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
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Veteran Courtney Lewis
Courtney Lewis is emphatic that “PTSD is real.”
A Nashville mother of 3 and U.S. Army Veteran, Courtney knows firsthand about battling PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). "Without the help of my family and friends, I would be lost.”
Courtney Seeks Treatment
“In 2012 I moved to Nashville with a duffle bag and a dream.” After injuring herself and losing everything, Lewis turned to the Veterans Administration (VA) for help. She’s come a very long way in just 3 short years.
Today she is a graduate of Nashville Film Institute in Film/Cinema/Video Studies and earned an audio engineering degree from SAE Institute of Technology-Nashville. Courtney has now put those skills to work as the entrepreneurial founder and owner of See Media Group, a video and film production company. (By most estimates industry-wide, less than 5 percent of producers and engineers are women.) And by the way, she is also the President of Business and Professional Women of Music City!
Courtney Lewis, CEO
See Media Group, INC
Brunchin to Beat the Blues Spotlight
At an annual event for the Nashville chapter of the Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee (MHAMT) and formerly known as the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee, Courtney will share her unique and motivating story about how she achieved so much success while struggling with PTSD. Nashville TMS is proud to sponsor Brunchin’ to Beat the Blues, Sat., Apr. 11 at Embassy Suites Cool Springs. Naomi Judd is the keynote speaker.
So what exactly is PTSD? And how did she overcome it?
For Courtney, the first step to overcoming PTSD was to receive positive encouragement and motivation from others. Today she turns that around. Her passion is to help others fight mental illness.
Women, Trauma, and PTSD
Trauma is common in women; 5 out of 10 women experience at least one traumatic event in a lifetime. Women tend to experience different traumas than men. While both men and women report the same symptoms of PTSD, hyper-arousal, re-experiencing, avoidance, and numbing, some symptoms are more common for either women or men.
Women in the Military
As you might suspect, women in the military are at high risk for exposure to traumatic events, especially during times of war. Currently, about 15% of all military personnel in Iraq are women. Although men are more likely to experience combat, a growing number of women are now being exposed to combat. Women in the military are at higher risk for exposure to sexual harassment or sexual assault than men. Future studies are needed to better understand the effects of women's exposure to both combat and sexual assault.
Issues Specific to Women
Experts now know a great deal about women's experiences of trauma and PTSD. The most common types of traumatic experiences women have are different than men. Also, while both men and women report the same symptoms of PTSD, some symptoms are more common for women or men. Some research shows that women may also be more likely to seek help after a traumatic event.
What Happens After Trauma
After a trauma, some women may feel depressed, start drinking or using drugs, or develop PTSD. Women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men (10% for women and 4% for men). Reasons women might experience PTSD more than men include:
- Women are more likely to experience sexual assault.
- Sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than many other events.
- Women may be more likely to blame themselves for trauma experiences than men.
What PTSD is Like for Women
Some PTSD symptoms are more common in women than men. Women are more likely to be jumpy, to have more trouble feeling emotions, and to avoid things that remind them of the trauma. Men are more likely to feel angry and to have trouble controlling their anger. Women with PTSD are more likely to feel depressed and anxious, while men with PTSD are more likely to have problems with alcohol or drugs. Both women and men may develop physical health problems.
Are you wondering if you have PTSD? In order to make a positive diagnosis - or rule it out - a health care provider or evaluator will give you a PTSD screen or assessment. You will be asked a predetermined set of questions in order to better understand and measure your symptoms.
The following resources will assist you in understanding PTSD, its symptoms, measurement, assessment, and a host of important considerations.
- How is PTSD Measured?
Brief information about measuring the symptoms of PTSD.
- FAQs about PTSD Assessment
Answers to frequently asked questions about the measurement of trauma and PTSD.
- How to Talk to Your Doctor about Trauma and PTSD
Provides a brief checklist and questions you might want to ask a health care provider if you have been through a trauma.
- What Can I Do if I Think I Have PTSD?
