TMS, A Non-Drug Alternative to Antidepressants

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a chronic, recurring, and debilitating mental illness that is the most common in the United States.

It is estimated that depression cost the U.S. economy more than $210 billion in 2010. In addition to the personal costs of effectively managing depression through pharmacotherapy, many people with depression pay for additional medications to combat the antidepressant side effects.

According to a study published in 2015 in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, “the key to managing the cost of depression is managing depression itself.”

Antidepressants and their unavoidable side effects

It has been almost 50 years since the first antidepressant was accidentally discovered (Hillhouse, et. al, 2015). Although antidepressants may help manage depression symptoms, many are frustrated by the uncertainty of which drug will “work”, and the extensive list of side effects.


The most common side effects relating to the use of antidepressants for mild to major depression are:

  •         Nausea, fatigue and drowsiness
  •       Increased appetite and weight gain
  •       Loss of sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, and decreased orgasm
  •       Insomnia
  •       Dry mouth and blurred vision
  •       Constipation
  •       Agitation, irritability and anxiety

TMS, an FDA cleared, non-invasive alternative

With over 350 million people worldwide suffering with depression, the demand for alternative and effective treatment methods is higher than ever before.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a proven effective, non-invasive alternative. It has been around since 1985 and has increasingly gained popularity by those enduring drug-resistant MDD. Studies have shown those with multiple failed antidepressant attempts are the best candidates for successful TMS treatment outcomes.


Benefits of TMS Treatment


  • FDA Cleared: FDA cleared TMS for treating major depression disorder in 2008;
  • Medication-Free: The non-drug TMS Therapy has no systemic side effects, and allows you to return to normal activities right away;
  • Effective and Long-lasting symptom relief: According to the study,  among millions of treatments delivered, 7 in 10 people experienced significant improvement and 37% of patients achieved remission of depression symptoms;
  • Covered by Insurance: Most health plans including Medicare and Tricare cover TMS.
  • No systemic side effects: Except for a mild scalp discomfort at the treatment side during the treatment (some people may experience mild headache which usually subsides after the first week treatment),  TMS therapy has no systemic side effects like antidepressants. However, patients with a history of seizure should be cautioned.

How does TMS work

TMS uses a magnet to stimulate nerve cells in the brain that may impact mood. It treats the source with a precise magnetic pulse and treats a certain type of depression marked by slow thinking, slow movements, low energy, and lack of interest.


Scientists think this treatment could increase the brain’s neurotransmitter levels, facilitate remodeling of neural pathways, and may promote long-term recovery from depression.

Over the course of 4 to 6 weeks, 36 treatments total, TMS results in an overall reduction in symptoms and achieve remission with each successive treatment attempt.

Hillhouse, T. M., & Porter, J. H. (2015). A brief history of the development of antidepressant drugs: from monoamines to glutamate. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology, 23(1), 1–21.

Yang Institute’s TMS Center

Yang Institute was one of the first mental health practices to use TMS. For nearly two decades, Yang Institute used TMS therapy to help patients with resistant and recurrent depression.

Yang Institute’s TMS treatments differentiates itself from other clinics in the following areas :

1. A holistic and integrative approach that treats you as a whole person

In addition to Repetitive TMS, Yang Institute’s TMS Center offers navigated TMS. It applies a holistic and integrative approach that combines TMS with Advanced Nutrient Therapy, neurofeedback, and acupuncture to improve the patient’s overall mental health and achieve optimum and long-lasting results.

2. Personalized Care accompanies patient entire journey of therapy

Through the process of verifying your benefits, initial evaluation, therapy qualification, and scheduling your daily treatment, your designated patient care coordinator will help coordinate the communication, treatment session,  and insurance plans to ensure you receive high quality care.

3. Assistance from billing expert

Yang Institute’s dedicated and experienced billing specialist can help you obtain authorization from your insurance if you are eligible.

4. Multiple locations 

With locations in Marlton, NJ, Bryn Mawr, PA, and Philadelphia, Yang Institute’s TMS Center offers convenience to our patients receiving treatment close to home in either South Jersey, Main Line, or the Philadelphia area.

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