Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Non-Medication Therapy for Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

Blog-TMS-A Non-Medication Therapy for Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

We have found that depression can arise months or even years after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that was not deemed severe enough for a trip to a doctor or hospital.

How Many Suffer from TBI?

According to the Brain Trauma Foundation:
• At least 5.3 million Americans, or 2% of US population live with TBI-related disabilities
• 30% of soldiers admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center have been diagnosed as having had a TBI
• It is believed that 10-20% of Iraq veterans (150,000-300,000 service members) have some level of TBI

A study from 2011 found that 30% of adult TBI patients—about 360,000 people annually—suffer depression after a brain injury. Of course, depression may lead to suicidal thoughts if left untreated. According to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education(SAVE), an astounding 15% of people who are clinically depressed commit suicide.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

One highly effective non-medication treatment used for TBI and depression is a form of “brain stimulation” called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, in which a pulsed magnetic field is focused on areas of the brain that control mood.


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

What We Know

Now comes a study published in the journal Brain Stimulation, in which researchers enrolled 41 adult inpatients who had been admitted to a hospital in “suicidal crisis” [All participants had co-existing PTSD and/or mild traumatic brain injury]. They were then randomly divided into two groups: one group received three 30-minute TMS sessions daily for three consecutive days, and the other group a sham treatment.

Scientists found that the patients who got the TMS treatment experienced rapid decreases in suicidal thoughts. After the first day, the active treatment group showed a greater than 50% decrease in suicide ideation scores. Furthermore, the high dose TMS sessions were also found to be safe and free of adverse side effects.

Imaging Changes Everything

At Amen Clinics, we can help you and your loved ones overcome the stigma and suffering associated with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, brain injury, weight loss, addictions, memory issues, brain fog, and other emotional and cognitive issues. If you are ready to regain control over your life or help a loved one do the same, call us at 1-888-288-9834 or click here to ask a question.


  1. I’m interested in TMS. How does this work ?

    Comment by Melanie — January 26, 2018 @ 5:40 AM

  2. Hello Melanie, you can inquire about TMS from one of our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834 as well as read some additional information here

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 26, 2018 @ 12:02 PM

  3. I just wanted to comment that I underwent 24 TMS treatments 2 years ago and I have not had a depressive relapse since. I no longer need medications. Definitely worth it.

    Comment by Erica — January 27, 2018 @ 8:41 AM

  4. Wow that’s great. Curious to know how bad your depression was. My daughter also had this treatment a couple years ago as well. She actually had two 24 sessions within the same year. She is still on medication Zoloft generic 100 mg and still has some diffult times.

    Comment by Annette — January 30, 2018 @ 9:29 PM

  5. Can anyone comment on the other method called tDCS which is very similar to TMS but is Direct Current Stimulation ??
    Does this method have any merits? if what?
    Please advise ASAP
    Don Poulin

    Comment by Don P — March 21, 2018 @ 7:55 AM

  6. For immediate and lasting help, I have heard very good results from Closing The Door To Suicide.
    Just watching the video and following along offers free help for ridding suicidal thoughts.

    Comment by Kim — March 21, 2018 @ 10:52 AM

  7. where can you get this tx? Boston area?

    Comment by Peggy Brewster — March 21, 2018 @ 7:09 PM

  8. I’ve been struggling with depression for about a year now, and I want to get treated without relying on medication in case I grow dependent on them. I appreciate you letting me know that TMS treatments help reduce suicide ideation for people with depression, and even high doses of the sessions are safe and won’t have any adverse side effects. I’ll have to look into medical centers that offer transcranial magnetic therapy services so I can book an appointment.

    Comment by Anna Collins — May 30, 2022 @ 8:08 PM

  9. It’s good to know that TMS is considered a non-medical procedure. My husband has been really struggling with depression lately. He doesn’t want meds, but I’m hoping he will try this out.

    Comment by Eve Mitchell — June 24, 2022 @ 9:19 AM

  10. Dr Amen has a great facility for interpreting brain scans, having seen many thousands. It seems logical that brain imaging would have a role in the targeting of cerebral structures with TMS. What type of brain scan would add the most value to such treatment?

    Comment by Johann Nepgen — April 18, 2023 @ 6:21 AM

  11. Yikes! My heart goes out to my nephew who's been diagnosed with depression recently. I hope he can seek help from a mental health practitioner in the near future. Meanwhile, kudos for highlighting the significance of transcranial magnetic stimulation in regulating our mood.

    Comment by Sam Andrews — October 22, 2023 @ 10:23 PM

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