Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for anxiety in Montreal | PSYSOL
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Anxiety exists in different forms and is often treated with psychotherapy or medication. In addition to these two approaches, Psysol offers alternative methods for those who don’t respond to the conventional methods, who can’t tolerate them, or present contraindications to medication. These include transcranial magnetic stimulation, cranial electrotherapy stimulation, and neurofeedback.


What is anxiety?


Anxiety is a part of our daily life and is productive in the majority of cases. It gives us a reason to study for an exam, to prepare for a change, and to tackle new challenges. This sometimes intense anxiety is linked to specific known events and disappears once these events are no longer there. Without it, it’s difficult to grow and reach new horizons. However, anxiety becomes abnormal when it is too invasive and accompanied by unusual physical and/or psychological symptoms.

Anxiety clearly becomes problematic when it:

  • occurs without any apparent reason;
  • occurs following a mundane situation and is frankly an exaggerated and disproportionate reaction;
  • doesn’t go away when the worrying situation returns to normal;
  • is very present and continually troubling for the person;
  • causes dysfunction at work, in society, with family, or in other areas of daily life.

The different forms of anxiety

Panic attacks : Panic attacks strike brutally and without warning — hence their name. The proven fear is intense and overwhelming. They are often accompanied by a flurry of symptoms such as heart palpitations, trouble breathing as if lacking air, hot and cold flashes, and sweating. The feeling of chest tightness, or even pain, resembles a heart attack. The anxiety is so serious that you have the impression of “losing your head.” After suffering a panic attack, you develop the fear of having another one, or the fear of being afraid. The attack typically lasts between 10 and 20 minutes before giving way to a weaker anxiety that can last for a few hours.

Phobias : These are irrational fears of situations that usually don’t make people afraid. They are usually irresistible and intense (resembling panic attacks) and make the person take immediate steps to get away from the fear-causing situation and sometimes extreme measures to avoid it. It can be the fear of an object (bridge or tunnel), a situation (crowd), an animal (spider), or an activity (public speaking).

Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, is not just simple social awkwardness. Rather, it is a marked and persistent fear of social situations (meetings, group meals) or performances (oral presentations, job interviews) during which the person is in contact with unfamiliar people and/or exposed to the observation of others.

The person is very concerned about being judged by others and thus fears acting in an embarrassing or humiliating manner. They’re afraid of being seen as anxious, weak, “crazy,” or stupid, or that someone will notice their blushing or tremors.

Generalized anxiety : Excessive anxiety and worries (apprehensive expectations) that occur at least every other day and for at least six months. These worries generally involve several events or activities in daily life. These people expect the worst and tend to exaggerate everything.

Obsessive compulsive disorder : Obsessive compulsive disorder can involve obsessions, compulsions, or both. Obsessions are intrusive thoughts or images that repeatedly pop up in the mind and that are difficult to drive out. The obsessions can generate a great deal of distress, fear, discomfort, or disgust. Compulsions are repetitive gestures (real rituals) that people do to control their obsessions.

These obsessions and compulsions can take many forms and reach very high intensities. For example, obsession with contamination by microbes can lead to compulsions involving washing the skin so much that it might even start bleeding.

Post-traumatic stress disorder : A collection of symptoms that occur when a person has experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events during which their physical integrity or that of others could really or potentially be threatened by serious injuries or risks of injuries or death. The person reacts to this event with a feeling of intense fear, horror, or powerlessness.


In the days and weeks that follow, a multitude of symptoms appear:

  • insomnia;
  • nightmares;
  • flashbacks;
  • avoidance;
  • depressed mood;
  • change in temper;
  • difficulty concentrating or remembering, etc.


The progression is favourable in the majority of  cases, but in certain cases, it can persist and become complicated, leading to a debilitating condition.

What are the causes?

The causes remain unknown to date, but like depression, it generally involves genetic, social, and environmental factors, trauma during childhood or adulthood, chemical disturbances in the brain, etc. Anxiety disorders are often associated with other psychological conditions such as depression, addiction, and others.


There are recognized treatments for anxiety disorders. The sooner the person consults , the quicker he will recover.


In the majority of cases, anxiety disorders are treated very effectively through psychotherapy, anti-anxiety medications (anxiolytics or antidepressants), or a combination of the two. Other approaches may also be used, such as bio- or neurofeedback, transcranial direct current stimulation, Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation, relaxation, yoga, meditation, and the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) technique, often used in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.


In simple cases, these complementary techniques let you control your anxiety naturally and without side effects. In more complicated cases, they are good additions to medication and psychotherapy. Transcranial magnetic stimulation may be suitable in some complex cases, especially those with prominent depressive symptoms. Other more invasive techniques exist for severe and disabling cases, such as vagus nerve stimulation and deep brain stimulation, but their use remains very limited.


At Psysol, when the patient’s condition permits it, we privilege the use of non-invasive and non-drug techniques to avoid side effects. We use psychotherapy, neurofeedback, microcurrent cranial stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.


We regularly use drugs as well, but we try to avoid them as much as possible, especially for patients who are sensitive to their side effects or whose potential for developing an addiction is high.

A healthy way of life, moderate physical activity, a balanced diet, and avoiding physical or mental exhaustion, along with relaxation techniques, can help you reduce the risks of developing anxiety disorders.

You need information or wish to make an appointment? Don’t hesitate to contact us !