Tampa, Florida — Depression afflicts tens of millions of Americans every year. Chances are, you know someone who’s been depressed, or you may suffer from depression yourself.

Now, there’s a powerful drug-free treatment for depression available. It’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS therapy. Basically, “we’re using a magnet to stimulate the brain through the skull,” said South Tampa psychiatrist Dr. Kenneth Pages.

Pages said he turned to TMS therapy for some patients after hearing the same complaints for years.The same stories were coming up about lack of response, or people needing to be on multiple, multiple medications to get a response, or having side effects,” he said.

Now with an MRI magnet and time new research shows close to two-thirds of hard-to-treat patients with depression can get even better results with TMS. Pages says the therapy uses pulses from 3,000 focused magnetic to your brain over the course of 40 minutes that can kick your brain into gear and help get you get out of a depression.

One patient, Jill, says she was diagnosed with depression in her 20s. “Since then (I) have gone through every type of medication on the market today, I believe,” she said. “They would work for a little while and they would inevitably stop working.”

Now with TMS treatment, “It’s absolutely saved my life, in terms of the quality of my life,” Jill said. At first Jill said the procedure was a little shocking, adding it feels like a sharp tap at first.

Inside Jill’s brain, Pages says the magnet stimulates neurons to activate more brain circuitry that helps her gain control over negative emotions. And Jill told 10 News she is thrilled.

“I feel like i’m living a whole life now,” she said.