ECT vs TDCS vs TMS for Depression: What is better for you?

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If you are looking for a non-drug option for treating depression you might consider one of three forms of brain stimulation: Electroconvulsive Therapy, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).  As with any medical treatment you need to talk to you doctor and your support network first in order for you to make the best decisions for yourself. The overview below however may help you compare these three techniques.


ECT:

How well does it work?

What are the side effects?

How accessible are treatments?


tDCS:

How well does it work?

What are the side effects?

How accessible are treatments?


TMS:

How well does it work?

What are the side effects?

How accessible are treatments?


*All the information listed here is based on publicly available online resources from reputable sources. But this is information is provided as is without guarantee that this is all accurate. Talk to you doctor and care network.

In the end this comparison is not meant to be a competition between ECT, TDCS, and TMS to see what “wins” overall as the best form of treatment. Instead it is simply about getting treatments that work best for an individual, into the hands of those with severe depression.