TMS treatment for SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (or SAD for short) is a form of depression that can take away the good things in life during certain times of the year.

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an innovative approach to treating depression caused by Seasonal Affective Disorder.

It’s a non-invasive therapy that uses magnetic pulses to calm the areas of your brain that control our mood and motivation.

TMS can help you enjoy life all year round

Traditional methods of dealing with the symptoms of depression – from medication to therapy – don’t always work.

Research has shown that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) can reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. With no anaesthetic, no need for hospitalisation and no recovery time, it’s a safe and effective alternative to traditional treatments, with fewer side-effects than medication.


As with many mental health conditions, the cause of SAD isn’t clear. Mental health charity, MIND, suggest there are four potential causes, which include:

  • The impact of light – when light enters your eye, messages shoot to the part of your brain that control mood, motivation, appetite and sleep. If there isn’t enough light (because of the shorter daylight hours), the functions slow down.
  • A disruption with your body clock – Our natural body clocks set themselves using daylight and the dark of nighttime. As a result of the clocks going back, your sleep patterns might change, and your body clock could slow. This results in exhaustion and, ultimately, depression.
  • Levels of melatonin – In the dark, the brain produces melatonin, which is a hormone that helps your body prepare for sleep. SAD sufferers may produce higher levels of the hormone, thus making them sleepier – almost like when an animal hibernates!
  • The weather – We all have preference when it comes to the weather and temperature; some of us like the heat and sunshine of the summer, whereas others prefer the crisp, chilly mornings of Autumn. If you feel particularly uncomfortable in extreme weather, you could be more susceptible to developing depression.
SAD seasonal affective disorder


Symptoms of SAD tend to be similar to those of clinical depression and can include:

  • Lacking motivation
  • Feeling tired and lacking energy
  • Losing confidence and self esteem
  • Being unable to find happiness in things that you usually enjoy
  • Experiencing problems sleeping
  • Losing your appetite or overeating
  • Lacking concentration
  • Losing your sex drive
  • Having suicidal thoughts

How does TMS treatment work for SAD?

The treatment works by stimulating the prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain that controls mood, motivation and social skills. Instead of numbing emotions, as medication can do, TMS treatment gets to the root of the problem by resetting brain patterns and pathways using targeted magnetic pulses.

A course of TMS for SAD usually involves 30 sessions of treatment which take place over a period of three to six weeks. Each treatment lasts 30 minutes, and some patients are able to have more than one session a day.

Is TMS Treatment Right For You?

Try our quick 2 minute questionnaire to see whether TMS treatment could help.

What our Patients Say

Arriving at work and leaving for home in the dark made my existing depression so much worse. Now that I’ve been treated, I don’t really notice the clocks going back because my mood tends to remain stable.


Summer has always been particularly difficult for me. I couldn’t stand feeling hot and bothered and it stopped me going out. Although I still prefer to stay out of the sun, I no longer feel isolated and down as a result.

Ms. R

I’ve tried light therapies, talking therapies and even sunbeds to try to feel happier in winter but none have worked. My top-up TMS sessions each October help me to face the winter without depression weighing me down.