Nashville doctor using new treatment to combat depression - WSMV News 4

Nashville doctor using new treatment to combat depression

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TMS is a non-invasive treatment that is said to help with depression. (WSMV) TMS is a non-invasive treatment that is said to help with depression. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the state of Tennessee.

Most recent statistics show the rate of suicides is the highest in Davidson County. In 2014, more deaths were the result of suicide than automobile accidents and homicide.

Those statistics by the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network also show a leading cause of suicide is depression.

A local psychiatrist says raising awareness about depression is the key to treating it.

"If you don't know about it, if you're not aware of what it is, and aware that there are options available, you may not be seeking that help that can get you feeling better and get you back to enjoying your life," said Dr. Scott West.

Anti-depressants are the most common way to tackle depression, but they don't work for everyone, and medications often come with side effects.

Now a little-known treatment is helping millions of Americans feel joy again.

According to the Mayo Clinic, transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive treatment that specifically treats the part of the brain that regulates your mood.

Treatment centers have been popping up all over the country since the procedure was approved in 2008.

News 4 got a look at the treatment at Thrive-Logic in Nashville. It looks a lot like sitting down at the dentist's office.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the procedure is typically used after other treatments, such as medication and psychotherapy, don't work.

In fact, many insurance companies require patients to try other forms of treatment first before they will cover it.

Some doctors believe the effects of TMS treatments last longer than anti-depressants.

West says it generally takes about 20 sessions for patients to feel a difference in their mood.

"Generally, people are responding they're back to work, back to school, and they generally say that they're coping with things better," West said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 56 million people in the U.S. suffer from depression, but only half seek treatment.

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