Considering the Pros and Cons of TMS Therapy

Living with depressive disorders is a constant challenge. And, many who are living with depressive disorders may not get the symptom relief they need from antidepressants or talk therapy alone. Fortunately, TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a therapy many who are living with treatment-resistant depression can use to get the results they need. But, before considering this type of therapy, many people who could be helped by TMS may be wondering, “What are the pros and cons of TMS therapy?”. Knowing the risks and benefits is helpful to any who is considering trying a new medical or mental health service. So, considering the pros and cons of TMS therapy is a good thing before diving head-first into choosing this option for your depression treatment planning.

What are the Advantages of Using TMS Therapy for Depression?

The cause of depression is believed to be a result of non-functioning neurons in the brain that are responsible for sending off and receiving specific neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are responsible for mood management. So, when a person’s brain doesn’t have proper neuron function and the correct balance of mood-regulating neurotransmitters, this can result in mental health diagnoses like depression. TMS uses a device that attaches to the scalp and sends magnetic pulses through the brain, working to stimulate non-functioning neurons that are responsible for depressive symptoms. Thus, providing relief from the symptoms of depressive disorders. This allows depressive disorder patients an alternative form of depression symptom relief that is non-invasive, doesn’t require the use of psychiatric medications, and can provide long-lasting results.

What Can a Person Expect From TMS Sessions?

TMS sessions are typically provided in-office at a mental health facility, like Delray Center for Brain Science. Patients are instructed to sit in a chair and are then set up with the TMS device, which is essentially headgear that is attached to the scalp. This headgear is constructed with magnets that send magnetic pulses into the brain. Then, during the 30-minute session, the device will work to send these magnetic pulses into the brain and may make sounds similar to an MRI device. After sessions, individuals can go about their daily routine and return to work, school, or their home setting.

Some of the Cons of TMS Therapy

With every medical or mental health treatment, medication, or therapy, there are some cons to consider. While side effects of TMS therapy may not be something every patient will experience, it can be helpful to know that some side effects, although rare, are a possibility. Some of the cons of TMS therapy may include:

  • feelings of anxiety before sessions
  • twitching of the facial muscles during sessions
  • brief and/or mild headaches
  • sensitivity of the scalp/treatment area
  • non-coverage by certain insurance plans/providers
  • commitment (30-minute sessions once or twice a week for up to 12 weeks)
Some of the Pros of TMS Therapy

There are a number of benefits to choosing TMS therapy to treat the symptoms of depressive disorders. Some of the pros of TMS therapy include:

  • no medication and completely non-intrusive
  • is a good alternative treatment for people who haven’t responded well or have adverse reactions to prescription antidepressant medications
  • is approved to be safe and effective by the FDA
  • is a good alternative medication for people who may not respond well to other forms of therapy
  • can be done in an inpatient setting, allowing people to get help without disrupting their daily schedule and responsibilities
  • chance of side effects is minimal and side effects that are experienced are temporary and mild

Getting TMS at Delray Brain Science

If you’re looking for an alternative, safe, and effective method to reducing the severity and frequency of depressive symptoms, TMS may be right for you. Find out more about how TMS works, TMS for depression, and what to expect from Delray Brain Science on our website.