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Does TMS Work for Depression?

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

TMS is a term that is becoming increasingly more popular. Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a method of non-invasive brain stimulation used to treat depression. If you suffer from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and have tried multiple antidepressant medications with no sign of relief, TMS therapy might be a good fit for you.

What to expect with TMS

TMS works by applying electromagnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain to stimulate nerve cells that affect depression. When you go in for your first TMS therapy session, a TMS technician will map out where stimulation should be applied. Everyone’s level of intensity may vary so your technician might start out at a lower intensity and slowly increase it throughout your sessions. Sessions should occur five days a week for several weeks (usually 4-6 weeks) in order to achieve optimal results. Each session itself can last anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes.

While some people may hear of TMS and think that it is similar to ECT, or shock therapy, that is simply not the case. TMS doesn’t have as many side effects as ECT, especially when it comes to memory and cognition. In fact, the treatment itself is so mild that most people read or watch television during their actual sessions.

TMS effectiveness

According to Harvard Health, approximately 50% to 60% of people with depression experience a positive response to TMS therapy. For people that experience relief from depression after TMS, it is important to note that this relief may not be permanent. In most cases, patients will have to go through subsequent rounds of TMS therapy to maintain the positive effects. You won’t begin to see the true effects of TMS until the third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth week of treatment.

The benefits of TMS therapy

First and foremost, TMS is non-invasive and FDA-approved. Additionally, it is pain-free and has very little side effects. The most common side effects are mild scalp discomfort during treatment and headaches during or following treatment. Some people can experience seizures if they are particularly at risk, so it’s always important to talk to your doctor before going in for treatment. Otherwise, TMS therapy does not interfere with your daily activities, and they can be resumed as normal immediately following your treatment session.

In addition to treating depression, TMS can also improve symptoms of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic pain. And the best part? No more relying on medications.

TMS therapy near me

If you are looking for TMS therapy in the Cherry Hill, NJ area and surrounding areas, contact Harmony Bay Wellness. Our experienced staff of trained TMS technicians are dedicated to providing you with the best care to fight your depression and provide you with relief. We use a Magnetism TMS machine with proven technology that provides shorter treatment sessions than others. Contact us today by calling 855.857.6050 to learn more about our TMS therapy and how it can help you get back to living your best life.

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Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.