many TMS clinics take a comprehensive approach, offering additional services like nutritional counseling, sleep therapy, or stress management workshops to support overall well-being. By combining TMS therapy with thoughtful lifestyle changes, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance at managing depression effectively, making the journey to better mental health a collaborative effort

FAQs

How long does TMS therapy take to work?

TMS therapy can start to show results in as little as 2-3 weeks, but it’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is different.

Can I stop taking medication if I start TMS therapy?

It’s essential to work with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for you. TMS therapy can be used in conjunction with medication or as a standalone treatment.

Conclusion

By combining TMS therapy with healthy lifestyle changes, individuals can take control of their depression management and achieve long-term wellness. This empowering approach helps individuals develop strength and managing skills, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling life. 

Remember, depression is not something to be ashamed of, and seeking help is the first step towards healing and a brighter future.

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