How TMS Therapy Helps in Depression

Keegan Warrington
June 6, 2022

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains words and images that can be potentially triggering.

Feelings of sadness are common for a lot of people. Often, these feelings usually pass with time; however, depression goes beyond that. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistent sadness, worthlessness, general loss of interest in life, and in severe cases, thoughts of suicide. Its symptoms can range from mild to severe, which can hinder a person from accomplishing simple day-to-day tasks.

Depression, like many illnesses, can be addressed by modern medicine and other evidence-based treatments. For today’s article, we’ll provide information on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS and how TMS for depression works.

Do I Have Depression?

Anyone can feel sad or depressed at times since upsetting events are always a part of life. However, depression and other mood disorders are more intense and harder to manage than the normal feelings of sorrow, loneliness, or dejection.

Tms Therapy Long Beach

How do you know if what you are experiencing is within what is considered a healthy range of emotions? Below are the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that can signify that you may have depression.

A person with depression may feel:

  • Varying degrees of sadness
  • Irritable
  • frustrated
  • disappointed
  • overwhelmed
  • guilty
  • lacking in confidence
  • indecisive
  • Inability to concentrate

A person with depression may think that:

  • They are a burden/failure.
  • Their depression is their fault.
  • They are worthless.
  • Things will never be better for them.
  • They don’t deserve good things.
  • Nothing good will ever happen in their lives.
  • Life is not worth living anymore.
  • The world would be better without them.

A person with depression may exhibit the following behaviors:

  • suddenly stop doing the things they love or enjoy
  • withdraw from close family and friends
  • establish or join a new circle of people
  • have problems with responsibilities at home, work, or school
  • consume alcohol and drugs
  • often have conflicts with the law

A person with depression may experience these physical symptoms:

  • Fatigue or feeling tired all the time
  • Always feeling under the weather or unwell
  • Frequent body aches (head, stomach, muscle, etc)
  • Problem with sleeping or staying awake
  • loss or change of appetite
  • significant weight loss or gain

If you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, it is important to get in touch with a certified treatment center to get an assessment. Evaluations from certified mental health professionals are vital in getting the right rehabilitation program for your or a loved one’s recovery.

Available Treatments for Depression

According to a fact sheet released by the National Network of Depression Centers or NNDC, depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15 to 44. Its symptoms can be long-lasting or recurrent, and they can dramatically impact a person’s ability to function and live a rewarding life.

Through scientific research and continuously developing technology, various treatments have been available to address depression and other mood disorders.

Psychological Therapy

Psychological therapy or talk therapy provides a space for people to talk about their thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors with a trained professional to better cope with the symptoms of their mental health problems. Some of the common therapies are:

  • Behavioral Therapy: These are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT),  dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), etc. These therapies aim to modify behavior, emotions, and attitudes related to depression and other mental health disorders.
  • Group Therapy: Often led by a trained professional, this therapy offers an opportunity for patients to relate to others who are struggling with the same issues and provides the chance for patients to help one another and build nurturing relationships.
  • Support Groups. This method sees the community as a whole as part of the recovery process. Some of these are mutual help groups (12-step programs), recovery high schools, and peer recovery support.


Patients with a more serious case often need medications to regulate hormonal and emotional imbalances. Some of these are mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications. An important note to keep in mind: although medications are helpful, they are not magic pills that will just instantly make our depression and other mental health problems disappear. They should be taken with care and monitored by trained health workers, as well as integrated well in the treatment strategy for your recovery process.

TMS For Depression

While the available treatments for depression have been proved to be effective, they do not always work for everyone. For some cases, these first-line approaches leave some symptoms, and around two-thirds of people won’t be able to get adequate relief from their first antidepressant. Moreover, it has been found that for these patients, each subsequent medication they tried is less likely to be effective than the one prior. Often, this gap is filled by alternative treatments, one of which is Transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS.

5 Ways TMS Can Help Your Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a form of brain stimulation that uses painless magnetic pulses to help activate the natural function of the brain’s neurotransmitters. In this section, we’ll talk about the five ways in which TMS doctors can help in creating a treatment plan to address depression.

Safe And Non-invasive Treatment

TMS is a safe treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration back in 2008. It is a non-invasive treatment. This means that the procedure is done completely outside of the body. TMS does not require anesthesia, allowing patients to stay awake during the procedure. It is also non-systemic, which means it does not go through your whole body as other treatments do.

Minimal To No Side-effects

Electroconvulsive therapy, ECT, or shock therapy is one of the alternatives for treatment-resistant depression. However, ECT can be a challenge because of its side effects on memory and cognition. TMS for depression, on the other hand, is generally well-tolerated and associated with little to no side effects.

The most common side-effect is mild headaches, and they generally diminish over the course of the procedure. Over-the-counter medicines can be used to treat these minor headaches.

Treatment Option For Treatment-Resistant Depression

As mentioned, TMS offers a new way to safely address treatment-resistant depression. More than 50% of patients who haven’t found relief through first-line approaches or traditional treatments saw an improvement in their symptoms.

Long-lasting Results

TMS therapy stimulates the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the area in our brain that is typically underactive with depression. Around a third of the people with positive results from TMS will experience full remission. This means around 30% of patients undergoing TMS will have their symptoms go away completely, and most TMS patients feel better for many months after their treatment stops, with the average length of the response being a little more than a year.

May Lessen Or Eliminate The Need For Medication

Due to its effectiveness and long-lasting results, TMS for depression may be able to lessen or even eliminate the need for medications completely. In the long run, this can also ease the economic burden as this lessens costs.

Outpatient Treatment For Other Disorders

Because TMS is a non-invasive and non-systemic treatment, it can be integrated in outpatient treatment programs. It has been known that this procedure can also be used for other health concerns like administering TMS for anxiety and insomnia. Currently, TMS is being studied extensively across disorders like bipolar disorder, PTSD, smoking cessation, etc., in hopes of creating new treatments for neurological disorders, physical rehabilitation, and pain management, to name a few.

Covered By Most Insurance

TMS therapy is often covered by most insurance providers. A TMS Therapist will be able to help you or a loved one get the right TMS plan.

TMS Therapy In Long Beach

Tms Near Me

Mental health disorders like depression can be challenging. It can be overwhelming to find the right treatment because recovery hinges on getting the right program for your needs.

If you are searching for ‘TMS Near Me’ and looking for the right treatment center for depression, we at Roots TMS are here to help. Roots TMS has a dedicated team to help you achieve a long-lasting recovery. We are one of the most invigorating adult recovery communities in California, offering a full continuum of care through specialized rehabilitation programs to help you or your loved one take back your life and live it to the fullest.

Recovery is possible. Visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807, United States, or you can call us at 562-203-0567.

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Keegan Warrington