Nashville TMS- Offering effective new treatment for depression

TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) therapy is an FDA-cleared depression treatment for patients who have not benefited from initial antidepressant medication.

TMS is a new therapy that involves no drugs and has been proven safe and effective for treating patients with depression, TMS is free of negative side effects often associated with taking antidepressants.

Nashville TMS is part of the psychiatric practice of W. Scott West, MD, who was the first psychiatrist to bring Neurostar TMS Therapy to Tennessee in 2010.

We encourage you to explore this site and learn more about new hope for depression and how TMS offers help for depression.

“Seven months ago I was so depressed I wasn’t able to function. After six weeks of NeuroStar TMS Therapy, I was back to work; feeling great; I was enjoying my kids again and I had my life back.”
-Craig, 38 years old

More than Baby Blues

Pregnant and depressed


Coping with Depression During Pregnancy


We typically think of Pregnancy as a time of great joy - euphoria and happy anticipation.  But surprisingly to some, that’s not always the reality. Many women struggle with conflicting emotions and depression during this time. In fact, it is quite common. About 13% of pregnant women and new mothers experience persistent feelings of overwhelm, sadness and depression.

 

Identifying Depression Symptoms


Women and those who care for them may dismiss depression symptoms because some of them, such as changes in appetite, energy levels, concentration and sleep patterns, can overlap normal pregnancy symptoms. What is not normal, however, is a consistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness or disinterest that interferes with normal day-to-day activities.

Take a close look at the following list.  Symptoms that last for 2 or more weeks may indicate depression that should be followed up with a physician:

  • Restlessness or moodiness

  • Feeling sad, hopeless and overwhelmed

  • Crying frequently

  • Lack of energy or motivation

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Extreme irritability

  • Disinterest in things that used to be enjoyable or fun

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping all the time

  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Memory issues

  • Withdrawing from friends and family


If you suspect you or a woman for whom you are caring has symptoms of depression, speak to your OB/GYN or midwife. Your doctor can refer to you to a mental health professional who specializes in treating depression.

 

 

Treatments for Depression During Pregnancy


Your mental health care provider will work with you to determine the best course of action to help you manage your depression. There are several treatment options including:

  • Talk therapy: Talk to a professional about your feelings. A mental health care professional will help you identify how depression makes you think, feel and act. He or she will also work with you to identify ways to better manage your thoughts and emotions.



  • Medicine: While many women hesitate to take drugs during pregnancy, there are medicinal options that claim to be safe to take during pregnancy. Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant. If you’re taking an antidepressant prior to pregnancy, do not discontinue your medication without speaking to your doctor.



  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: TMS is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive, non-drug medical treatment for patients with major depression. It uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate a key area of the brain known to be underactive in depression sufferers. The treatment will restore that area to normal function and lift your depression.


 

 

Role of Caregivers


Some women may be reluctant to discuss their feelings with their doctors, friends or families. The perception of pregnancy as a time of joy may contribute to a sense of embarrassment or shame if a pregnant woman is experiencing depression. If you suspect a pregnant friend or family member is dealing with symptoms of depression, encourage her to talk to her doctor. Untreated depression can increase the risk of complications for both mother and child.

 

About Nashville TMS:


In April of 2010, Dr. West brought the technology of NeuroStar TMS to Nashville, becoming the first physician in Tennessee to offer the option of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for patients whose severe depression has not responded to a course of antidepressant medication. The Nashville TMS Team has treated patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, California, Missouri, New York, and Alabama.

Hear what Nashville TMS patients have to say about their experiences and outcomes!

Written by: Lisa Chapman

10 Guiding Principles to Recovery

TMS offers relief from treatment resistant depressionThe primary goal in treating depression is recovery.

Recovery is defined as "A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential." according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). To achieve this, there are 10 guiding principles:


1. Hope


The recovery process begins with hope. Without the belief that people can and do overcome internal and external challenges, there can be no recovery. Hope can be fostered and nurtured by a support system that often includes family, friends, and care providers.


2. Person-driven


Self-determination and self-direction are key. Individuals working toward recovery will define their own life goals and their own unique path to achieving them.


3. Multiple pathways


Understanding that each person working toward recovery is unique, we also understand that the road to recovery will be highly personalized to meet specific goals, cultures, strengths and preferences.


4. Holistic


Recovery from depression is not focused solely on emotional wellbeing. Recovery requires attention to the whole person including mind, body, spirit and community.


5. Supported by peers & allies


Whether it’s mutual support and aid groups, professionals or other allies, a support network is needed to encourage and engage the individual. The sense of belonging, as well as the ability to help others and give back, are key components to recovery.


6. Relationships & social networks


Family members, friends, faith groups and other allies form an important support infrastructure for a person seeking recovery. Having others offers hope, support and encouragement, and leads to a greater sense of belonging and empowerment.


