If you or a loved one suffers from PTSD and depression, you may have wondered whether it is possible to use TMS for PTSD in addition to depression. You may also have wondered if TMS will help you find relief from your depression even if you have PTSD. Research has shown that, even in individuals with PTSD, TMS still significantly helps alleviate their depressive symptoms.
Numerous studies also suggest that TMS can effectively treat both PTSD and depression in individuals who experience both conditions, and that TMS can help those struggling with PTSD who do not have depression. However, TMS has not been FDA approved to treat PTSD, and more research will need to be conducted before establishing conclusively that TMS for PTSD is an effective treatment method.
How Is PTSD Related to Depression?
Although PTSD and depression are separate conditions, it is relatively common for individuals with PTSD to also be diagnosed with clinical depression. Both depression and PTSD affect the part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex. This section of the brain helps us to regulate emotions.
In individuals with depression, a section of the prefrontal cortex is often underactive, leading to a prevalence of negative feelings such as despair and pessimism. For people with PTSD, the dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex is one of the brain regions that can cause these individuals to experience great and sudden fear, even though they are not in a traumatic situation.
Can TMS Help My Depression Even If I Have PTSD?
If you have PTSD in addition to depression, TMS can still be a highly effective treatment option for your clinical depression. According to recent research, TMS alleviates symptoms of depression just as well in individuals both with and without PTSD. This study analyzed how effective TMS is at treating depression both in patients with only depression and in patients with depression coupled with PTSD. Compared to the participants with depression without PTSD, the number of individuals with both PTSD and depression who responded positively to TMS was nearly exactly the same. In fact, depression remission rates were slightly higher among the group with both PTSD and depression.
Is TMS For PTSD in addition to Depression Effective?
What about if you are looking for a respite from both your depression and PTSD? Can TMS help you with both?
When it comes to using TMS for PTSD as well as depression, the results are promising. Two separate studies found that TMS provided statistically significant relief from both depressive and PTSD symptoms. In other words, the researchers found that TMS helped mitigate the participants’ depression and PTSD to such a degree that TMS was very likely the reason for their improvements.
However, another study discovered that there was virtually no difference in the improvement of PTSD symptoms among individuals who received TMS compared to those who received sham TMS.
As we can see, the evidence so far regarding whether TMS for PTSD and depression can be effective is mixed. To prove more conclusively that TMS can effectively treat both PTSD and depression, more research will ultimately need to be conducted.
Is TMS For PTSD An Effective Treatment?
As discussed, many individuals who live with PTSD also have depression. But TMS and depression are not mutually exclusive. Many people who struggle with PTSD do not in addition have depression. Can TMS provide relief from PTSD for those patients?
The evidence that TMS for PTSD can work is preliminary, but also highly promising. Three separate studies conducted by different research teams have all concluded that TMS can provide a significant amount of relief from PTSD symptoms. One of these three studies utilized theta burst, also known as TBS, which is a newer type of TMS procedure that lasts only a few minutes.
Although all three of these studies show a strong positive correlation between TMS treatments and alleviation of PTSD symptoms, the evidence is not conclusive. TMS for PTSD is still not FDA-approved. Further studies will need to be performed to determine if TMS can be considered a reliable treatment method for individuals with PTSD.
Mid City TMS Can Help
If you are someone who experiences both PTSD and depression, you may have worried that TMS might not be an effective treatment for you. However, there is very little evidence to suggest that PTSD symptoms can hinder your ability to find relief from depression through TMS.
There is also promising evidence that TMS can help treat PTSD, whether in addition to your depression or on its own. Please keep in mind, however, that this evidence is still considered preliminary, and that TMS for PTSD is not yet FDA approved.
Contact us today to learn more about how TMS can help you find relief from your treatment-resistant depression, and possibly from your PTSD as well.