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    I have had 32 sessions and now feel worse than I did before having TMS. Around the 5th week of treatment, I started to get more anxious. TMS has made my anxiety skyrocket to the point that I have been out of work for over 2 weeks. I constantly feel anxious. After one of my treatments, I had a 2hr panic attack. I was never told that the TMS treatment could actually make me feel worse. Has anyone else experienced this side effect? I also now have insomnia. I never had trouble falling asleep before. Also, a new problem I am having is when I wake up in the morning, I feel panicked. I don’t know whether I should continue or stop before the TMS does more damage. I need to be able to get back to work.



    Hi lunarafire:
    Are you having bilateral treatments? My experience with bilateral treatments was just the opposite. Anxiety is treated on the right side of the brain and depression on the left. When having bilateral treatments my anxiety diminishes about 90% and I rarely need anxiety medication. There is a vast improvement.
    What does your doctor say about an increase in anxiety?



    I was having bilateral treatments. Because of the increased anxiety, on session 27, the doctor stopped doing left side treatments and is now only doing right side treatments. He believed that would help. That did not. The end of last week, he said it was because I was menstruating the previous week. The increased anxiety continued and today he said my thyroid was to high. I called my thyroid doctor and my blood test came back normal. So every reason he has given me so far has not panned out. I even tried calling Neurostar to see if someone could check to see if I was getting the proper treatments. They said they could not help. They were completely useless. I now need 1mg anxiety medicine multiple times a day. Before TMS I only would take .25 mg at night before I went to sleep for night terrors. I went from having social anxiety to constant anxiety. I need to be able to get back to work on Monday. Getting TMS has been the biggest regret of my life.




    My anxiety got worse during my tms sessions too. It also messed with my sleep. I had such a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. After I finished my anxiety became much less. It went back to what it was before.

    I finished in the middle of May and feel just as crappy as I did before tms. They say that there can be a delayed effect and that results show up weeks or months afterwards. Wish they would have told me that in the promising pamphlet I was given.

    I understand how you feel like this is such a big regret. It’s a total let down as well. So here I am back where I started with even less hope than before.

    I’ve been praying that tms will somehow work for me and all those who are trying it.



    How long did it take before the anxiety lessened?
    I have having such bad panic attacks. I would welcome how I felt before. At least I was functional before TMS.
    The FDA needs to take TMS off the market. I truly believe it wasn’t tested appropriately.




    Anxiety is the absolute worse! I think I felt less anxious the first week I was completely finished.

    I agree that the FDA needs to do more testing. It’s the same problem with the antidepressants – they aren’t testing for long enough to see long term outcomes. They take the highest percentage with the best results and only report on that. Some of the drug companies are including the ‘good’ results from people who took a placebo and adding that into success rates. Unbelievable.

    Are they telling you that there may be a delayed effect and you may feel better in weeks or months from now? I feel like I was ripped off. I owe thousands of dollars and still feel terrible.

    I hope your anxiety will improve and you will feel be one of the people this works for. Blessings.



    One thing that might be worth considering (though it is an off-label indication) is altering the frequency of the treatment waveform.
    One study (although a very small one) seemed to indicate that patients who responded well to high frequency rTMS responded poorly to low-frequency, and vice versa.

    I don’t know if this is something your doctor is willing to consider; but I’m a bit concerned if they’re attributing your mood changes to your menstrual cycle. If you have already established with your doctor that yes, you have mood swings or anxiety associated with menstruation, then perhaps that is a valid explanation; but if not, I think your doctor is speculating instead of assessing.



    Do you have a reference to that study that you referred to just above my post? I would be interested in reading it.


    Papa Peter

    I too have been having incredible anxiety like none I have experienced before. I am 73 and am just finishing the TMS tapering…have had 31 total sessions. I actually think that the TMS helped my depression but it left my anxiety alone which probably ended up increasing my experience of it. I never had bilateral treatments because the VA where I get my TMS is not doing any off label treatments. The psychiatrist who is treating me has been wonderfully supportive but I remember her words when we started – that she hoped my depression would be helped and had some fears that I might be left with anxiety. Well that is the outcome.

    I absolutely dread evenings because I know that I can go to sleep only to awake in panic in a couple hours and be stuck in panic all night…then exhausted during the day.

    Has your anxiety dissipated over time? I still have 2 weeks of tapering treatments and cannot imagine surviving for that long.



    I am currently receiving TMS treatment and I can say that it has improved my depression, but has sent my anxiety out of control. The biggest issue for me is that anxiety causes me to have suicidal feelings and thoughts far more than depression, because anxiety makes every bone and muscle in my body ache. The doctors have said on multiple occasions that they will do some Anxiety protocol on the right side of my head, but that never gets communicated to the nurses and never happens. I take 1mg of Clonazepam daily, but that is not in the ballpark of a big enough dose to control my anxiety.

    I was so stressed out this morning that I was actually hearing noises in my head. It continually sounded like someone was sweeping in my office; it bothered me so bad I walked all around the building looking for someone sweeping. At that point I took 2mg of Clonazepam and finally calmed down to the point that I could function.

    The next step in all this is Ketamine Infusions. The doctors tell me that if I undergo 4 – 6 Ketamine Infusions soon after TMS that the anxiety will go away. I sure hope they are right as I cannot live this way much longer – it’s not worth it.