Learn what to do and answer a questionnaire to see if you need to be assessed by a professional.
For more detailed information about specific PTSD screens or measures, see the VA’s Assessment Overview page in the "Professional" section of their website.
Treatment for PTSD
Good treatments are widely available for PTSD. However, not everyone who experiences trauma seeks treatment. Women may be more likely than men to seek help after a traumatic event. At least one study found that women respond to treatment as well as or better than men. This may be because women are generally more comfortable sharing feelings and talking about personal things with others than are men.
PTSD Treatment Options for Vets
No matter where you live, PTSD treatment in the Department of Veterans Affairs is available. Each medical center within VA has PTSD specialists who provide treatment for Veterans with PTSD and there are nearly 200 specialized PTSD treatment programs throughout the country.
You can use this VA PTSD Program Locator to see if there is a specialized program near you.
Who is Covered for VA Care?
VA services are provided to all Veterans who:
- Completed active military service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard (or Merchant Marines during WWII)
- Were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions
- Were National Guard members or Reservists who have completed a federal deployment to a combat zone
At times, the VA has special agreements to provide care to Active Duty service members and family.
What Treatment Services are Offered?
Each PTSD program offers education, evaluation, and treatment. Program services include:
- One-to-one mental health assessment and testing
- One-to-one psychotherapy and family therapy
- Group therapy (covers topics such as anger and stress, combat support, partners, etc.) or groups for Veterans of specific conflicts or specific traumas
The VA provides treatments shown by research to be effective in treating Veterans. To learn about these treatments, see the VA’s Understanding PTSD Treatment page. Not all VAs offer the same programs, and some specialty programs require a referral. Your doctor can help you decide which program is best for you.
To Find Help:
Go to the VA Facilities Locator to find a VA medical center, an outpatient clinic, or a Vet Center, or call VA Health Care Benefits: 1-877-222-8387. You can also find a specialized PTSD program using the VA PTSD Program Locator
PTSD Videos for Veterans, Family and Friends
These videos bring PTSD issues to life, and give you a glimpse into life after the diagnosis:
- Video: Women Who Served in Our Military
Women Who Served in Our Military: For Veterans and Families (Run time: 41 min.)
Hosted by Jane Pauley, distinguished television news anchorwoman and journalist, the video and transcript examine how women's deployment to war zones can lead to serious and debilitating clinical stress responses.
Testimonials by women Veterans offer evidence that treatment for PTSD does make a difference - and can help the Veteran return to normal life. This video presents the many trauma treatment options available to women Veterans today by VA medical facilities. It also describes the considerable contributions of women in service to their country. For the full transcript in pdf format: Veterans and Families - video transcript
2. Video: Hope for Recovery
Hope for Recovery (Run time: 9 min 30 sec)
This video describing PTSD was produced by the PTSD Alliance, a group of professional and advocacy organizations. The PTSD Alliance provides educational resources to individuals diagnosed with PTSD, their loved ones, those at risk for developing PTSD, and to medical, healthcare and other frontline professionals. Please Note: The video involves dramatizations of individuals briefly describing interpersonal traumas, which may be upsetting for some individuals.
- Video: PTSD Treatment Works
VA PTSD Treatment Works (Run time: 1 min 46 sec)
An overview of what effective treatment is provided at VA to help Veterans with PTSD.
PTSD Resources and Care - for Veterans, Military, and Families
- Sign up to receive a monthly email with PTSD news, information, and relevant products. The updates are for all audiences. View sample issue.
- Bottom of Form
- See Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.
- All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.
- Some VAs have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a PTSD program.
- If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Centerto help with the transition from military to civilian life.
- Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center 1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.
- DoD's Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources. Call 1-866-966-1020 or email email@example.com
- Military OneSource Call 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.
- Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care, Benefits, or Claims.
About The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
For assistance with compiling the content in this article, we wish to thank The National Center for PTSD for providing many of the links and resources, as well as their commitment to serving those who have served us. August 29, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary celebration of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The history of the Center highlights its leadership in research and education to promote better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.
