How TMS and ECT are Different - Active Recovery TMS in OR and WA

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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.

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