Approximately 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide, which can be a painful, isolating condition. About one out of four patients don’t respond significantly to traditional treatments such as psychotherapy and medication, a condition known as treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is one of the many therapies that Mindful Health Solutions offers for the treatment of TRD. We have many offices in southern California, but we also offer telepsychiatry for patients who want to receive therapy at home.
TMS, also known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), is a procedure that stimulates the brain with a magnetic field. The device that performs TMS consists of two major components, including an electric pulse generator and a magnetic coil attached to the patient’s scalp. The electric pulse generator, or stimulator, generates an alternating electric current that induces a magnetic field in the coil. This field then induces a second electrical field that the operator can direct towards a specific area of the brain.
An TMS session used to treat depression lasts about 45 minutes and may be performed in an office environment. The strength of the induced electrical field is on par with magnetic resonance imaging, which has been in use for decades. TMS typically uses a pulse frequency above one hertz (Hz), which is considered a high frequency.
Efficacy and Safety
TMS has demonstrated therapeutic potential for a variety of disease states in both mental health and neurology, especially depression. This therapy is new, so scientific opinions are still evolving rapidly. Currently about half the patients who receive TMS experience a significant improvement in their symptoms, and one-third of them become free of all symptoms of depression.
The lack of adverse side effects is one TMS’s greatest advantages over medication for the treatment of depression. A chemical agent like an anti-depressant circulates through the entire body, so it can affect every system. In comparison, an TMS operator directs the electrical pulses very precisely so that it only affects a particular region of the brain.
Dr. Richard Bermudes wanted a practice that focused on his patients when he founded Mindful Health Solutions in 2007. Dr. Bermudes also uses an academic approach that constantly reviews and integrates new techniques into his practice, which is why he adopted TMS. In addition, Dr. Bermudes and TMS Education Director Dr. Karl Lanocha have written a book on TMS entitled “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Clinical Applications for Psychiatric Practices” that was published in 2018 by the American Psychiatric Association.
Mindful Health Solutions often accepts referrals from psychiatrists and other primary care providers whose patients suffer from TRD. We work closely with referring clinicians to develop treatment plans that provide the best possible outcomes. TMS Health Solutions also provides physicians with regular updates and check in their patients’ progress throughout the treatment. Finally, the primary care provider receives a final report on the patient’s status after treatment is complete.
Mindful Health Solutions also works hard to ensure patients have access to the treatment they need. Most health insurance plans already cover TMS, but we also work with insurance providers when needed to ensure patients can receive this therapy under their plan. In cases where coverage for TMS isn’t available, we help patients obtain financial assistance.
Telepsychiatry is the practice of providing psychiatric services to patients in remote locations. This approach to psychiatry relies heavily on video conferencing technology to connect patients with doctors over the internet. Telepsychiatry is an increasingly popular approach to therapy, largely due to technological advancements and the desire to eliminate commutes from the daily schedule.
Telepsychiarty patients can use most internet-connected devices with a camera function, including smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktops. The only other thing they need is a room free of distractions and interruptions. Once patients obtain a suitable device, they can login to the patient portal on the Mindful Health Solutions website.
The biggest advantage of telepsychiatry is that it allows patients to receive therapy during times when it’s inconvenient to travel to a doctor’s office. This situation often occurs when patients are traveling or simply live too far away from an office. Telepsychiatry also eliminates the need to reschedule appointments when something unexpected comes up. Psychiatrists need to evaluate their patients on a case-by-case basis to determine when telepsychiatry is an appropriate approach to treatment.
These appointments allow you access to care when it’s inconvenient to travel to one of our clinics, such as when you’re traveling or sick. This capability thus helps reduce the risk of missing an appointment and needing to reschedule it. Our staff members are available to answer any questions you may have about telepsychiatry before your first session. Mindful Health Solutions is happy to help patients find ways to obtain telepsychiatry services, whether it’s through the insurance carrier or financing for out-of-pocket expenses.
Mindful Health Solutions’ is headquartered in San Francisco, and it also has several offices in that city. Additional cities in California with a psychiatrist near me include the following:
- El Dorado Hills
- Elk Grove
- Newport Beach
- San Rafael