Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Persistent Depression

Safe, Effective & Medication-Free Treatment

If you have been down the road of trying several medications to manage major depressive disorder (MDD) and nothing has fully worked, it can be disheartening. But there is hope. For more than 2 million people, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been a transformative therapy to fight depression when medications have failed to provide relief. Here are some things to know about this interventional psychiatry treatment option:
  • TMS therapy is covered by most insurance.
  • TMS therapy is safe and FDA-cleared.
  • Treatment typically takes 6 weeks.

“For about 20 minutes a day, five days a week, magnetic pulses targeted the part of my ‘sleeping’ brain that was making me sick. By the fourth week of treatment—a miracle! The storm cloud of depression started to lighten and lift. By the final week, it was gone completely. No depression; no anxiety! I was back! Happy, calm, strong. Excited about my life and the future.”

~ M.C., former DiscoveryMD patient

Facts About TMS

TMS is an advanced therapy that gently stimulates focused areas of the brain to eliminate persistent depression.

  • TMS is a medication-free treatment; you won’t experience the usual unpleasant effects of anti-depressants.
  • TMS is proven safe.
  • The effectiveness of TMS has been studied for decades and has been FDA-cleared since 2008.
  • TMS has no impact on memory or cognitive function.
  • TMS is not ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).

What to Expect from TMS Treatment

Here’s a brief look at what you may experience at a TMS treatment session:

  • You remain awake during treatment, seated in a comfortable chair while a magnet gently stimulates your brain.
  • TMS treatments are painless and sessions lasting 15 minutes, with treatments being 3 minutes.
  • TMS works by stimulating neurons in a focused area of the brain that impact moods and by strengthening connections to the brain where the impact can be permanent.
  • TMS generally produces transformative results after about six weeks of treatment (20-minute sessions, five days a week).
DiscoveryMD - TMS Reduction of Anxiety Results Graph
DiscoveryMD - Complete TMS Reductions Graph

"Thank you to the team at Anew Era TMS especially Kaitlyn, my therapist . I feel that this round of treatment has been life changing. I would recommend it to anyone, who wants a boost in their quality of life."

~ Vanessa S., Anew Era TMS & Psychiatry Huntington Beach patient

"Meeting with Kaitlyn every day was its own kind of therapy. She was always so kind and compassionate as I talked and talked. The TMS for anxiety changed my life in a way I didn't think was possible. I am off anti anxiety meds that I was on for 15 years"

~ Heather L., Anew Era TMS & Psychiatry Huntington Beach patient

When to Know It's Time for TMS

How do you know when it’s time to receive TMS treatment? Here’s what to consider:

  • There is no change after trying multiple prescribed antidepressants.
  • There is no change after using a combination of prescribed antidepressants and psychotherapy.
  • An individual cannot tolerate antidepressant medications due to side-effects.

Approximately 5.5 million people who struggle with depression have reported that antidepressants didn’t give them relief from their symptoms.1,2,3 If you haven’t found relief from other persistent depression treatments, turn to the leading provider of TMS. DiscoveryMD is here to help.

“Overall, [TMS] has changed my life entirely… It’s like a brain fog has been lifted… The changes have been positive and constructive [after TMS treatment].”

~ Former DiscoveryMD patient

Convenient Locations

Our goal is to make it easy and convenient for you to receive high-quality, science-backed treatment. TMS is offered at every DiscoveryMD location. Check our individual locations for the office that is closest to you and for details about all the services available.

FAQs about TMS

A magnetic field is created around the upper left part of your head (prefrontal cortex) to help stimulate neurons which in return helps with dopamine, serotonin and increases blood flow.


Those with persistent depression and major depressive disorder (MDD) who have not felt improvement with one or more medications are eligible for TMS treatment. There are other things TMS could help people overcome, though studies still need to be done. Several of these off-label items are awaiting approval and may not be covered by insurance. Some people may find relief from TMS for:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Smoking
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Drug or alcohol cravings
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dystonia
  • Tinnitus
  • Spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Post-stroke pain/neuropathic pain
  • Migraines

Yes, most major insurance companies cover this treatment, after getting prior authorization.

Yes! It has been FDA approved since 2008. This treatment has been rigorously tested multiple times when it comes to safety. It’s just as safe as getting an MRI.
A full course of TMS is 36 sessions. The first 30 sessions are Monday through Friday. The last 6 sessions are spread across 2-3 weeks. The initial mapping session is around 60 minutes long. Every follow up TMS treatment after that, depending on protocol, is between 10-30 minutes long with the average being 20 minutes.
The only possible side effect is a mild scalp irritation and mild headache; both go away fairly quickly after your session is done.
Adherence to the treatment is very important. Life happens and missing one or two appointments is OK but strongly discouraged. If too many are missed, it can affect the treatment outcome.
Yes. During treatment, you will continue to take everything you have been. It is encouraged that you do not change anything while doing treatment. If you do need to, discuss which medications you are taking with the TMS provider.
This will depend on the outcome of your TMS journey. Our provider will discuss this with you during the intake.

Not at all. TMS treatment is non-evasive, done daily between 10-30 minutes, there is no sedation is required, and you can take yourself to and from the appointments. You can come during your lunch break at work, then go on your way! There are no side effects like the ones experienced from ECT.

TMS has a direct approach to treating depression. TMS treats the focal point of depression – the prefrontal cortex – whereas ECT excessively stimulates the whole brain, causing a controlled seizure. ECT has many potential life-altering side effects such as memory loss, whereas TMS does not.
This depends on how well you respond to the treatment. Every individual will have a treatment plan created to help them through this journey.
We have a questionnaire that we can go over with you and depending on the answers, you could be disqualified. The main things are: Have you ever been diagnosed with depression? Have you taken any antidepressant medications in the past? Have you ever had any type of therapy such as talk therapy? Have you had heightened emotional experiences and/or seen/heard things others might not have? These are the types of questions we can go over and/or the provider will go over with you during your intake.

TMS Studies & Clinical Results

Get an inside look at DiscoveryMD’s Dr. Maria Davila’s TMS studies and trainings, as well as clinical results from outside TMS studies.

Patient Stories & Media

DAN MED TMS patient shares how TMS changed their life

Brain Wellness Institute in Costa Mesa Partners with DAN MED TMS to help patients transform their lives with TMS

Dr. Oz talks TMS

Get Help Today

Get in touch with DiscoveryMD via phone or filling out the form below.


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  1. Kessler RC, et al. (2003). JAMA.
  2., accessed 1/16/2018.
  3. Gaynes BN et al. (2008). Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 75(1): 57-66.
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