    I cannot continue to spend thousands of dollars to try and get better for my family, but then still feel bad and somewhat avoid my family. My family deserves better – rather its with me or not.

    I’m starting to think that a certain amount of the population is meant to be miserable so that the happy people don’t become unbalanced. The scales need to stay straight.



    My stress and anxiety has caused me to stop going to the treatments. I had 7 sessions. My tech was just unsupportive and I didn’t trust her to know what she was doing.
    After she applied the helmet, she would strap one side and then let go to strap the other side so the helmet would move quite significantly. When I asked her if this was okay, she said she didn’t think moved but if it did- its not a problem. I told her that I was feeling very anxious and doubtful about everything but she just said that I’d get used to it.
    I was getting Brainsway Deep TMS. I’m very upset and the depression came back so strongly today that I took the day off from work after I left the voicemail that I couldn’t go in for the treatment.
    The anxiety is much worse than before I started the therapy. Maybe I’ll check eventually if there are any other options in this area. I realize that office staff is very important to my success of this treatment. I hope that no permanent damage was done during the 7 sessions. I would never embark on this path again without meeting the tech first.
    Thank you for listening.



    Hi abqcyco70:

    So sorry to hear about this. Something to keep in mind is that when TMS successfully treats Depression it can reveal co-occurring conditions that the Depression previously hid — Anxiety being a common one.

    It may seem a little cliche to say “it’s a process”, but it really IS a process. If your depression symptoms are relieved this may be the opportunity to work out your Anxiety issues next. Your doctor will best guide you through that and it’s good to see you are working together to map your path forward.

    A clear, focused, and optimistic mindset may feel impossible at the moment, all the more reason to let your family and your support network lift you up right now. Keep working with your doctor, trust the process before you, and rely on your network for support.

    TMS worked for your Depression and that’s really big, now it’s on to the other parts that need attention. You can do this!



    Did anyone have this anxiety caused from TMS treatment dissipate? I was thinking about doing the treatment before I saw this. That is terrifying…




    I have undergone this treatment for depression and minor anxiety. I think the post above yours from Dave W. speaks well to what science is supporting. This is a unique treatment, and relatively new to the treatment regime being offered more regularly by psychiatrists. With that said, sometimes there are misunderstandings as to the effects of the treatment. Some patients will address what they think are effects of TMS such as interrupted sleep and anxiety. Dave’s explanation coordinates with my doctor’s input when we are discussing these issues. There is no scientific evidence that TMS causes anxiety or sleep disturbances. My doctor reports quite the opposite – improved sleep and decreased anxiety (with bilateral treatments). TMS is like lifting the cover off of other issues as depression symptoms are improved. Then we can address those issues on our journey to improved mental health. As Dave said, which is on point, this is a process and it can be a tumultuous path. The brain needs time to settle into a new energy state. Talk with your doctor about what she/he is observing with their patients. That is where you can gather lived experience information. Also if you visit neurostar.com there are recent patient testimonials that may be helpful.
    Keep in touch,



    barbm I replied another of your posts. Your experience is exactly what i am dealing with. My Dr. uses the Brainsway TMS. The techs are not experienced enough. They don’t seem to take this procedure seriously. I have stopped at 10 treatments because i do not feel they are qualified. I’m convinced we are using the same Dr.



    Hi jfletcher72,
    I live in Western Massachusetts but looking back, I really feel it was the condescending and careless attitude of the first tech that totally stressed me out. That is the person you see everyday and is instrumental in creating a positive experience. After I switched to the other office (there are two braches within 10 miles of my house), got a different tech and my appointments scheduled at 7pm as I originally requested, things got much better quickly. The new tech was older and had a very professional yet friendly demeanor. When I asked a question, he seemed to have a pretty good answer and interacted with me too. We watched nature videos together and he wasn’t just on his computer with his back to me. He also offered me a twizzler after one of my first sessions with him and it became a little routine after each session, etc. Stuff like that as well as never making me feel like a bother about anything even though I knew I was his last patient each day. When I finished all 36 sessions, I was actually sad about not going anymore.
    I went back for my 2 month follow up in Dec with the Dr and I mentioned the situation with the first tech and how I probably wouldn’t have finished if I stayed with her. I guess they all get certificates from Brainsway(like a few days of intense training w/ a company rep&the Dr) but that doesn’t change someone’s personality or make them retain the info- there has to be chemistry and trust between you. I feel very fortunate that I could change offices.
    I feel the treatments helped me mainly because the chaos in my mind has really calmed down and my memory has definitely gotten better. I can focus without as many intrusive thoughts of “why bother” etc. I’m still not social but I feel like I’m out of the unending dark abyss. I only spend maybe one or two days a week in that place and it’s not as deep. I have stayed on my meds throughout.
    I’m very happy I spoke up-that’s out of character for me to be honest. I hope your situation is somehow resolved. I still feel that she(the first tech) didn’t place the helmut correctly because she didn’t hold it in place while she tightened the strap and I could feel it move a little. Maybe you should ask for remapping and see what the Dr does because you’re not feeling confident about things. I wish you very much luck because if I hadn’t finished, I may not feel better now.

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