Everything You Need to Know About TMS Treatment for Depression

Depression is at an all-time high. More and more people are being diagnosed and seeking effective treatment options. While many people find that antidepressants help them manage their depression, there are people with major depressive disorders who aren’t helped by traditional depression treatment methods. Because of this, doctors and patients are beginning to look at TMS as an effective option for treating depression. 


What is TMS?

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a relatively new, non-invasive treatment method for depression. It stimulates the brain using a magnetic pulse. The FDA approved TMS treatment in 2008 and it’s been growing in popularity ever since. The spike in popularity is mostly because TMS is a safe treatment for treatment-resistant depression. It’s appealing because it’s a minimally invasive procedure and doesn’t require any anaesthesia or hospital stays – unlike treatments like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). 


How Does it Work?

For treatment, a TMS device will use magnetic fields to create electrical currents targeted to stimulate specific areas of your brain. This stimulation causes neurons in the brain to begin firing. The increased brain activity can alleviate the symptoms of depression. Some research is also showing that TMS may be useful in pain management and in treating:

  • Strokes

  • Parkinson’s

  • Migraines

  • Auditory Hallucinations


What Does Treatment Involve?

TMS is a completely non-invasive form of treatment for major depression. It allows you to continue living as normal during treatment. 

During your first treatment you’ll have your motor threshold measured. This is the minimum amount of stimulation you need for your thumb to twitch. Because everyone’s brain and body are different, the amount of stimulation you require will be different. Once your therapist knows this, they’re able to personalize your treatment for you, so you get the exact amount of energy you need to stimulate your brain.

The treatment times for different patients vary, but treatments typically last less than one hour. Your first appointment for TMS will likely be slightly longer and will need to be followed up by treatments for as many as 5 days a week. Most patients need at least several treatments before feeling the full effects. For example, you may have as many as 20-30 treatments in order to help your depression. All of this will be determined by your TMS therapist in an initial consultation, and as your treatments progress. 

Many people will feel the positive effects of TMS for months or even a full year following treatment. However, like most depression treatments, you’ll likely need to continue TMS treatments to experience continued success.


Is TMS an Effective Treatment for Depression?

TMS therapy is an effective method for treating depression, especially for people who have treatment-resistant depression. According to Harvard Health Publishing:

“Approximately 50% to 60% of people with depression who have failed to receive benefit from medications experience a clinically meaningful response with TMS.” 

 If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, be sure to visit the team at Envision Mind Care. We’re experts in psychology in Edmonton. We have the TMS machines and expert therapists to create a well-rounded treatment plan for depression for your unique needs. Call now to book your appointment