TMS Therapy: Sometimes Side Effects Aren’t Bad!

Have you ever seen a commercial advertising a new medication on TV? You know the one where couples are laughing on the beach as the narrator reads the long list of potential side effects (including death)?

The word ‘side effect’ has a negative connotation for many people. It reminds us of all the things that could go wrong or not work as intended. The more commercials we watch or internet stories we read with seemingly never-ending lists of adverse possibilities, the more the term ‘side effect‘ gets lost in translation.

Let’s be clear: understanding the potential side effects of a drug or treatment is essential and should never be dismissed or overlooked.

However, it’s important to remember that sometimes side effects can actually be helpful. In the case of TMS Therapy vs. antidepressants, the chart below points out the reduced amount of reported side effects when it comes to TMS Therapy.

Side Effects of Antidepressants vs. TMS Therapy


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As you can see, TMS therapy is without many of the side effects typically experienced with antidepressants, such as weight gain, stomach issues, dry mouth, and sexual dysfunction. For some, TMS Therapy may cause headache or nausea, but you should be able to resume your daily activities right after treatment.

While antidepressants work for many people, they don’t work for everyone and can have significant side effects that impact your quality of life, including insomnia. Now, as new studies about TMS Therapy continue to emerge, there’s one positive side effect we need to add to the list of TMS benefits…improved sleep!

TMS Therapy & Sleep Disorders

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It is used to treat various mental health conditions — not only depression but insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep disorders associated with depression.

Some sleep disorders and neurological diseases can cause sleep pattern alterations. This can also lead to changes in how responsive your brain is. This is why it is not surprising that rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) is an effective treatment for sleep disorders and sleep disorders caused by neurological diseases.

Furthermore, neuropsychiatric disorders like depression and epilepsy are often associated with sleep problems. But a review article from SciMedCentral notes that after rTMS treatment, these conditions usually improve, and the patient’s sleep pattern improves.

​A recent 2022 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine looked at the effect of rTMS on sleep in a group of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). The study found that rTMS improved patients’ depressive symptoms, mood, and sleep quality!

Experience the Positive Effects of TMS at Pacific Mind Health

If you’re struggling with depression and haven’t been able to find relief with medication and therapy, TMS may be a good option. It’s non-invasive, has few (adverse) side effects, and could help you get your life back on track.

If you’re worried about the potential side effects of TMS, remember that sometimes side effects can be positive! And if you have any questions about TMS, we’re here to answer them and provide support every step of the way. Begin with our complimentary TMS info session to learn more about the treatment and your insurance coverage options.