“When we started, PTSD was a controversial diagnosis. The Center's research and educational initiatives helped establish the scientific basis for PTSD, and disseminated that information globally." -Dr. Matthew Friedman, the Center's Executive Director from creation until the end of 2013.
About MHAMT’s Brunchin to Beat the Blues
Women join together to raise awareness of behavioral health issues at the inaugural Brunchin' to Beat the Blues. This special event will feature remarks from country star Naomi Judd and Army veteran Courtney Lewis. The brunch will be held at the Embassy Suites in Franklin on April 11, 2015 at 10:30 am. We look forward to raising awareness of women’s behavioral health issues and encouraging prevention and early intervention for mental illness in women. View the complete event invitation here. - See more at: http://www.ichope.com/Brunchin2015.htm#sthash.VTeMxRKp.dpuf
Courtney Lewis’ LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-lewis-veteran/39/58b/36
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 depression has not responded to a course of antidepressant medication. Nashville TMS patients have experienced excellent outcomes – hear what they have to say!
This article was researched, compiled and written by Lisa Chapman and Aileen Katcher.
- posted in Blog
Depression Treatment - Remains Ineffective and Rates are Low
More than 20 million people in the United States deal with depression every day, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports. While it may not surprise you, depression most likely affects someone you know and love. Severe depression, often clinically diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), is pervasive in the U.S.
Symptoms that include low energy, sleeplessness, and feelings of low self-worth were reported to interfere with healthy functions of daily living. The depressive, low self-worth thoughts even go so far as to produce ‘suicide ideation’ – thoughts of ending one’s own life. These thoughts can persist as a debilitating daily struggle.
Mental health professionals consider major depression to be a disorder of the brain - due to environmental, genetic, psychological and biochemical causes. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, treatment for major depression remains ineffective and treatment rates remain low.
The Majority of Depressed Americans Don’t Seek Help
A report on depression statistics released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that only a little over a third of Americans with severe depression had any contact with a mental health professional in the past year. The report collected data from 2009 to 2012, and from study participants with depressive symptoms that lasted more than two weeks.
The report by the CDC shines the light on the troubling statistic that almost 90% of Americans with severe depression have difficulties with activities of daily living, including social interaction, work responsibilities, and home life, such as household meal preparation and care of dependents. But the vast majority of them still do not seek medical mental health treatment. No reasons for this non-attention were researched in the scope of the study.
Depression Rates Vary by Age, Gender, Race and Poverty Level
The study mentions that depression is clearly associated with higher rates of other chronic health conditions, with heart disease among the leaders. The incidence of depression also varies by age, gender, race and poverty level. Severe depression is reported to be highest in women - in all age groups - also increasing with age. In fact, the results show that rates of depression in women exceed that of men in every age category.
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Additional key points about depression rates in the U.S. - by age and by gender:
- Over 7 percent of Americans age 12 and over experienced moderate or severe depression during the two weeks prior to the survey.
- Depression rates in women increase by age.
- Adults aged 60 and over had a lower depression rate than any other age category.
- Males aged 12 to 17 had the lowest rates of depression of any age category.
The study findings regarding race variations for depression include:
- Slightly less than 3 percent of Americans aged 12 and older reported severe depressive symptoms, while almost 78 percent reported no symptoms of depression.
- Non-Hispanic blacks reported a higher rate of severe depressive symptoms than Non-Hispanic whites.
- Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics had higher rates of mild and moderate depressive symptoms than Non-Hispanic whites.
- Non-Hispanic whites were more likely to have no depressive symptoms than either Non-Hispanic blacks or Hispanics.
(Click image for full size.)
Depression rates by poverty level:
The report revealed statistics related to rates of depression, above and below the U.S. poverty level, as set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (based on family income, and family size; wherein family of three = $20,090):
- Individuals surveyed who lived below the federal poverty level were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have moderate to severe depressive symptoms than those at or above the poverty level.
