The vast majority of people who experience anxiety disorders have a biological component to it. This means that there is something specific to their human makeup that influences the presence of their anxiety disorder. Generally, people with anxiety have abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex of their brains, which produces symptoms related to generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and so on. This is the primary reason why prescription medications are used to treat anxiety disorders, as they can help address the abnormalities that this area of the brain is experiencing.
TMS therapy works by focusing on the prefrontal cortex of the brain. A medical or mental health professional will place the coil near the prefrontal cortex prior to beginning the procedure. As they conduct the procedure, they will supply a magnetic pulse to the area, helping to activate areas of the prefrontal cortex that naturally do not activate themselves (leading to the presence of anxiety). Some individuals notice relief after their first treatment, while others participate in several treatments prior to seeing noticeable results.
TMS therapy for anxiety is not the usual go-to for anxiety disorder treatment. However, that does not mean that it is ineffective. TMS therapy continues to help countless individuals manage their symptoms of anxiety on a regular basis.
According to a 2019 review, TMS is an effective treatment for major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but there is little research on its effectiveness in treating anxiety disorders.
The review looked at research relating to TMS and anxiety or trauma-related conditions.
The research suggests that TMS may be an effective treatment method for both generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, although further research is necessary.