Take our online depression self-assessment

In healthcare, there are such a tremendous number of acronyms that it can be easy to confuse them. Nearly every condition, test and professional title is abbreviated, it seems. When you are doing research on your mental health journey, you may come across the acronym TMS. But what does it mean?

TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation, which is a type of neurostimulation therapy used to help treatment-resistant depression, anxious depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Treatment resistant refers to patients who have not found relief from medication or therapy..

Read on to learn about the meaning of what TMS stands for, the history of the therapy and reasons why you should try it out.

The meaning of what TMS stands for

We have already defined TMS as transcranial magnetic stimulation, but let’s dive into what those words mean individually, and how they play a role in your therapy. When you look at the meaning of TMS, you can see how the therapeutic treatment works to decrease the symptoms of your treatment-resistant depression, anxious depression or OCD.

The word “transcranial” boils down to a change in your cranium, which refers to your skull. In TMS, the goal is to change the neural networks in the parts of the brain that are involved in mood regulation.

Let’s move on to the meaning of the second and third letters of TMS. We know what magnets are, but when you combine magnets with stimulation, it means that you are using the magnetic fields to provoke activity. In TMS therapy, pulses of magnetic energy are delivered to your brain during the treatment session. The pulses stimulate and promote activity in different parts of the brain. For example, targeting the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex can help alleviate depression symptoms.

The history of TMS

Now that we have broken down what TMS stands for, it is time to learn a bit of the background information. The history of TMS therapy can be traced back to 1985, when Dr. Anthony Barker founded TMS. The English scientist originally intended for TMS to be used as a research tool.

TMS started to be used as a mental health therapeutic treatment in the 2000s. The FDA cleared the first TMS device in 2008, and it is an effective option for patients who have struggled to see improved symptoms from other treatments.

The benefits of TMS

There are many options available for depression treatment, so let’s explore the reasons why you should consider TMS. It is important to explore the benefits of every potential course of action so that you can weigh your options against one another.

There are a variety of benefits that make TMS a good candidate for your depression treatment plan, from effectiveness to convenience. Here are some of the most common reasons why people choose TMS therapy.

Benefits of TMS include:

  • Proven effectiveness — The most important factor to think about when choosing depression treatment is how well it works. TMS therapy has shown significant improvement in our patients. While 79% have at least 25% less depression symptoms, 56% have their symptoms cut in half. Plus, 33% experience remission from symptoms after a positive response to TMS.
  • Works with busy schedules — TMS therapy sessions last 30 minutes from check-in to checkout, so they are easy to squeeze into your packed calendar. You also do not need anesthesia for the treatment, which means that you can drive yourself to and from the appointment and immediately resume your regular responsibilities.
  • Few side effects — Antidepressants can have side effects that affect your routines, such as fatigue and nausea. TMS therapy has a short list of potential side effects that are mild and do not linger for long. If you experience mild headaches, discomfort around the treatment site, or tingly facial muscles, your TMS technician can adjust the stimulation. Taking over-the-counter medications beforehand may be recommended if you’ve experienced mild headaches.

Active Path Mental Health believes in TMS therapy

Medical terms and acronyms can be intimidating. By understanding what TMS means, and breaking down each part of it, you can feel more comfortable during your sessions by knowing how TMS therapy works.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

Recent Posts

5 benefits of talk therapy for depression

5 benefits of talk therapy for depression

When you’re feeling down, talking about your thoughts and emotions with another person can ease some of the weight off your shoulders. Venting to a family member, close friend or significant other...

read more
3 alternative therapies for depression

3 alternative therapies for depression

In the world of mental healthcare, there are many different courses of action for treatment. You can test out different options to help your disorder symptoms. If you have depression, the option...

read more