- More than 15 percent of all people surveyed who live below the U.S. poverty level had depressive symptoms, compared to 6.2 percent of those surveyed who live above the poverty level.
- Once poverty is taken into account, rates of depression did not differ significantly by race.
Depression rates among Americans are reported to vary significantly based on Age, Gender, Race, and Poverty Level, with women outpacing men in every age group. Individuals below the federal poverty level reported more depression than those above the poverty level in every category.
While Americans experience significantly high rates of major depression, the overwhelming majority do not seek treatment from mental health professionals for their depressive symptoms. It is reported that when they do, treatment is inadequate.
About Scott West, MD:
In addition to his role as medical director of Nashville TMS, Dr. West’s outpatient practice treats adults dealing with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, cognitive or attention problems, stress, relationship struggles and personality/interpersonal issues. He is also Medical Director of the Neurobehavioral Unit at St. Thomas Hospital where his focus is on treating patients with problems associated with dementia or psychiatric problems with medical co-morbidities. Dr. West serves on the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt where he supervises residents.
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 depression has not responded to a course of antidepressant medication. Nashville TMS has treated patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, and Alabama.
Written by: Lisa M. Chapman
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- posted in Blog
Nashville, Tenn. – September 18, 2014 -- Seven Nashville depression patients were participants in national study published this week in the Journal of clinical Psychiatry that found long term benefits from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in adults with treatment resistant depression.
The patients received their TMS treatment from Scott West, MD at Nashville TMS. It was the largest clinical study evaluating the durability of this FDA approved treatment and found that depressed patients treated with TMS maintained remission through the yearlong study.
The treatments were all conducted using the NeuroStar TMS Therapy® system which was FDA-cleared in 2008. West brought the technology to Nashville in 2010 when he opened Nashville TMS. In addition to Nashville TMS, 41 other practices throughout the country studied a total of 307 patients.
The objectives of the study were to assess the change in depression symptoms and the patients’ functional capacity during the six-weeks of TMS treatment and long term over the course of fifty two weeks. After the six-week treatment¸ 62 percent of patients showed improvement, while 41 percent showed complete remission. At the end of the year, 68 percent achieved improvement and 45 percent reported complete remission.
“TMS offers hope and healing for otherwise treatment resistant depression,” West said. “It is an effective alternative beyond the therapy and medication they have already tried and found ineffective, without the side effects commonly experienced with drugs.”
The complete study results are available at: http://www.psychiatrist.com/JCP/article/Pages/2014/aheadofprint/13m08977.aspx
What is TMS?
• TMS treatment sessions take less than an hour, five days a week, for four to six weeks.
• They are conducted in the doctor’s office.
• Patients are awake and alert during treatment and able to resume normal activities upon leaving the treatment sessions.
• TMS therapy is precisely targeted at a key area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, thought to control mood, and found to be underactive in depression sufferers.
• It uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons in this area, causing them to become active and release neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers.
• This affects the remaining areas of the brain involved in mood, serving to restore normal function and lift the symptoms of depression.
• TMS therapy is free of the side effects typically experienced with antidepressant medications.
• The most common side effect associated with treatment is discomfort at or near the treatment area – generally mild to moderate.
About Scott West, MD,
In addition to his role as medical director of Nashville TMS, West has an outpatient practice treating adults dealing with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, cognitive or attention problems, stress, relationship struggles and personality/interpersonal issues. He is also Medical Director of the Neurobehavioral Unit at St. Thomas Hospital where his focus is on treating patients with problems associated with dementia or psychiatric problems with medical co-morbidities. He serves on the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt where he supervises residents
West has been practicing psychiatry in Nashville since 1986 when he finished his residency in psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 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. 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.
About Nashville TMS
In April of 2010, 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 depression has not responded to a course of antidepressant medication. It uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons in this area, causing them to become active and release neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers. Affecting the remaining areas of the brain involved in mood and restoring normal function and lift the symptoms of depression.
Nashville TMS has treated patients from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, and Alabama.
Written by: Aileen Katcher