7. Culturally-based & influenced


Support and treatment for depression must be provided in a way that is culturally sensitive to each individual’s needs. The influence of culture on a person’s values, traditions and beliefs should influence his or her specific pathway to recovery.


8. Addressing trauma


Depression and related issues may be associated with the experience of trauma. Understanding a person’s history will influence the path to recovery. Fostering safety and trust, and promoting choice and collaboration are essential.


9. Strengths/Responsibility


Successful recovery involves personal responsibility of self-care. In addition, families and communities must serve as a foundation for recovery. This may include a community providing resources to address discrimination and fostering social inclusion.


10. Respect


It takes great courage to pursue a journey toward recovery. On an individual level, this begins with self-acceptance and regaining belief in one’s self.

For more information on this and other topics related to the treatment of depression, contact us at (615) 327-4877.

About Nashville TMS:


In April of 2010, Dr. Scott West brought the technology of NeuroStar TMS to Nashville, becoming the first physician in Tennessee to offer the option of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for patients whose severe depression has not responded to a course of antidepressant medication. The Nashville TMS Team has treated patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, California, Missouri, New York, and Alabama.

Hear what Nashville TMS patients have to say about their experiences and outcomes!

Written by: Lisa Chapman

How to Help Prevent Bullying

The Power is in Your Hands


Did you know that nearly one fourth of today’s students in grades 6-12 have experienced bullying?

According to one large study, 41% of students report being involved in bullying incidents two or more times within the past month, and 23% of those children were victims of bullying, while the remainder where either the bully or experienced both roles.



Help stop bullyingBullying affects more than just the targeted students


The issue is more complex than the statistics themselves. Research has shown that the aggressors and those who witness bullying are also impacted. In some cases, bullying is linked to depression, isolation, and anxiety. Worse, these outcomes may increase the risk for substance abuse and suicide.


How to address the bullying issue


Although there is no simple solution, there are promising approaches that are making headway to curb bullying. A school community that nurtures an environment of respect has proven to be an effective remedy. And by raising awareness, more people are willing to stand up to bullying. When individual bystanders are willing to intervene, hostile situations can be diffused quickly.

Also, parents and other adult mentors can make a big difference simply by listening to and talking with the children in their lives. In fact, studies indicate that adults who spend at least 15 minutes each day talking with their children are able to build strong relationships that may help prevent bullying. Children with solid parental or caregiver relationships have a trusted network they can rely on when problems arise. They also have adults who can help them recognize and respond to bullying appropriately and effectively.

 

Bullying is often difficult to discuss


Research tells us that bullying is more likely to occur during the middle school years. Parents and caregivers know these late tween/early teen years are also when their children are beginning to pull away and strive for more independence. How does one get a child this age to start talking? Even if you’ve built a foundation for a strong relationship, the subject of bullying is often difficult to discuss. What do you say that can help your child avoid being a bully, or respond to a bully in a safe, effective manner?

 

There’s an app for bullying!


The good news is that you’re not alone. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) has developed a mobile app, KnowBullying, to help you get the conversation started.

Available for both Android and Apple devices, this app provides tips and tools such as:

  • Conversation starters

  • Tips to prevent bullying

  • Warning signs that your child may be engaging bullying, witnessing bullying or being bullied

  • Reminders to talk to your children at times that work best for your family


You can take the first step to help the child in your life deal with bullying by downloading the KnowBullying app today.

KnowBullying SAMHSAAdditional Help for Bullying


When you, your child, or someone close to you is being bullied, there are many possible  steps to take to help resolve the situation. Make sure you understand what bullying is and what it is notthe warning signs of bullying, and steps to take for preventing and responding to bullying, including how to talk to children about bullying, prevention in schools and communities, and how to support children involved.

To learn more about bullying, take a look at the information and resources available online at the Stop Bullying Blog, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Do you know someone you could help?


About Nashville TMS:
In April of 2010, Dr. West brought the technology of NeuroStar TMS to Nashville, becoming the first physician in Tennessee to offer the option of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for patients whose severe depression has not responded to a course of antidepressant medication. The Nashville TMS Team has treated patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, California, Missouri, New York, and Alabama.

Hear what Nashville TMS patients have to say about their experiences and outcomes!

Written by: Lisa Chapman

Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com
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Nashville TMS Patient Video

See our video with patient testimonials.

About Scott West, MD

Dr. Scott West has dedicated his professional career to helping people overcome clinical depression. He has been practicing psychiatry in Nashville Tennessee since 1986 when he finished his residency in psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Prior to that, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received his medical degree from The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Memphis Tennessee. He is a Diplomate of The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the specialty of Psychiatry and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

More about Scott West, MD