ECT and TMS are both considered somatic therapies, but there are key differences.
- TMS therapy uses magnets instead of electric shock and is much more easily tolerated.
- ECT uses electric shocks to trigger seizures whereas our providers screen to reduce any risk of seizures (1 in 30,000).
- TMS treatment does not require the use of anesthesia, unlike ECT, which requires the use of anesthesia and muscle relaxers.
- TMS treatment sessions are brief, and patients can return to normal everyday activities immediately; ECT treatment can sometimes involve inpatient hospital stays.
- ECT side effects can be so serious as to rule it out as a therapeutic possibility for many patients; side effects for TMS, on the contrary, are few, mild and short-lived.
- TMS therapy also works to treat depression without medications, whereas patients who undergo ECT will sometimes need to take depression medication, as well.
- TMS has a longer durability of benefit, meaning that the positive effects of TMS treatment remain over time.