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Anne Marie wrote:

Hi, guys —

Hi everyone,

I unfortunately suffer with depression and anxiety. I am in counseling; medications don't work, so, they are suggesting something called "TMS", which supposedly stimulates the brain in the needed area.

  • I am not sold on it at this point, but am more concerned if this is OK to do as a Catholic.

Thank you all for your help.


Anne Marie

  { Do you know if the therapy "TMS" is OK for Catholics to try? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Anne Marie —

Yes. I hear it is quite effective.


Mike replied:

Dear Anne Marie,

I don't doubt Eric's answer but in general we try to stay away from questions that are outside the realm of our mission: Clearing up misperception about the Teachings of the Church.

You said:

  • I am not sold on it at this point, but am more concerned if this is OK to do as a Catholic.

A faithful Catholic doctor should be able to answer your question. The websites below should help you find one OR you can ask your pastor or neighborly priests, who are faithful to the Church, if they know of a good Catholic doctor they can recommend:

or better yet, see what The National Catholic Bioethics Center has to say on TMS.


Anne Marie replied:



Anne Marie

Hi Anne Marie,

Hi Team,
I sent Anne Marie's questions on TMS into the National Catholic Bioethics Center and received the following reply.


Dear Mike (and subsequently, Anne Marie),

Thank you for sending us your question.  My name is Andrew. I am an ethicist fellow with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).

Before I respond, please note that we at the NCBC provide consultations to institutions and individuals seeking our opinion on the appropriate application of Catholic moral teachings to ethical issues.  Neither the NCBC's moral analyses nor any other project of ours should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal or medical opinion or otherwise to engage in the practice of law or medicine, or other health care disciplines.

Mayo Clinic describes TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, as

"a noninvasive procedure that use magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression."

Her question is not one of efficacy or safety, but of morality. I have not found any moral concerns which would preclude a patient from undergoing TMS, should the patient and her doctor agree that the treatment is appropriate for her. You may wish to second this with a professional in the psychological sciences who is faithful to the Magisterium. You can visit the:

There are also the online services of:

which lists counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists among its providers. Finally, I have recently become aware of the:

The CPA's mission states that it is faithful to the Magisterium. You can contact them through their website to elicit a response to your question.

A note regarding the efficacy and safety of a proposed treatment from a moral standpoint.

I recommend Anne Marie have an in depth conversation with her doctor about what is written in Directive 27 of the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) for Catholic Health Care Services; that is, to:

"receive all reasonable information about the essential nature of the proposed treatment, and the benefits, risks, side-effects, consequences, and cost; and any reasonable and morally legitimate alternatives, including no treatment at all."

She may wish to contact the same organizations I listed above (CMA, MyCatholicDoctor.Com, and the CPA).
I am sorry I cannot be more helpful but, as I wrote above, there is very little information on the morals of TMS.

I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to follow-up if you have any additional questions.

If you found this free consultation helpful, please pray for the NCBC and consider making a donation or sending a note of appreciation.

Messages can be sent to with the subject line "Appreciation."

We may share your words, but your personal identifying information will never be shared without your explicit permission.

Sincerely in the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ - the Divine Physician.

Andrew Kubick

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