Trans cranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, is a newer way to treat depression. Dr. Praveen Kumar, a psychiatrist from Ridgeland, conducts the procedure locally.
TMS takes about 40 minutes a day, according to Kumar. A small magnetic coil targets the precise location in the cortex that controls mood. The patient sits in a high-tech chair while the coil touches the scalp.
Larisa Womack says she was doing a lot better after 6 weeks of treatment. She started feeling the effects after 4 weeks.
"I'm sure my facial expression and things like that had changed, and that's what my parents noticed," said Womack. "I was in a much better mood. I wasn't sleeping as much. I was more active with my friends and I just got back to the way I used to be."
Dr. Kumar said there aren't any side effects.
"The only thing that happens with it is maybe a little itching in the scalp, no sexual side effects, which is very common with medication," said Dr. Kumar.
Womack had been on several medications, suffering with severe depression for more than 15 years. She had gone through electric shock treatments as well.
TMS treatments last for 6 weeks at a time. The treatments are taken 5 days a week.
Dr. Kumar says Womack did very well in the last two weeks and maintained response to the treatments. "(She) is only on one medication at this time, along with a sleep medication."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported depression.
TMS was first only recommended for those with moderate depression, but since the American Psychiatric Association has seen good responses, the procedure is being used for those with severe depression.