Why TMS Therapy Is Worth Trying for Stubborn Depression

Some patients are diagnosed with depression, take an antidepressant for a few weeks, and feel much better. For others, treatment and management are much more of a struggle. They may not respond to antidepressants, and therapy may make them feel better only temporarily. If you fall into this second category of patients—patients with stubborn depression—you may initially feel opposed to trying yet another treatment. But if your doctor recommends that you give TMS therapy a try, here's a look at why you ought to consider it. 

1. TMS therapy is entirely different.

Sure, you've tried several other depression treatments and they have all failed. But all of those treatments have worked in similar ways. Although different antidepressants work slightly differently, they all work by attempting to alter your brain chemistry and your levels of neurotransmitters. TMS therapy works in an entirely different way. It stimulates your brain in an electromagnetic way, activating parts of the brain that researchers know are involved with depression. The fact that you have not responded to antidepressants does not mean you won't respond well to TMS. In fact, patients who don't respond to antidepressants maybe even more likely to respond to TMS.

2. TMS therapy isn't painful or dangerous.

In other words, you really have nothing to lose by trying it. If it does not work, you'll only have wasted an hour of your day. TMS therapy does not require anesthesia, and it does not hurt. Your doctor will put an electromagnetic coil over your head, and you'll feel a knocking or tapping sensation as the coil works. Some people find this sensation annoying, but most don't mind it at all. After your session, you may have a mind headache, but nothing that a dose of ibuprofen and a glass of water can't take care of. 

3. TMS therapy works almost instantly.

There won't be weeks spend wondering whether the treatment is going to work or not. You'll know within a day. Some patients know instantly. When TMS works, it gives almost instant relief from depression. Patients often leave their session saying that they feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off their shoulders. 

If your depression is stubborn and has not responded to treatment, do not let that deter you from trying TMS therapy. TMS works differently, it does not hurt, and when it does work for patients, it works almost instantly.