TMS for All Ages, Including Children

Nov 01, 2023
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Your child is dealing with some mental health issues, and therapy and medications just aren’t helping. It might be time to try transcranial magnetic stimulation. Read on to learn more.

You watch as your child struggles with a mental health issue. You’ve tried therapy and medications and are not pleased with the results. Considering that about 30% of people with major depressive disorder are resistant to medicines like antidepressants, you start to see that pharmacology isn’t always the answer.

At So Cal Psychiatric Care, Dr. Sanjoy Sathpathy and our team have long understood this issue, which is why we offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy.

Since TMS first received FDA approval in 2008, its uses and applications have expanded due to two factors. First, TMS is effective. Second, it boasts an excellent safety record.

Thanks to these two points, we routinely use TMS to help children and adolescents better navigate their mental health. Let’s take a look.

Where TMS shines

Since the 1950s, antidepressants have been the go-to treatment for many mental health issues. While these medications have been successful, they don't work for everyone. That’s why there’s so much excitement about finally having alternative treatment options.

With TMS, we send repetitive magnetic impulses into specific areas of the brain to influence electrical activity. The goal is to create healthier neural pathways that favor better mood regulation and mental health. 

While the FDA initially approved TMS for treatment-resistant depression, it has gone on to approve the therapy for major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, migraines, and smoking cessation. 

TMS and children

It might seem like kids don’t have a care in the world, but they most certainly do. About 3.2% of children and adolescents in the United States have depression, 500,0000 have OCD, and scores more have anxiety-related issues.

If your child is struggling with mental health and isn’t responding to other therapies, TMS can play a valuable role. One study found that the potential side effects of TMS were the same among both adults and kids. These possible side effects include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Discomfort of the scalp or neck
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tingling

TMS is entirely non-invasive, and these side effects are generally short-lived. Most people don’t even experience side effects.

The TMS  treatments are less than an hour, and we typically recommend five treatments each week for six weeks. In this regard, we’ve found that TMS can work more quickly than medications, which often take months to take effect.

After the initial TMS session, we typically use TMS for periodic maintenance moving forward. 

The best way to learn whether your child might benefit from TMS therapy is to come see us for an evaluation. 

To get started, please call our office in San Diego, California, at 858-923-5226 or book an appointment online today.