Big Questions Patients Have Before Their First TMS Session

Posted on: 18 May 2023

TMS, also known as transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial magnetic therapy, has become more common for the treatment of depression and other mental health ailments. It's often recommended for patients who have not gotten good results from more conventional depression treatments such as SSRIs and other medications. If your doctor has recommended TMS for you, then they likely feel it is a promising treatment for the mental health symptoms you've been experiencing. But even if you have a lot of confidence in your doctor's opinions and recommendations, you may have some of the following questions prior to TMS.

Will you be sedated? 

No. You will not be sedated or anesthetized during TMS therapy. There is simply no need for it. This treatment is not at all unpleasant to endure. You won't feel any pain or discomfort as the magnetic field is generated around your head. Some people notice a mild headache, but even that does not tend to form until the treatment is over or coming to an end. Since there is no sedation required, you can drive yourself to and from your TMS appointments.

Do you really need to have a session every day?

Most TMS treatment plants do call for the patient to have repeated treatments, day after day, for a period of several weeks. This can seem like a lot, but daily treatment really is the best way to get good, complete results from TMS. If you have to skip a day or two due to emergencies or other very important obligations, that is usually okay. But do your best to make it to every session, if possible.

How does the equipment even work?

If you've seen photos or videos of people undergoing TMS, it may look a little strange. People sit there with a coil on their heads, and it makes them feel better. But the way TMS works is actually quite simple. The coil device placed on your head generates a magnetic field. That magnetic field is thought to affect the impulses that are generated by the nerves in your brain. Over time, this allows new synapses to grow and your levels of neurotransmitters to balance out in ways that alleviate depression and other mental health symptoms.

TMS therapy is becoming popular for a good reason; it works. If you have any other questions about the process of transcranial magnetic therapy, ask a local specialist today.