Interested in TMS: Here’s What Makes A Good TMS Candidate

Florida Psychiatrists

Getting diagnosed with a mental illness can be hard, especially if a person has a treatment-resistant mental illness. When the traditional treatment options like medication and therapy don’t work, there aren’t many options left. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an FDA approved treatment option for treatment-resistant depression. TMS therapy has grown in popularity due to its effectiveness and lack of side effects, but it only works on the right candidates. Here’s what makes a good TMS candidate.


Good TMS Candidate Requirements

Psychiatrists only recommend TMS for patients that have been diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression or who are unable to tolerate traditional medications. Doctors will typically attempt multiple antidepressants before labeling a patient treatment-resistant and sending them to TMS therapy. Here’s what qualifies someone as a good candidate for TMS:

  • Should be in a current depressive episode
  • Good physical health
  • No medical history of seizures
  • Not responded to traditional treatment options (psychotherapy and medications)

Poor TMS Candidate Limitations

Although TMS has very few side effects, there are certain limitations that will results in psychiatrists or doctors not recommending or administering TMS. Here are the things that make someone a bad TMS candidate:

  • Mental disorder responded to traditional treatment options
  • Have non-removable metal objects in their heads


The follow metal implants prevent individuals from receiving TMS:

  • Aneurysm clips or coils
  • Deep brain stimulators
  • Stents in the neck or brain
  • Electrodes to monitor brain activity
  • Metallic implants in ears or eyes
  • Shrapnel or bullet fragments near head
  • Facial tattoos with metallic or magnetic-sensitive ink
  • Other metal devices or implants on or near the head.

If a patient has braces or metal dental fillings they don’t need to worry. These are perfectly safe. Patients are asked to remove other metal or magnetic objects, such as jewelry and piercings.


TMS can be a life-saving treatment for those that don’t respond to other treatment options. If you think TMS could benefit you, if you want to learn more, or if you want to find out if you’re a good candidate for TMS please contact us. We welcome any comments, questions or concerns.


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