As soon as people hear about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy, they think it’s too good to be true. It’s no magic cure, but it does provide relief from depression that hasn’t responded to other treatments. TMS isn’t as effective as ECT, but there are far fewer side effects making it a viable option for many, especially people that have severe side effects to antidepressants.
TMS works best in patients who have no success in psychiatric medication. It has a response rate as high as 30%, which is about the same effectiveness as antidepressants.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation isn’t meant to be the first line of treatment for everyone. Traditional therapy and medications are still recommended first by doctors. However, if that isn’t working or the patient cannot withstand the side effects then TMS is an option.
Doctors often recommend patients try TMS first before escalating to ECT as that has more severe side effects. Individuals’ need to consider whether or not they can withstand the time it takes for TMS to begin working though. If someone is actively suicidal, withstanding the full six weeks of TMS therapy might not be a viable option.
Always consult with your psychiatrist before beginning a new course of treatment. Traditional methods will always be recommended first before escalating to brain stimulation treatment options such as TMS or ECT. But if you’re wondering, yes TMS is effective but only in the right patient. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.