What Is TMS and How does it Work?

by Beth Davis

Whether it's from alcohol use, drug addiction or some other contributing factor, severe depression is a serious problem in the United States today. Since it is well known that antidepressant medications don't work well for everyone, there needs to be other treatments for depression that patients can try. One of those treatments is TMS. TMS is short for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and is said to be working well for patients that don't respond well to other treatments for depression. A lot of people would like to try TMS but aren't sure how they work. With that in mind, read on below to find out more about it.

What is TMS Treatment?

The question of "what is TMS treatment?" comes up often from patients who are searching for new treatments paths. TMS is a drug-free, non-invasive treatment option that is working well for many patients today. The patient is awake and alert during the procedure and able to go back to their normal activities after their appointment.

How Does TMS Work?

TMS treatments don't work like electroconvulsive therapy does. Instead, this treatment uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the part of the brain that is under-active in people are suffering from depression. Since this is non-invasive, it is possible for you to stay awake during the procedure and go back to driving, working, or whatever activities you have planned after your appointment is over. The treatments are usually planned for five days a week and take four to six weeks and last about 19 minutes each. This makes it easy to work the treatments into your schedule as well.

Who Benefits the Most?

This treatment option is designed to benefit adults who are suffering from depression the most. An adult who has used at least one antidepressant that didn't help with their chronic depression may benefit from this treatment. For adults who have had side effects from depression medications they have tried, this may be a viable option. It is covered by most insurances, but it is important to check with the doctor to see if they accept your insurance for the treatment beforehand.

What Are the Side Effects?

There are a few side effects that have been reported by patients who undergo TMS treatments. Some of those side effects include the following.


Neck pain

Scalp discomfort

These are common side effects but may not be experienced by everyone who undergoes TMS treatment. If you have any other problems, please report them to your doctor right away.

Are TMS Treatments Effective?

There have been many reports that TMS treatments are indeed effective at helping treat severe depression. It is, however, still best to talk to your primary healthcare provider before you decide to undergo any type of treatments or change the depression treatment you're on.

These are just a few of the facts that you might want to know about TMS treatment. Remember, always do your research into any type of treatment for depression you find and want to try.

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