FAQs About TMS Therapy

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive method where magnetic fields are employed to activate brain nerve cells, and improve depression symptoms. This technique is primarily utilized when traditional antidepressant drugs are ineffective, stop working, or as a substitute for medication.

How Does TMS Work?

TMS works by delivering magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain.

How Long is TMS Treatment?

A typical initial course of treatment averages about 20 minutes daily, on weekdays, over 6-7 weeks.

Is TMS Therapy covered by my insurance?

Most insurance plans have recognized the effectiveness of treating depression with TMS Therapy and now cover TMS as part of their plans. You will receive more information about whether TMS is covered by your insurance during the intake process.

Is TMS Therapy a good alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of antidepressant medications?

Yes! TMS, unlike other treatments, isn’t distributed via the bloodstream, so it avoids common side effects found in some antidepressant medications, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, and sedation.

Is TMS Therapy similar to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)?

No. Unlike Electroconvulsive Therapy, TMS Therapy employs pulsed magnetic fields for therapeutic purposes. The strength of these fields is comparable to an MRI’s magnetic field.

What are the side effects of TMS Therapy?

Some TMS therapy patients report scalp discomfort during treatment and/or a temporary mild to moderate headache that typically decreases in frequency after the initial week of therapy. The sensation of the magnetic pulse has been described as a “tapping” or “twitching” sensation.

Have a question about TMS? You can email us at tms@danabehavioralhealth.org or click below.

Wondering if you’re eligible for TMS Therapy? Get started today by completing our Self-Assessment Questionnaire: