Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS and rTMS) for Anxiety
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated. Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder.
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder in which you have repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad will happen.
A panic attack begins suddenly, and most often peaks within 10 - 20 minutes. Some symptoms may continue for an hour or more. A panic attack may be mistaken for a heart attack. Panic attacks may include anxiety about being in a situation where an escape may be difficult (such as being in a crowd or traveling in a car or bus). A person with panic disorder often lives in fear of another attack, and may be afraid to be alone or far from medical help.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety is a persistent and irrational fear of situations that may involve scrutiny or judgment by others, such as parties and other social events.
People with social phobia become very anxious and self-conscious in everyday social situations. They have an intense, persistent, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others, and of doing things that will embarrass them. They can worry for days or weeks before a dreaded situation. This fear may become so severe that it interferes with work, school, and other ordinary activities, and can make it hard to make and keep friends.
Although many people with social phobia realize that their fears about being with people are excessive or unreasonable, they are unable to overcome them on their own.
Social phobia can be limited to one situation (such as talking to people, eating or drinking, or writing on a blackboard in front of others). Or, it may be so broad (such as in generalized social phobia) that the person experiences anxiety around almost everyone other than family members.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a pattern of constant worry and anxiety over many different activities and events.
The main symptom is the almost constant presence of worry or tension, even when there is little or no cause. Worries seem to float from one problem to another, such as family or relationship problems, work issues, money, health, and other problems.
Even when aware that their worries or fears are stronger than needed, a person with GAD still has difficulty controlling them.
Other symptoms include:
Problems falling or staying asleep, and sleep that is often restless and unsatisfying
Restlessness, and often becoming startled very easily
Along with the worries and anxieties, a number of physical symptoms may also be present, including muscle tension (shakiness, headaches) and stomach problems, such as nausea or diarrhea.
TMS treatments for anxiety disorders are available, and research is uncovering new treatments that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives.
Many people afflicted with anxiety disorder do not find sufficient symptomatic relief from medication. Dr. Marsella is offering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS and rTMS) treatments to select, off-label patients who suffer from anxiety disorders. These treatments use repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to ‘short circuit’ processes in the brain related to anxiety. rTMS is a safe, non-systemic treatment that carries none of the side-effect burden of anxiolytic medication.