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Is TMS Treatment for Depression?

For many people, medications like antidepressants and therapy are effective treatments for depression. However, there are some individuals who do not see improvement in their symptoms from these traditional approaches, or who experience intolerable side effects from medication. One of the most effective alternative treatments for depression that doesn’t respond to medication is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy.

TMS therapy is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It’s a low-risk intervention that boasts success rates of 50–60% in reducing or eliminating symptoms of depression.1 At Columbia Associates, we offer TMS treatment for depression that can help you or a loved one find relief.

Ready to learn more about our TMS therapy services? Call 703.682.8208 today.

Is TMS Treatment Only for Depression?

While TMS therapy has been primarily studied and approved for the treatment of depression, it has also shown promising results in treating other mental health disorders such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even chronic pain. The reason it can be effective for these conditions is that TMS directly targets the areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation and emotional processing.

Myths and Misconceptions About TMS

Despite its effectiveness, there are still some myths and misconceptions surrounding TMS therapy. One common misconception is that it’s the same as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as shock therapy. While ECT involves sending an electrical current through the brain to induce seizures, TMS uses magnetic fields that are much weaker and do not cause seizures.

Another myth is that TMS is only for severe cases of depression. In reality, TMS can be used for any level of depression, from mild to severe. It can also be used as a maintenance treatment to prevent future episodes of depression. Insurance coverage for TMS often requires that individuals do not see improvement from medication trials. A mental health professional can work with individuals to understand if it is a good fit.

What to Expect from TMS Therapy

The process of TMS treatment for depression is simple and painless. Clients remain awake and alert during the procedure, which typically lasts between 20-30 minutes. They sit in a comfortable chair while a small electromagnetic coil is placed on their head, targeting specific areas of the brain.

Unlike approaches like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), TMS does not require clients to talk about their thoughts or feelings. While it’s often paired with talk therapy, TMS therapy itself is purely physical and does not involve any mental or emotional processing.

The Benefits of TMS Therapy

Are you considering TMS therapy as a potential treatment option for treatment-resistant depression or other mental health conditions? Here are some of the benefits you can expect from this innovative approach:

  • Non-invasive – TMS does not require any anesthesia, incisions, or medication to be effective. This means minimal risks and side effects.
  • No downtime – Unlike other treatments that may require recovery time, clients can resume their daily activities immediately after TMS therapy.
  • Long-term relief – TMS has been shown to provide long-lasting results even after the treatment is completed, making it a cost-effective option.

There’s help available even for depression that hasn’t responded well to other forms of treatment. Get in touch with Columbia Associates today to discover if TMS therapy is right for you.

Contact Columbia Associates Today

Depression feels hopeless, but there’s hope. Discover if TMS therapy is right for you or your loved one by reaching out to Columbia Associates today.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.


1. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): Hope for stubborn depression – Harvard Health