How Long Is TMS Therapy for Depression?

How Long Is TMS Therapy for Depression? from NYC Psychiatric Associates in New York, NYTranscranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an effective treatment for depression, and it is often recommended when therapy and medication are insufficient to treat a patient’s symptoms. The treatment involves getting multiple treatments over the course of about six weeks. The average patient gets about five treatments per week during this period, with each session lasting about an hour.

TMS is performed by placing an electromagnetic coil on the patient’s forehead. The coil sends magnetic waves into the patient’s prefrontal cortex, stimulating nerve cells and increasing brain activity.

Treating depression with TMS

TMS therapy is performed as an outpatient procedure, and patients are free to return to their normal activities afterward. It is a non-invasive procedure that does not cause noticeable pain, so anesthetics are not used.

The procedure involves using magnetic waves to increase brain activity in areas with low activity. According to Healthline, low brain activity in the prefrontal cortex is linked to depression. TMS can also be used to address other mental health disorders, like Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.

The patient does not feel the magnetic waves entering their brain, so they do not experience pain. A TMS session can last anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the patient’s diagnosis and the treatment plan that has been crafted for them. Patients are typically able to return to work right after their treatment.

The first cycle of TMS treatments often includes up to five sessions per week over about six weeks. Once that has been completed, additional treatments might be recommended until the psychiatrist is satisfied with the patient’s improvements. Anyone who plans to get TMS therapy should expect their treatment to last at least six weeks.


Every patient’s experience with TMS is unique, so it is difficult to predict how many sessions a patient needs before their depression symptoms are significantly reduced. Some patients report noticeable results in as little as two weeks, while it might take several weeks of treatment for others to get similar results. Factors like the patient’s brain chemistry and age dictate how quickly their symptoms start to lessen. Younger patients usually get faster results from TMS therapy because their brains adapt to change faster.

How long the effects of TMS therapy last also varies from patient to patient. The treatment is enough to eliminate all symptoms of depression for some patients. Many patients report seeing improvements up to a year after getting TMS therapy. The benefits of TMS typically last a while, and patients can get additional treatments in the future if their symptoms return.

Check out what others are saying about our TMS services on Yelp: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in New York, NY

Take control of your mental health

Depression can take the joy out of life and affect your relationships. TMS can provide relief from your symptoms if conventional treatments like therapy and medication have failed. Give us a call or stop by our New York location to learn more.

Request an appointment or call NYC Psychiatric Associates at 917-391-0076 for an appointment in our New York office.

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