Depression doesn’t wait for a convenient time. It can appear out of nowhere, disrupting lives, schooling, careers, and relationships. Whether you are juggling school, work, or family responsibilities, dealing with depression makes everything more difficult.
For working women dealing with depression, it can seem like there are no good options. Left untreated, depression saps your energy and robs you of your motivation, making it nearly impossible to be productive at your job. Yet antidepressants – the most common treatment for depression – are often accompanied by serious side effects that diminish workplace productivity, such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness and anxiety (Source). Depression treatment for working women seemingly offers an impossible choice: either live with productivity-killing depression or live with the productivity-killing side effects of antidepressant medication.
Recently, many working women are choosing a different way to treat depression that doesn’t involve the same host of scary side effects: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is a non-pharmaceutical depression treatment that is more effective than antidepressants yet has no systemic side effects, making it an ideal treatment for working professionals (Source).
What is TMS?
TMS is a non-invasive interventional psychiatric treatment that uses a stimulus/response mechanism to create new healthy neural pathways in the brain. Treatment involves using a TMS medical device to deliver painless magnetic impulses directly to the brain in order to generate the required brain stimulus. TMS is FDA-approved, backed by an impressive amount of favorable research studies, and covered by most major insurance companies for treatment of depression.
So why are working women increasingly choosing TMS to treat depression? Let’s look at 5 reasons working women are choosing TMS:
5 Reasons Working Women Choose TMS to Treat Depression
1. TMS avoids medication issues that impact work performance
As mentioned above, TMS does not have the same issues with side effects common to antidepressants. For working women, the ability to maintain as close to full productivity as possible while treating depression is important. The most common side effect associated with TMS is a mild headache during treatment. Most patients report the headaches lessen in intensity or disappear completely as they become more accustomed to TMS treatment. Even then, fewer than 30 percent of patients report experiencing any headache at all.
Other common side effects typical of antidepressants are simply absent with TMS. There is no associated weight gain, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, constipation, dizziness, or nausea. The lack of work-inhibiting side effects is a primary reason working women choose TMS over other alternatives.
TMS treatment is an outpatient procedure, performed daily, in your doctor’s office (typically a psychiatrist). Each appointment is 30 minutes long and can easily be squeezed into a standard work lunch break. But what makes TMS especially convenient is the lack of any preparatory work and the absence of any aftereffects.
TMS does not require any patient prep prior to starting, other than the simple task of adjusting the TMS machine to the patient’s exact measurements. You can arrive in your work clothes – whatever they may be – and leave the same way.
Likewise, there are no aftereffects of TMS treatment. You are safe to drive a car to and from the appointment, make business decisions immediately after, and continue your day with no downtime or loss in productivity. For working women, this is a critical advantage to TMS and a reason many are choosing TMS over other depression treatments.
3. Insurance Coverage
One of the most attractive aspects of TMS is that it is an FDA-approved treatment and most major insurance carriers include TMS coverage in their plans. Unlike counseling or therapy – which is often not covered by insurance – TMS allows patients to use their insurance benefits for both office visits and TMS sessions.
Additionally, because TMS is a qualified medical expense, patients can use HSA or FSA contributions to pay for their share of copays and deductibles. Using money from your HSA or FSA account allows you to pay for the patient portion of TMS with tax-free money, allowing your money to go further.
4. Staying Productive During Treatment
Let’s face it – taking a lengthy leave of absence to focus on your mental health has its own set of worry-inducing problems. What will my boss think? What will my coworkers think? Will I still have a job when I return? Will I be treated differently when I go back? It’s hard to take a complete break from work without constantly worrying about what is happening at work.
Although FMLA allows a worker to take up to a 12-week unpaid leave to address medical issues (including mental health issues), many workers hesitate to take advantage of the available leave because of these concerns.
The ability to stay productive during treatment and not have to take a complete leave of absence is a major reason working women are choosing TMS to treat depression. TMS allows workers to remain in their jobs and be fully productive and contributing while at the same time addressing their mental health needs. Better yet – workers can use FMLA leave each day to cover the TMS appointment time (Source). Many workers are unaware that FMLA can be used in small, hourly increments rather than taking an entire day. Speak with your HR representative about using FMLA each day to cover TMS treatment in order to receive federally protected leave from work.
5. Long-term Solution
One of the most important reasons working women choose TMS to treat their depression is that TMS offers a long-term solution. With antidepressants, patients typically must stay on medication for the remainder of their lives.
With TMS, patients can achieve full remission from depression, reducing or eliminating the need for medication and providing a true long-term solution to depression. Additionally, some providers are combining TMS treatment with counseling and coaching after the treatment ends to help patients sustain that improvement long term.
Depression Help for Working Women
Ampelis Health provides facilitated education during TMS treatment and personalized coaching after treatment has finished. This guided TMS approach helps patients achieve better outcomes during TMS and then leverage the improvement made during TMS for additional positive life changes.
For working women, guided TMS offers the combined benefit of relief from depression, improved overall mental health, and renewed motivation to tackle other life challenges, making it the ideal choice for depression treatment.
Ampelis Health offers their unique guided TMS approach at two Utah locations, Highland (Utah County) and South Ogden (Weber County). To see if TMS at Ampelis Health is the right treatment for you, call 435-776-5909 for a free phone screening.