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Who is a Candidate for TMS Therapy?

Thinking You Might be a Candidate for TMS? Baltimore Team Psych Associates of Maryland Helps You Decide

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects more than 6 million Americans per year. The disorder can make it difficult for individuals to carry out everyday tasks and responsibilities, often leading depression sufferers to put their lives on hold before getting better. At Psych Associates of Maryland — the leader in TMS Baltimore — we know how difficult a battle with depression can be, which is why we’re here to talk about who may be a candidate for TMS therapy. We’ll start with a quick breakdown about the treatment, then explain potential identifiers for good and bad candidates. Check it out!

What is TMS?

TMS Baltimore is the Depression Treatment Recommended by Many Professionals

TMS therapy Maryland

A major problem with depression treatment, according to the leaders of TMS Baltimore, is that it is far from one size fits all. Depression sufferers often find themselves trying out medication after medication of various doses before finally finding the medication that works for them. This long, stressful process of finding the right medication often feels like a road with no end, especially given the fact that medication upkeep is often necessary for months to years.

TMS, which stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a depression treatment frequently recommended by healthcare providers like a therapist with technological origins dating back to 1985. TMS uses a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, which improves symptoms of depression. Entirely non-invasive, TMS Therapy is a widely accepted treatment for depression that continues to improve over time.

TMS is an increasingly popular treatment for depression because it takes the guesswork out of finding the right medication and dosage for traditional medication. Additionally, TMS is virtually free of side effects like weight gain, low libido, memory loss, and more that coincide with medication.

Who is a Good Candidate for TMS Therapy?

TMS Candidates

Depressed Adults 18 Years or Older

TMS Therapy is FDA-approved to treat depression in adults ages 18 and older. While there is evidence that TMS could benefit teens and children with depression, the clinical trials have not yet been completed. Some concerns exist in the electromagnetic pulses impacting brain development in young people, but this has yet to be found valid or scientifically backed.

Adults with Bad Side Effects from Anti-Depressants

Some people experience little to no side effects when starting a new anti-depressant. However, this isn’t always the case and some side effects can feel severe or worsen the condition, including:

  • nausea
  • increased appetite and weight gain
  • low libido
  • fatigue and drowsiness
  • insomnia
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • agitation
  • irritability
  • Anxiety

Many people choose TMS because it leads to little to no side effects which are known to decrease over time. This way, many people are able to feel like themselves through treatment as beyond.

Adults with Medication-resistant Depression

Only about half of patients respond and improve due to the first anti-depressant they are prescribed. About 20-40% of patients never see improvement of their depression symptoms despite trying a number of medications and treatments. These people may be diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. People with this type of depression are often prime candidates for TMS therapy, with many of the patients reaching complete remission of symptoms after treatment.

Women who are Pregnant

Until TMS became approved for the treatment of depression, many women had to stop taking anti-depressants while pregnant because the medication could hurt the baby. This is because anti-depressants are systemic — or go into your bloodstream. TMS, however, directly targets the brain and involves now systemic medications. This helps cape expecting mothers and their babies safe while tackling depression head-on (pun not intended).

People who are NOT Candidate for TMS Therapy

TMS Baltimore isn’t for everyone with depression

TMS Therapy

While TMS therapy is a viable treatment for many people, there are a number of people who are not viable candidates for TMS. For instance, people with metal implants of any type are not candidates for TMS because TMS involves the use of electromagnetic waves. These devices include:

  • pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and vagus nerve stimulators (VNS).
  • Aneurysm clips or coils
  • Stents in the neck or brain
  • Implanted stimulator
  • Cardiac pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
  • Electrodes to monitor brain activity
  • Ferromagnetic implants in your eyes or ears
  • Shrapnel or bullet fragments in or near the head
  • Facial tattoos with metallic or magnetic-sensitive ink

Additionally, people with a history of seizures should not get TMS therapy. The electromagnetic waves increase the risk of having a seizure, and while this risk is negligible in people without a history of seizure, it’s important for people with a seizure disorder or epilepsy to avoid TMS.


Think you might be a good candidate for TMS Baltimore? Get in touch with the team at Psych Associates of Maryland today or take our fast and free TMS assessment.


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