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TMS for Adolescent and Teen Depression

Depression in youth and teens should cause major concern in our nation. In 2017, over 3 million adolescents ages 12 to 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode. Depression places this age group at high risk for suicide. In fact, greater than 50 percent of the suicides in this age group are attributed to pediatric depression.

Antidepressant Use

Antidepressants are most often the first line of treatment for all mental health problems. Since the late 1980s, antidepressant use in the United States has risen by nearly 400%, with approximately 1 in 25 adolescents taking an antidepressant. This should raise a major red flag and emphasize the need to dig deeper into the reasons for this occurrence and the need for more effective treatment regimens. It is important to note that these dangerous medications come with black box warnings from the FDA about suicidal thoughts. It is also important to understand that the benefits of the right antidepressant for your child likely outweigh the risk of suicidal thoughts. However, this does not remove the need for a more effective treatment that does not come with all the potential side effects of antidepressant medications.

TMS has Proven its Efficacy

TMS treatment for depressive disorders is FDA-approved for adult patients suffering from depression. While still not approved for adolescent or teen depression, many physicians have begun using TMS as a safe and effective treatment alternative for their pediatric patients. Unlike medications, TMS does not cause undesired systemic or dangerous side effects like suicidal thoughts. TMS is a more holistic approach that many physicians believe is a safer treatment option for both pediatric and adult patients.

TMS Insurance Coverage

At present, TMS is not generally covered by insurance for patients below the age of 18. In 2020, a few major insurance plans revised their criteria for coverage to include the age of 17 and older. In nearly all cases, prior authorization from your insurance will be required for your child under the age of 18 to receive TMS therapy. In some situations, when your insurance denies a prior authorization, your child’s doctor may appeal the denial and present a strong case for the use of TMS. Although rare, insurance companies have approved the appealed case; therefore, it is worth the effort on your child’s behalf. If all else fails, it is recommended that you contact more than one TMS clinic in your area to check the pricing when paying out-of-pocket.

See the TMS Insurance Coverage search tool here.


ABOUT TMS DIRECTORY | TMS Directory connects TMS groups, communities, and individuals across the U.S.
(TMS) or Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a cutting-edge technology that uses magnetic waves to gently stimulate nerve cells in the brain. TMS is a non-invasive treatment most commonly used for the treatment of major depression.

TMS THERAPY | TMS therapy is a particularly useful tool for specific mental health conditions, such as major depressive disorder, anxiety, and other mood-related disorders. The treatment is FDA-approved for depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and smoking cessation.

TMS HELPS | If you are someone who suffers from a mental health-related condition and seeking TMS therapy as a treatment option, TMS Directory can connect you with someone in your area who specializes in treating these conditions.

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Please also see
TMS Therapy Questions and Answers
TMS Therapy for Adolescent and Teen Depression
Medicines for Depression – Do They Really Work?
Disability Rating Scale
TMS Depression Therapeutics
TMS Depression Therapeutics