No. While both show effective results for treating depression, there are many differences in safety and tolerability.
During a TMS treatment session, patients are sitting, awake and alert throughout the entire 37-minute procedure. This means that no sedation is required for TMS Therapy. Patients are able to transport themselves to and from their treatment.
In contrast, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly referred to as “shock therapy,” is meant to intentionally causes a seizure. Patients who receive ECT are sedated with general anesthesia and paralyzed with muscle relaxants. After the treatment, recovery occurs slowly, and patients are typically monitored under close supervision for minutes or a even few hours after a treatment.
Patients often experience short-term confusion and memory loss after a ECT session. Even long-term memory disruptions have been reported and may persist indefinitely in some people. Significant caregiver supervision is often required after treatment, due to the side effects commonly associated with ECT.