Psychiatric conditions can be very complex and difficult to treat. Many of the standard treatment procedures do not work on every patient, forcing them to turn to other methods of treatment. This is why repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be an effective treatment for patients with trichotillomania. Not only has TMS treatment shown effective results in many patients, but it is a safe and innovative procedure that can help patients minimize and even cure their disorder.
What is TMS?
TMS treatment is a safe, nonconvulsive, and non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic waves in order to stimulate nerve cells in the brain that can be effective in treating various mental disorders. During the procedure, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the patient’s scalp which delivers a painless magnetic pulse to the targeted region of the brain. The treatment was originally developed for patients with depression who saw little to no results in other standard methods of treatment. For this purpose, the magnetic pulse is targeted towards the region of the brain that controls mood and depression. It is intended to activate regions of the brain where low activity may cause depressive disorder. TMS treatment for depression has been used as an effective treatment since 1985 and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 2008.
TMS Treatment Procedure
Many patients have seen significant results in their TMS treatment after failing to see improvement in other treatment plans such as therapy and medication. Most patients will attend five sessions per week over the course of five to six weeks, with sessions typically lasting 20 minutes at a time. TMS is an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to travel to and from appointments with ease while maintaining their regular routine.
What is Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania is a psychiatric disorder characterized by compulsive pulling out of one’s hair resulting in hair loss, which is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition category ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder and related disorder.’ Individuals diagnosed with this disorder may pull out hair in any region. However, it is most common with the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelids. Those with trichotillomania are often not aware that they are doing it most of the time. It may be used as a way to relieve stress. The disorder usually begins in late childhood or early puberty and may leave and come back throughout an individual’s life. It is estimated that one to two percent of adults and adolescents suffer from trichotillomania.
Symptoms of Trichotillomania
Symptoms of trichotillomania include repeatedly pulling one’s hair out, with an increased sense of stress before pulling, or when the individual tries to resist pulling. Individuals may feel a sense of pleasure or relief after the hair is pulled. Those with trichotillomania often see noticeable hair loss, such as shortened hair, thinning, or bald areas on the scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes. Those with trichotillomania often have rituals that accompany hair pulling or patterns of it. Trichotillomania can often cause individuals increased stress surrounding work, school, and social situations.
There are treatments available for trichotillomania such as behavioral therapy and certain medications. However, these methods of treatment are not always effective for patients There are no US Food and Drug Administration-approved medications in the treatment of trichotillomania and the proposed medications are not effective for all patients. Therefore, new treatment options are needed. TMS treatment can be beneficial for some patients with trichotillomania. Some small case studies have shown promising results, including one in which five patients received 15 sessions of TMS (5 sessions a week) applied over the pre-SMA (supplementary motor area). Sessions were applied for 20 minutes with 1,200 pulses at a frequency of 1 Hz and an intensity of 100% MT. In this case series study published in 2020, three of five patients with trichotillomania obtained a substantial benefit from treatment, while one patient obtained a partial symptom reduction.
Mid City TMS
TMS treatment is an effective treatment that can help individuals with various psychiatric conditions. At Mid City TMS, we offer transcranial magnetic stimulation to patients in need of a new treatment plan. Many of our patients have come to us after seeing little to no results from other standard treatments and procedures. We use the best technology and equipment for our treatments and work directly with our patients to ensure each treatment plan is unique to the patient’s needs. Contact us today to speak with a healthcare expert and find out if TMS treatment is right for you.