Sacramento Neuropsych Associates

TMS vs. Medication: A Comparative Study in Depression Treatment

Depression is a prevalent mental health condition that affects a large number of individuals worldwide. There are major treatment choices available to effectively manage depression, such as medication and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). 

While medication has traditionally been the primary treatment approach for many years, TMS has gained popularity as an alternative therapy for depression in recent times. 

When conducting research on potential depression treatment options, it is crucial to consider more than just the cost. While each option may have a different price tag, it is essential to take into account the long-term cost of each possibility, as well as the amount of time and effort required. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate your financial situation in conjunction with your mental health needs before deciding which treatment method is most suitable for you. 

In this blog post, we will compare TMS and medication as treatments for depression and provide insights to help you determine which option may be more beneficial for yourself or a loved one.

TMS vs. Medication

If you’re considering depression treatment, you may be wondering about the cost associated with different options. Let’s take a look at medication and TMS in terms of time and money when making a decision and compare both short-term and long-term effects on your wallet and overall mental health.

Understanding Antidepressants

Depression is often treated with medication, which is the most frequently utilized option. Antidepressants function by restoring the balance of brain neurotransmitters responsible for mood regulation. Despite their effectiveness, antidepressants have associated side effects such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, and sexual dysfunction. Some individuals may also experience an elevated risk of having suicidal thoughts or behaviors when taking antidepressants. Furthermore, not everyone responds positively to these medications, and it can take several weeks for them to produce noticeable effects.

Nevertheless, many insurance policies will cover at least a portion of these expenses, thereby reducing the financial burden. Although antidepressants can be effective in treating depression in the short term, they come with potential side effects that require close monitoring by a doctor. This may lead to more visits to the doctor and additional lab tests, resulting in increased costs over time. 

It is important to note that it typically takes around 2-3 weeks for depression medications to take effect. Once your symptoms start improving, it is recommended to continue taking them for 4-5 months. Even after your depressive symptoms have fully subsided, your doctor may advise you to continue taking them for an additional 3-6 months. In total, you may end up taking antidepressants for nearly a year before fully experiencing their benefits. 

It is crucial to remember that depression medications should be used alongside therapy or other forms of treatment, as relying solely on medication is not recommended. The cost of medications usually ranges from $20 to $200 per month depending on insurance. It takes a year or longer to find a significant improvement in depression symptoms.

Understanding TMS

TMS has emerged as a popular alternative therapy for depression. This innovative therapy utilizes magnetic pulses to activate brain cells that play a crucial role in regulating mood. Extensive research has proven TMS to be a highly effective solution for many individuals struggling with depression. 

An added benefit of this treatment is its lack of side effects commonly associated with antidepressants, making it especially appealing to those who cannot handle medication. Moreover, TMS yields quicker results compared to medication, with noticeable symptom improvement often occurring in just a few weeks.

The popularity of TMS therapy is on the rise among individuals suffering from depression due to its cost-effectiveness and undeniable effectiveness. But what is the price of TMS therapy? Well, it is significantly lower than traditional depression treatments such as antidepressants or therapy sessions, both in terms of the price tag and time commitment. 

Unlike other therapies, TMS therapy requires fewer in-person sessions and has a higher success rate in quickly alleviating depression symptoms, making it an attractive option for those struggling with depression. Moreover, the good news is that many well-known insurance companies now provide partial or full coverage for TMS depression treatments

While the cost may vary depending on the provider, it is safe to say that TMS treatment is a financially wise decision compared to other depression therapies, especially considering its long-lasting effects. The cost of TMS therapy usually ranges from $10 to $70 on average with insurance coverage. The required number of sessions will differ for every person.

Seeking Help

Depression, a complex mental illness, can be challenging to manage, and while medication has traditionally been the go-to treatment, TMS has become a popular alternative therapy. However, it’s crucial to understand that each person’s experience with depression is unique, making it necessary to collaborate with a qualified mental health professional to find the most suitable treatment option. 

Additionally, a combination of medication and TMS can be employed to effectively address depression, particularly for individuals who don’t respond well to either approach alone. Seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional when dealing with depression without hesitation.