TMS Therapy as a Treatment for Depression in Tampa

While depression may be common, it’s very serious. Thankfully, there is a new treatment available that has an incredible success rate and is side effect free. What is it? Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Read on to learn more about whether TMS might be right for you.

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What is Depression?

Depression is a common, but very serious medical illness that primarily results in feelings of sadness or loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) causes severe negative symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working”. This often leads to emotional or physical problems that can inhibit your ability to function properly. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

What is TMS Therapy?

One form of depression therapy that has proven incredibly useful in the treatment of depression and other mental disorders is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, otherwise known as TMS therapy. This non-invasive procedure works by directing recurring magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in specific areas of the brain that regulate your mood control.

How Does TMS Therapy Treat Depression?

Studies have shown that depressed patients experience reduced communication between the brain’s nerve cells. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation painlessly stimulates the brain in order to promote communication between nerve cells which helps restore regular brain activity. TMS allows patients the option to receive drug free treatment for their depression and experience healthy brain functioning in just a few weeks!

Is Depression a Disease, Illness or Disorder?

If you are looking for depression treatment in Tampa, you may want to start by learning exactly what depression is first; “Is Depression a disease, illness or disorder?”

The answer to this is slightly complicated. While many professionals argue otherwise, depression is not considered a disease. Instead, the American Psychiatric Association defines depression (major depressive disorder) as a serious medical illness, not as a disease.

  • Disease: Refers to a “definite pathologic process with a characteristic set of signs and symptoms (NIMH). A disease is the abnormalities of the structure and function of body organs and systems. Diseases are the named pathological entities that make up the medical model of ill-health, which can be specifically identified and described by reference to a certain biological, chemical or other evidence.” (Royal College of General Practitioners)
  • Illness: The subjective response of the patient to being unwell; how he, and those around him, perceive the origin and significance of this event; how it affects his behaviour or relationships with other people; and the steps he takes to remedy this situation. (Royal College of General Practitioners)
  • Mental Disorders: Mental disorders are conceptualized as a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress (e.g., painful symptoms) or disability (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM). Essentially, it is the irregularity of bodily structure and function.

Symptoms of Depression:

If you or a loved one is experiencing depression, you may notice some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks: 

  • Feeling sad, anxious, empty, tearful or hopeless
  • Feeling guilt, helplessness or worthlessness
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or frustration, even over small matters
  • Speaking or moving more slowly
  • Difficulty focusing, remembering or making decisions
  • Restlessness or having difficulty sitting still
  • Trouble sleeping, waking up or frequently oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain
  • Unexplained aches or pains such as back pain, headaches, cramps, digestive problems
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
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Most people who suffer from depression do not experience every symptom listed above, but typically have experienced many of them. In order to conclude a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, your doctor or health care professional will examine whether or not you have experienced several symptoms for at least two consecutive weeks. Additionally, one of the symptoms experienced must be a low mood or a loss in interest or pleasure in activities for this diagnosis. Everyone is different and so are the severity and symptoms each individual endures. Symptoms also can vary according to the stage of the illness.

These symptoms inhibit the individual’s ability to perform normally in work, school, or daily life, and cannot be explained by outside factors such as a medical condition or substance abuse. The health care professional will classify a disorder as mild, moderate, or severe based on how many of the above symptoms have been experienced.

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It’s Not Just “In Your Head”….

Anyone who has suffered from depression will likely agree that it is not something you can simply snap yourself out of, or recover from by “not thinking about it.” While experiencing depression, your body demonstrates key physical differences that go hand-in-hand with your mental well-being. Depression is frequently identifiable as a chemical imbalance of the brain. Other studies have also found that the brain’s hippocampus is smaller in individuals with depression.

What are the Causes of Major Depressive Disorder?

It’s often hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing your depression, given multiple factors can contribute to the disorder. There are certain aspects, however, that put an individual at a higher risk for developing symptoms of depression. Some examples include:

  • Generational, systemic, or situational trauma
  • Genetic predisposition (other family members who have experienced depression)
  • Individuals with lower self-esteem or those who are easily overwhelmed
  • Certain physical illnesses that can trigger depression (such as cancer, Parkinson’s, or diabetes)
  • A stressful event, such as a divorce or death of a loved one
  • Hormonal imbalances which can sometimes be a result of menopause or pregnancy

Let’s Talk Science

The hippocampus is the portion of your brain responsible for storing memories and regulating cortisol production, which is a chemical released into your body during periods of high stress or depression. An increased production of cortisol causes key areas in the brain, like the prefrontal cortex, to shrink. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for regulating your emotions, making decisions, and forming memories- It’s no wonder that this area of the brain plays such a crucial role in regulating your mood. Depression can trigger memory loss, immense fatigue or insomnia, anger or irritability, loss of sex drive, frequent headaches, body aches, or pain that does not go away with medication.

