Is TMS Right for Me?

 In a June 1st article in Vantage on the U.S. Department website entitled, “Veterans with Post Traumatic

Dr. Noah Philip, Director of Psychiatric Neuromodulation at Providence VA, treats a patient using TMS therapy. Stress Disorder (PTSD) treated with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation”, author Tracy Weistreich spoke with caregivers at the VA Center for Compassionate Care Innovation (CCI). They are using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and NeuroStar's TMS Therapy® at their Providence VA Medical Center in Rhode Island.

If you or someone you know is suffering PTSD, it has been and will continue to be a significant health concern for millions of Veterans-- from every war and conflict-- and it affects not only them, but also their families and friends.  

US VA Help with PTSD

The US Department of Veteran's Affairs has a section on their website (a section about what?).  If you're in crisis, they have a hotline. Call it at 800-273-8255 (Press 1) or text them at 838255.

The statistics about PTSD are alarming. These quotes from VeryWell:

  • Among Vietnam veterans, approximately 15 percent of men and 9 percent of women were found to have PTSD at the time of the study.
  • The incidence over a lifetime following involvement in a war, however, is much greater. Approximately 30 percent of men and 27 percent of women had PTSD at some point in their life following Vietnam.
  • Studies examining the mental health of Persian Gulf War veterans have found that rates of PTSD stemming from the war range anywhere from nine percent to approximately 24 percent.
  • The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are ongoing. That's why the full the impact that the war has had on the mental health of soldiers in Iraq in is not yet known. One study looked at members of four United States combat infantry units (three Army units and one Marine unit) who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan (what did they find out? Is it the next bullet point? If so we should bring those stats up to this bullet point). 
  • After deployment, approximately 12.5 percent of these veterans had PTSD, a rate greater than that found among these soldiers before deployment. T
  •  The majority of soldiers were exposed to some kind of traumatic, combat-related situations: being attacked or ambushed (92 percent); seeing dead bodies (94.5 percent); being shot at (5 percent); and knowing someone who was seriously Injured or killed (86.5 percent).

For the civilian population, from an insurance coverage perspective, TMS is currently only indicated for the treatment of depression when there has been either a lack of results or unpleasant side effects with two or more medications. In the article, the therapy is being used to successfully treat of PTSD.

However, TMS Solutions' CEO and Founder, Christopher Blackburn, recently said, "we've been working with the VA in Colorado and in Washington and the veterans we've worked with so far are finding relief from this often times life altering and debilitating illness."  Blackburn went on to echo Dr. Philips saying that the process is non-invasive, as there is no surgery required, it is an outpatient procedure, and has very minor side effects. In many cases we're treating both the PTSD and the depression that seems to go hand in hand with this diagnosis."

The author noted that "since 2013, 150 patients have received TMS therapy at the medical center in Providence, and Dr. Philip is usually asked to evaluate new patients every week, including Veterans seeking treatment for PTSD. Dr. Philip attributes the increased interest in the therapy over the past year to communications outreach from the VA and through word-of-mouth conversations among Veterans. "

Deeper into the article, Weistreich notes that Ben Kennard is a VA technician and 20-year Veteran of the U.S. Army, who has been directly involved with the TMS treatments. So he speaks from one who has gone through the experience, aftermath and come out the other side.

“With the majority of the Veterans I have seen, TMS really works,” Kennard said. Anybody that is suffering from depression should at least give it a try and see how it works for them. It gives us another treatment option, especially for those Veterans who have issues with taking medications.”

If you're suffering from PTSD; if you've suffering from depression; if what you're doing isn't working and you would like to talk about TMS Therapy and if it might help you, click the button below to contact us.

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Topics: TRICARE Depression Coverage, PTSD, VA


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