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With so many different mental health disorders, it’s not always easy to determine which treatment options will work the best for you. Your mental health provider will recommend the treatments that will likely be the most effective for your specific disorder. They will also consider the severity of your symptoms.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is an innovative treatment option used worldwide. It can help individuals struggling to move along their mental health journey. But it’s important to note which mental health disorders TMS is most often used to treat, such as depression and OCD.

Read on to learn about what TMS is and how it can help alleviate the symptoms of different mental health disorders.

The basics of TMS

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an alternative treatment option for people who have struggled to see positive results from medication and therapy. It’s a noninvasive treatment that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the areas of your brain that control your mood. The goal is to stimulate brain cell activity in those areas to improve your mood. The stimulation can alleviate the symptoms of your mental health disorder that interfere with your quality of life.

TMS has been cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration and doesn’t require a hospital stay. Plus, it doesn’t involve anesthesia. That way you’re able to drive yourself to and from the sessions without assistance. You can easily resume your daily activities without issue. Patients also don’t have to worry about taking time off work or school to recover.

TMS and depression

Major depressive disorder, or depression, is the leading cause of disability around the world for people between the ages of 15 and 44. But that doesn’t mean antidepressants work for everyone. Studies show that up to 46% of people who have been diagnosed with depression don’t fully respond to antidepressants. That’s why transcranial magnetic stimulation is a favorable option.

TMS is used as a treatment option for people with severe depression or depression that doesn’t respond to at least two trials of antidepressant medication.TMS can help alleviate the symptoms of depression that can be overwhelming. It can ease all-encompassing feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

Depression is the most common mental health disorder treated with TMS. In fact, 79% of our patients experienced a greater than 25% decrease in their depression symptoms. Plus, 56% reported a 50% decrease. It has even been known to completely eliminate symptoms. Our data shows that 33% achieved remission after transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment.

TMS and anxious depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation can help more than just common depression symptoms. TMS has been used on patients who live with anxious depression. This is a subset of major depressive disorder that affects millions of people in the U.S.

When people with depression develop anxiety symptoms, it’s called anxious depression. It can cause symptoms that are shared between depression and anxiety disorders. This can include feelings of restlessness, irritability, or difficulty with concentration.

It’s important to note that anxious depression isn’t the same as people experiencing depression as a symptom of an anxiety disorder. Panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder can both cause negative emotions. Anxious depression often accompanies severe depression symptoms and high suicidality. It also has reduced treatment response rates.


OCD can cause disruptive thoughts and behaviors. That’s why effective treatment is important. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder who don’t show progress with medication and therapy treatment may benefit from transcranial magnetic stimulation.

To get the best response possible from TMS, your provider will target brain circuits that contribute to your OCD. They will compile a list of your triggers to create a “provocation list.” The list aims to target specific circuits with the magnetic pulses to decrease your OCD symptoms.

OCD symptoms are measured by their Y-BOCS scores. More than 45% of OCD patients who undergo transcranial magnetic stimulation experience improvement in their scores.

Active Path Mental Health can provide TMS for many mental health disorders

Mental health disorder symptoms affect everyone differently. Transcranial magnetic stimulation can benefit a wide range of people on their mental health journey; from depression and anxious depression to treatment-resistant OCD, transcranial magnetic stimulation can help alleviate your symptoms that impact every part of your life.

Active Path Mental Health has locations in Oregon and Washington. We can help you learn how to take control of your mental health disorder with transcranial magnetic stimulation.
To learn about transcranial magnetic stimulation for mental health disorders, contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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