You Are Not Alone

Believe it or not, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, impacting an estimated 1 in 15 adults every single year. While women are usually at a higher risk than men, depression can happen to nearly anyone. As a matter of fact, roughly 1 in 6 individuals will suffer from depression at some point in their lifetime. Fortunately, depression is one of the most treatable mental illnesses and with proper treatment, you can go back to being your best self again in no time!

How to Get Back to Your Best Self

Before undergoing any form of depression treatment, it is crucial to consult a professional and receive a proper diagnosis of your symptoms. Every individual is unique and will respond differently to each form of depression treatment. Prescription medications are a commonly used method to reduce symptoms of depression, but are also accompanied by a long list of harmful side effects that cause many individuals to simply opt out of treatment all together. Although prescription medications may not be the right fit for you, it does not mean that you are all out of options. Other depression therapy options include talking with a depression therapist, light therapy, or brain stimulation therapies.

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TMS Therapy as a Drug-Free Treatment for Depression

TMS therapy allows patients the opportunity to receive drug-free treatment for their depression and to experience healthy brain function in just a few weeks! Antidepressants and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can cause numerous side effects. Although magnetic stimulation may initially sound intimidating, TMS therapy is pain-free and can be completed without the risk of harmful side effects associated with other treatment methods. Just sit back, relax, and let the magnet work its magic to treat your depression. Unlike ECT, TMS does not require sedation, post-therapy downtime and comes without any memory or cognition side effects. TMS is a great option for someone worried about the possible side effects that come along with antidepressant medications.

TMS therapy is FDA cleared and covered by most major insurance companies, meaning treatment could come at no cost at all! If you live in the Tampa area and want help with your depression, reach out to the professionals at NeuroSpa TMS in Tampa, Florida for more information on how TMS therapy can bring you back to your best self once again.

Better days are on the horizon. Your Road to Recovery Is Just a Step Away.

STEP 1: Qualify for TMS

If your current or previous treatment plan for depression hasn’t worked for you, you could qualify for coverage.

STEP 2: Begin Treatment

Sit back, relax in a spa-like environment and let our skilled experts do the rest.

STEP 3: Watch Your New Life Unfold

Say goodbye to prescription medications and harmful side effects. Visit us and watch your new life unfold.

Get to Know Dr. Upshaw

Dr. William Nathan Upshaw is the Medical Director of Neurospa TMS. Ever since his first encounter with a TMS chair in 2010, Dr. Upshaw was not only inspired by its remarkable potential but insatiably determined to provide this breakthrough therapy to as many people as possible. Dr. Upshaw has received advanced training in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Tampa Bay Institute for Psychodynamic Studies, and has received official certification in TMS and ECT therapy from the MUSC Health Institute of Psychiatry. Today, Dr. Upshaw’s holistic experience in the field has transformed him into one of Florida’s leading advocates for widespread accessibility to TMS therapy.

What To Expect

At Neuro Spa TMS, comfort and patient satisfaction through treatment is our number one priority. Gone are the days of prescription medication and side effects.

From the moment you enter our office, you will feel the difference. Our welcoming staff and soothing atmosphere feels more similar to a spa than a clinic. Treatment rooms are outfitted with relaxing lights and your choice of music, making your 19-minute treatment a peaceful, welcoming escape.

When your treatment concludes, your healing process is well underway. Go back to work, pick up your kids from school, or head to the gym- normal activities can be resumed immediately after treatment with no downtime at all.


  • The NeuroSpa TMS team is very knowledgeable and has a high level of professionalism. My experience has gone above and beyond expectations. The addition of a targeted blood test and evaluation enabled me to make essential adjustments through supplements with an almost immediate positive outcome. I w... Read More
  • I completely recommend this office, before you even meet the doctor you are met with the staff and they are just incredible beyond words! The office is clean and the design has a calming affect. The doctor is great. The treatment is in my opinion working very well. But what stood out to me was the i... Read More
  • I am very impressed with the staff and the treatment. Every morning at 7:00am, Kristen always made me feel comfortable and relaxed. I would recommend TMS to anyone with depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD. It is so much more effective than medication without the side effects and the drug merry g... Read More
  • I ran across NeuroSpa through my insurance and I didn’t feel like this would be something that would fix the roller coaster of emotions I dealt with daily. I had my consultation and all the medical research/results/statistics and the advanced knowledge of Dr. Upshaw got me to try the treatment. A... Read More
  • Neurospa has changed my families lives. I had no idea something like this could be so awesome . The staff was wonderful and kind.

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