TMS treatment for depression - The Evidence

Can depression be treated with transcranial magnetic stimulation?

In short, yes. TMS treatment for depression not only improves patients’ symptoms but the majority recover completely.

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What to expect

We have found that if a patient is going to respond to TMS, they will do so within the first 15 sessions. Once it’s been established that your symptoms are reducing, we recommend a further 15 sessions to maximise the outcome.

As with any treatment, the outcome cannot be guaranteed, however we hope that the evidence above and a conversation with one of our patient advisors will help you make the right decision for you.

What other treatments are available for depression?

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the UK and Ireland. With more people diagnosed with clinical depression than ever before, it’s vital that everyone knows what treatments are out there. When Smart TMS researched attitudes of depression patients towards prescription medication, we found that 14% of people avoided getting treatment at all because they didn’t want to take antidepressants. A further 14% said that they had tried antidepressants but stopped due to the side effects. These side effects can include:

  • Feeling agitated, anxious or shaky;
  • Feeling nauseous or being sick;
  • Diarrhoea/constipation;
  • Loss of appetite/overeating;
  • Dizziness;
  • Insomnia/exhaustion;
  • Headaches;
  • Sexual dysfunction

NHS Choices recommend talking therapy in the first instance. This might include cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling. If your depression is moderate-severe, you are likely to be offered antidepressants. There are 30 different antidepressants in the UK, and it’s recommended by NHS Choices that you try the medication alongside talking therapy, especially if you depression is severe.

Research into treatment for depression reveals that 60-70% of patients improve after intensive psychological treatment as well as several courses of different medications. Unfortunately, this leaves 30-40% of patients suffering from chronic depression that is treatment resistant.

What our Patients Say

I’m still not taking any medication – This is the longest I have been off of anti-depressants in almost 10 years and I am loving not having to cope with the side effects.


For the first time in 24 years, I now feel significantly better; I’ve even started playing guitar and spending time outdoors again. My brain feels alive and the sadness I’ve felt for so long has been replaced by a smile


At the time I received treatment I was my lowest. TMS was a life changer for me. I am certain it saved my life.