How Much Does TMS Therapy Cost?
By: Robert Porter
Updated November 26, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
Depression can have a huge impact on your life. If you're struggling with depression, it may be difficult to get through the day and fulfill your responsibilities. If things are really bad, you might even have problems waking up and getting out of bed. Some people experience depression that is so severe that standard treatments are not effective. In cases like this, TMS therapy can be a good option.
There are many different types of treatments that are available for patients. Many people who suffer from depression wind up taking anti-depressant medication. Therapy is also an important part of treating all types of depression. Some people have depression that is so severe that standard treatments have not been effective at providing them with relief. In this situation, it is possible to pursue something that is known as TMS therapy.
What Is TMS Therapy?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, also known as TMS therapy, is a procedure that is used to treat depression when nothing else works. It's a non-invasive procedure that makes use of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the human brain. Pulses of magnetic stimulation have been found to improve the symptoms of depression. It's not a treatment needed by everyone who suffers from depression, but it can help when other treatments have not been effective.
If you're dealing with severe depression and have not been able to find relief using conventional treatments, this option could work for you. It can be very disheartening to feel like your depression will never end but know that you're not alone. Depression impacts many people. 7.1 percent of the US population is impacted by a major depressive disorder, so you shouldn't hesitate to reach out for help if you're struggling. Therapy and antidepressants will work for many people, but they're not the right solution for everyone.
TMS Therapy Success Rate
The TMS therapy success rate is high. Patients who have undergone TMS treatments have been able to enjoy a success rate of 58%. Also, 37% of all patients have experienced a complete cessation of their depressive symptoms. It has proven to be an effective option for most patients who have not been able to find relief through traditional means.
Some people who undergo TMS therapy experience immediate relief from their depressive symptoms. Others will feel relief in the coming weeks after having the treatment. It should be noted that patients usually undergo a series of these TMS treatments. Patients will go to their doctor to receive this therapy for a predetermined period. Some treatments may involve receiving TMS therapy multiple days per week for several weeks in a row.
The treatments themselves are generally very easy to get through. Patients will be sitting in a comfortable chair and will be able to wear earplugs while the treatment is going on. The procedure should take around forty minutes to complete. You will be awake and alert the entire time, and you should feel only minor scalp discomfort.
Getting Ready for TMS Therapy
To prepare for TMS therapy, you will need to undergo a physical examination and a psychological evaluation. Not everyone is well-suited for these treatments, so your doctor will want to make sure it's a safe and effective option for you.
People who have certain types of medical implants will not be able to participate in this treatment. Some metal implants or devices can cause problems when they interact with magnetic fields. If you have stents, implanted stimulators, a pacemaker, a medication pump, cochlear implants, or even bullet fragments in your body, you may not be eligible for this treatment. It's important to speak to your doctor about these items before moving forward, so you do not have any complications.
In addition, this procedure is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions. Those who have a history of seizures and people who suffer from bipolar disorder should not consider TMS therapy as an option to treat their depression. It's also not recommended for pregnant women. Finally, tell your doctor if you're taking any prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, supplements, or vitamins. They will need to meticulously ensure that it's safe for you to proceed based on anything you may be ingesting regularly.
How Much Is TMS Therapy?
For some people, TMS therapy may be cost-prohibitive. Each TMS therapy session usually costs between $400.00 and $500.00. Given that most people need a series of TMS therapy sessions to see proper results, the total costs of this therapy could be around $15,000.00. As such it's a viable option for some, but it's out of reach for others.
Because TMS therapy has been proven to be effective, some insurance companies will cover the treatments, but some will not. Hopefully, coverage options will increase as it becomes more popular in the future.
Are There Any Risks to This Type of Therapy?
This type of therapy is considered to be very safe. It is noninvasive, and there is little discomfort during the treatment process. Patients can also remain awake during the entire forty-minute session.
However, there may be some side effects to consider. Some patients experience headaches due to the magnetic pulses. Others have reported feeling lightheaded after receiving these treatments. Spasms, muscle twitches, and tingling sensations are also possible side effects.
It should also be noted that this may not be a good treatment for people who have bipolar disorder. One of the rare side effects of TMS therapy is that it can induce periods of mania in people who are bipolar. Other unusual side effects include seizures and possible hearing loss. These side effects are incredibly rare, and hearing loss is only an issue when patients receive inadequate hearing protection during the treatment.
Should I Consider Seeking Other Therapies?
Before you consider TMS therapy, you should consider other therapies, including talk therapy and medication. In addition to being very expensive, TMS therapy is only used to treat severe cases of depression, so it will only be used if other treatments have failed. It is a safe therapy, but it is not for everyone.
This could change over time as technology evolves and we understand how this therapy works in more detail. For now, this is a somewhat niche therapy that has the potential to help many people. It may not be the most common therapy for depression, but it's an important solution for those who have not been able to find relief with traditional methods.
It's also possible to try to improve your depression by exercising more frequently. Exercise releases positive endorphins in the body, and it can act as a natural antidepressant. (Of course, if you're looking into TMS therapy, solutions like this have likely not been effective for you.)
ECT treatment, also known as electroconvulsive therapy, is another option for those who are suffering from severe forms of depression. It allows for molecular changes that encourage better communication between neurons in a specific region of the brain. Similar to TMS therapy, it's also another option that people turn to when other treatment methods have not been successful.
Try Online Therapy
If you need help finding relief for your depression symptoms, consider online therapy. Depression is a difficult burden to bear, and you should not have to face it alone. If you participate in online therapy, you will never have to deal with a bad day all by yourself. A dedicated online therapist can be there for you whenever you need support. This approach has helped many people to get through bouts of depression, and it might be the cost-effective solution that you're looking for.
Remember that you can sign up for online therapy today, and you can reach out at any time. The experts at BetterHelp will be happy to assist you with your needs, so you can get your depression symptoms under control. Please take the time to look at some of the BetterHelp counselor reviews below to see how others have been able to get help for depression.
"Tamera is straightforward and supportive. She's not afraid of pointing out what to work on and giving you the right tools immediately. It is highly personalized just for your unique symptoms and situation! Tamera helped me manage my depression and anxiety and I became more empowered to have more control in my life. I feel a lot happier."
"Lisa is amazing! I am so lucky to have matched with her on my first time using the app. She is super available and quick to respond. Her style feels like you're talking to a friend more than being in super professional typesetting which can be overwhelming for someone who already has depression/anxiety / etc. I would and have recommended her to anyone and everyone."
TMS therapy isn't a practical option for everyone, but it's a good solution for those who are still struggling with depression after receiving traditional treatments. The cost is high, but the results have been positive for people with the most severe forms of depression. With the right tools, you can overcome your depression, too. Take the first step today.
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