Limitations Of Home-Use tDCS In Treating Major Depressive Disorder


tDCS- Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation is one of the controversial treatment options for depressive disorders. Recently, there has been a debate going on about the effects of this treatment on people with their home-use devices. According to doctors and psychiatric specialists, tDCS is not effective even if it is combined with psychological interventions. 

There have been some reports of people with mild depression and anxiety disorders who have seen some relief in their condition. However, according to specialists, the effects were most likely due to placebo and nothing else. There have been some reports of relief from certain behavioral disorders with tDCS along with cognitive behavioral therapy. Anyway, here in this article, you’ll get all the details about Home-use tDCS and how it works, so keep reading:

An Overview Of Home-Use tDCS

tDCS is a direct brain stimulation device that is supposed to be used to stimulate your brain and improve cognitive functions. It gives your brain mild shocks of electric current in waves, which was designed to work as a stimulator to create more neuron pathways. Recently, people in many parts of the world have been choosing this new technique to improve their memory as well.

Home-Use tDCS

However, the perks it is supposed to give you still need to be proven. The human brain is highly complex and unrecognized in many aspects, which takes tDCS all the closer to a sham. If you are one of those people who are trying to use the Home-use tDCS for better cognition. Remember that it won’t give you satisfactory results without adding other therapies and medications to it.

Why Is tDCS Not Effective For Treating Major Depressive Disorder?

There aren’t many admissible proofs confirming the benefits and effects of tDCS, which makes this treatment just an experiment. A scientific fact is that a mild shock to your brain can improve your mathematical skills for at least six months. This seems a little hard to believe, but it’s true, and tDCS was created in the hopes of completing the task and improving the cognition of people with severe anxiety or depression. 

When it comes to using the home-use tDCS, it simply isn’t possible to just electrocute your brain and hope to become a genius. Some investigations led by psychiatric specialists were held, and the report came completely negative in terms of relief and effects of tDCS. However, when the tDCS was used under the supervision of experts along with either cognitive behavioral therapy or placebo effects. It showed some positive effects. This was also not proven scientifically and was considered to be mostly the effect of a placebo.

What Are Better Treatment Options?

When it comes to treating your behavioral conditions, anxiety, or depression, you can use other better alternatives to tDCS. As tDCS is only noted as an investigational and has no proven benefits. You can go for TMS, CBT, and CES as your therapy for better cognition and low anxiety and depression levels

All these treatments are proven to be effective and worthy of their cost in the treatment of depressive disorders and chronic anxiety. If you are wondering about the therapies mentioned above, they are cleared in further paragraphs, so take a deeper look at these proven methods of treating depressive disorders.

1. Take Advantage Of TMS

One of the best non-invasive procedures to cure major depression and anxiety, TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is an FDA-proven treatment method. This device is used to simulate a magnetic field around the brain of an affected person and improves the working of nerve cells. This treatment is proven to lower the symptoms of major depressive disorders and increase mindfulness. 

Not only with major depression but TMS is also proven to be effective in treating OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and rehabilitation. When a person is getting TMS therapy for depression or OCD, magnetic pulses are supplied to the brain of people, which leads to better cognition. If you have any of these conditions. You’ll be treated with this method, which is administered under the strict supervision of specialists and doctors.

2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Is Effective

When it comes to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), this therapy is completely different from other alternatives to tDCS. CBT is completely based on physical therapy sessions, which are focused on the moods and actions of the patient. If you are getting Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the specialist will help you change your past beliefs and thinking process, promoting positivity and mindfulness.

In this type of therapy, you can get treated for your OCD, depression, and anxiety and get rehabilitation. The therapist will also help you find your own motivation for getting better and will focus on improving your mood.

3. Choose CES As A Better Alternative

CES (Cranial Electrical Stimulation) is also a non-invasive therapy that is used to treat depression and chronic anxiety. When it comes to getting treatment for your OCD. It might not be effective, as there is no certain proof of its positive effects. Similar to tDCS, this method also supplies low-intensity electric shocks to your brain in order to improve your neuron pathways. 

If you are going for tDCS for the treatment of your anxiety or major depression. It would be wise to choose CES instead. CES is a treatment method in which you get brain-shocked but with controlled waves and bursts of electric pulses, making it more effective than tDCS.

Summing Up

Taking therapies like CES, TMS, and CBT will give you positive effects in lowering the symptoms of OCD, major depressive disorders, and chronic anxiety. However, choosing tDCS for the same might not work for you at all, as there is no proof of its effects yet, and the FDA has stated it as “yet to be investigated.”

Anyway, make sure you are taking the information to your heart, as your treatment of depression and anxiety will depend on your choice. Consult a suitable and reliable therapy or treatment method for your depression and have a safe and anxiety-free life.


  • Ambrus G. G., Paulus W., Antal A. (2010). Cutaneous perception thresholds of electrical stimulation methods: comparison of tDCS and tRNS. Clin. Neurophysiol. 121, 1908–1914. 10.1016/j.clinph.2010.04.020 [CrossRef]
  • Accornero N., Li Voti P., La Riccia M., Gregori B. (2007). Visual evoked potentials modulation during direct current cortical polarization. Exp. Brain Res. 178, 261–266. 10.1007/s00221-006-0733-y [PubMed]

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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