Radiation treatment helping some patients suffering from seasonal depression in south Georgia

The holiday season is here. This is when most doctors say they see an uptick in patients coming in to get treatment for seasonal depression.
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 9:13 PM EST
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - AR Psychiatric and Counseling Center (ARPCC) in south Georgia is using a magnetic stimulation treatment to ease and treat those experiencing different forms of depression.

ARPCC is a private mental health facility. They have a staff of psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family counselors and licensed clinical professional counselors. They’re located in both Tifton and Valdosta.

The holiday season is here. And this is when most doctors say they see an uptick in patients coming in to get treatment for seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Some factors that doctors and therapists say can cause someone to experience serious changes to their mood include days becoming shorter and the weather getting colder, just to name a few. Dr. Bhavesh Patel says he’s been in psychiatric practice for 19 years, and almost 20% of our population experiences some form of depression.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, also known as TMS, is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve depression symptoms. When undergoing this procedure, the patient has already tried medication and counseling but needed a more effective treatment.

“This is the magnet which delivers some magnetic pulses. And we put it on the forehead of the patient. We believe that this part of the brain, this area of the brain controls the emotions. And there is some downstream effect which causes symptoms to improve over time” ARPCC Dr. Anil Gupta said. “About 62% of the patients will have a full remission of symptoms, and at the same time, what we have seen is that this treatment is durable so the response may last for another year.”

The treatment last about 37 minutes and doctors say patients are required to come for 36 sessions. The radiation treatment has an 83% success rate in patients showing improvement after the treatment is completed.

Dr. Gupta encourages the community to not forget about their mental health this season. He says there is help available.

If you are interested in this treatment or any others the contact information is below:

Tifton Office: 2014 Pineview Avenue, Tifton, GA 3179. Their phone number is (229) 387 8878.

Valdosta Office: 3312 D North Oak Ext. St., Valdosta, GA 31605. Their phone number is 229-244-2030.