Many people’s daily rhythm changes in the winter. People tend to sleep longer, eat more, feel fatigued, and have low energy. In some cases, these symptoms can be markers for SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
SAD is a form of depression that encompasses many of these symptoms, but that is typically accompanied by low level functioning, and a sense of wanting to perform harm to oneself or to others. SAD is in fact considered to be as severe as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
TMS for Seasonal Affective Disorder
One essential difference between MDD and SAD is that SAD by definition is seasonal. While most people are affected during the darker, winter months, some do suffer from SAD during the spring and summer.
Anticipating the onset of SAD allows for preparing the right treatment modality. One form of treatment that can be effective for SAD is TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.) TMS works by imparting magnetic stimulation to pathways in the brain that become underactive with depression.
Studies have indicated that about 30% of depressed patients are not responsive to traditional antidepressants, TMS is an approved and largely effective alternative for many people who have proven to be treatment-resistant to traditional medications for depression.
The Flexibility of TMS Makes it a Good Fit for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Since TMS treatment is typically given five to six times per week for five or six weeks, it can be scheduled when the onset of SAD is expected. After the initial treatment period, TMS is tapered off during the subsequent two to three weeks. TMS treatments do not induce the same side effects as traditional antidepressants.
A Healthy Daily Routine is Vital to Counteracting the Symptoms of SAD
Eating healthy foods, getting abundant natural light and maintaining an exercise regime are all important if you are dealing with SAD. TMS provides an effective, minimally invasive treatment alternative for those who have not responded to drug therapy.