Frequently Asked Questions About TMS Therapy

When other treatments may not be enough, physicians are prescribing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS Therapy) to treat depression. TMS Therapy is a safe and effective, FDA-cleared medical treatment for individuals diagnosed with depression that can be used in conjunction with medication or as a stand-alone treatment. It offers a non-invasive, non-systemic, and non-sedating in treating depression. TMS Therapy applies magnetic stimulation to specific areas of the brain involved in mood regulation- areas known to be underactive in people suffering with depression.

Common Patient Questions about their TMS Therapy

We have compiled several questions that patients have commonly asked TMS NeuroHealth Centers about their TMS Therapy treatment.  Whether you are a prospective patient or currently receiving TMS Therapy, we hope that you find our responses helpful.  It is important for you to personally consult with your treating physician regarding all questions that you have about your TMS Therapy treatment.

What is a TMS Therapy treatment session like?

While treatment varies by individual, a typical TMS Therapy treatment session is approximately 30-40 minutes. During treatment, patients relax in a treatment chair and remain awake and alert. The TMS Therapy device will deliver magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain known to regulate mood. These pulses will feel like tapping on the scalp. The technician can make adjustments if the taping is uncomfortable. After a treatment session, patients can immediately return to their normal routine, including driving.  Click here to learn more about a Typical Treatment Session.

When will I feel better?

When will I feel better?

The acute phase of TMS Therapy ranges from 20-30 treatments over a 4-6 week period, and since every patient is different, response time varies as well. Some patients begin noticing a reduction in depressive symptoms after week two, while others begin to feel the benefits of therapy at week 4 or 5.

How can I tell if it’s working?

Initially, most patients notice positive changes in their behavior or mood, such as getting a better night’s sleep and feeling more rested in the morning, feeling “good” about themselves, being more social, feeling ready to go back to work, or making more independent decisions. All of these incremental changes indicate improvement, and should likely progress as treatment continues—and beyond.

Do I need to continue TMS Therapy after the acute phase?

While some patients may need maintenance therapy in managing their depression, a majority of patients will not. Variables such as a patient’s available support system, sleep patterns, diet, and exercise can all influence a patient’s recovery from a depressive episode. This is why TMS NeuroHealth Centers works with each patient to help them understand their situation, recognize potential triggers, identify a support system, and find the right combination of diet and exercise to help maintain their improved mood.

I’m feeling more depressed/anxious/having trouble sleeping after my TMS Therapy sessions. Is this normal?

Dips in mood and irregular sleep patterns are common among patients with depression, and while they are also common among new patients undergoing TMS Therapy, it’s important for you to speak with your TMS Therapy provider about any emotional or physical changes you experience throughout treatment.

My last TMS Therapy session is almost here—and I’m nervous about ending treatment. What should I do?

It is not uncommon for patients to report feeling nervous that their treatment is nearing completion, especially when having made improvement in their mood and quality of life. Seek guidance and support from your TMS Therapy provider, treating psychiatrist, therapist and loved ones to develop strategies that will help you navigate your feelings during this transitory period from the near ending of treatment to its conclusion and beyond. With guidance, it is also important to develop strategies that support a healthy quality of life post-treatment, such as regular exercise, healthy nutrition plan, psychotherapy (if indicated), and enriching social activities. Positive and activating lifestyle strategies will be of great benefit to you in maintaining your improvement or remission from depression.

If your current treatment is not enough, contact us at 1-855-333-4867 or visit TMS NeuroHealth Centers at www.tmsneuro.comWe provide a Free Consultation!

If you have questions about TMS Therapy or would like to share your experience, we welcome your input below.  Thank you for joining our conversation.

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  1. Reply
    Anita M

    I have a defibrillator/pacemaker. Will I be able to have treatments?

    • Reply
      Greenbrook TMS

      Dear AM,
      Having a pacemaker is not an absolute contraindication to receiving TMS Therapy but a relative contraindication, meaning “it depends”. You would have to discuss the specifics with your TMS provider as well as your cardiologist. Thank you for contributing to our discussion, and we wish you all the best.

      Team Greenbrook TMS

  2. Reply
    Roxy C

    Must the treatments be done weekly or can they be done biweekly.
    Does it also help anxiety?
    What is the cost per treatment?

    • Reply
      Greenbrook TMS

      Most insurance companies authorizes 36 sessions to be completed 5 days per week for the initial 30 sessions followed by a 6 session taper phase to be completed over the next 3 weeks. Some plans cover at 100% where others have copays, coinsurances, and/or deductibles to meet. Each insurance plan differs and it would depend upon your particular plan. TMS Therapy is FDA indicated for Major Depressive Disorder but there are studies showing efficacy in other disorders including anxiety. Your TMS physician would be the best person to discuss the specifics of your particular case.

  3. Reply
    Marilyn B

    Hello I would like to know how do I find out if my insurance will cover this treatment. I’m on 1 med for anxiety and 1 for depression but they don’t seem to be working as well when I first started. I’m seeing a healthcare professional for this treatment with meds. I don’t want to him to up the dosage. I just want to be free from taking these meds. I’m a 63 years young female who retired in 2009 due to a physical ailment which I think brought about the anxiety and depression. I would really like to try this TMS treatment. I want my like back to be able to do things I have enjoyed doing

    • Reply
      Greenbrook TMS

      Dear Marylin, In order to determine if your insurance provider covers TMS Therapy, you will have to either speak with the company directly to determine if your situation meets their required specific criteria for coverage or you can ask your TMS Therapy provider if they would help you with this process. At Greenbrook TMS NeuoHealth Centers we assist our patients with this process as we know it can be difficult to navigate. It’s wonderful to hear that you are motivated to explore treatment options in doing everything possible to improve your mental health. However, it is extremely important that you communicate how your thoughts, how you are feeling and your interest in exploring TMS Therapy in lieu of increasing your medication dosage with your treating psychiatrist. TMS Therapy can be used in conjunction with medications. We wish you all the best and please do write back if we can be of any further assistance. Best regards, Team Greenbrook TMS

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