Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa

Richard A Smith, DO

Psychiatry located in Tampa, FL

If you struggle with depression, PTSD, or mood disorder, help is within reach at Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. Psychiatrist Richard Smith, DO, uses evidence-based treatments, including Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), to help stabilize your mood and improve your overall quality of life. Schedule an evaluation over the phone or online today.

About TMS

What is TMS?

TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain responsible for mood regulation and mood control.

A noninvasive and natural treatment, TMS can help relieve symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). 

TMS is prescribed when other treatments have not been effective, such as talk therapy or psychotherapy.

What can I expect at my first TMS treatment?

A TMS treatment typically takes about 60 minutes. You will be taken to a treatment room and given earplugs to wear during your procedure.

An electromagnetic coil will be placed against your head and switched on and off. You may hear some light tapping or clicking that lasts for a few seconds. You may also feel some tapping on your forehead — this process is called mapping.

Your Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa provider determines the amount of magnetic energy needed. Your fingers and hands may twitch as your provider figures out the right dosage for you. Your provider may adjust your dosage as you go through treatment, tailored to your specific needs, symptoms, and side effects.

Is TMS safe?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is highly effective and generally well-tolerated by most people. However, it can cause some side effects:

  • Scalp discomfort at the stimulation site
  • Tingling in the facial muscles
  • Spasms or twitching 
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue

Be sure to discuss any discomfort or undesirable side effects with your Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa provider. Your dosage may need to be adjusted.

Although uncommon, TMS may cause more serious side effects in a small number of people. Serious side effects include the following:

  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss — you must wear earplugs during the procedure

Before your first TMS treatment, Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa will go over your medical history, list of medications, list of vitamins and herbal supplements you take, and other vital information. They will also ask if you have a family history of seizures or epilepsy. 

If you have any metal or implanted medical devices in your body, the procedure may not be recommended due to the strong magnetic fields produced during TMS treatment. 

A generally well-tolerated and noninvasive procedure, TMS doesn’t require anesthesia. Patients don’t need to arrange for a driver to and from the appointment. If you’re a first-time patient, you may feel more comfortable having a driver until you get a better sense of how you’ll feel after your treatment.

Don’t settle for medications and treatments that don't mesh with your genetic makeup or aren’t effective. Schedule a TMS appointment with Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa over the phone or online today.