Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)… I cannot say enough about this procedure! Had it not been for TMS, and a wonderful doctor, I would probably not be writing this today. Honestly. Here’s my story.
In January life was fantastic.
I had just changed jobs to something I really enjoyed doing; I bought a new, dependable car; I was in a fun, healthy relationship; I was physically in great condition, and I was involved in a wonderful church. Things couldn’t get any better…or so I thought. When I changed jobs, I lost insurance coverage for three months; the prescription I had for my antidepressant was expired, and my doctor at the time had changed practices without notifying me. I was forced to stop the antidepressant cold turkey. This was no problem because I was happy and stable… wrong!!
Within two weeks, I started the downward spiral of breaking up with my boyfriend, alienating myself from close friends and family, staying in bed except for going to work, and wishing I would die. The wishes of death quickly turned to suicidal thoughts and even a couple close calls with trying to commit suicide. Thanks to a close family friend, I was referred to Dr. West and began the process of finding the “perfect” drug. Three different medicines were tried with no noticeable difference in my mood or desire to be alive. I was convinced that everything and everybody would be much better if I was gone. Dr. West recommended TMS therapy. At first, I was hopeful, but after watching the video that talked the response rate and realizing the cost of the treatment, I was against trying the TMS treatment.
In discussion with my parents, my dad made a comment. He said, “If this were a cancer treatment with a chance of a positive response, you wouldn’t think twice about trying it. You essentially have a terminal disease with depression, so the situation is no different. If you don’t try this, you may be dead from suicide very soon.”
My dad’s emotional, blunt comment convinced me to try TMS. The treatments were scheduled, and within 10 sessions there was a noticeable difference in my mood. I received 25 treatments over approximately six weeks. The difference is unbelievable! Over the course of the treatments, I went from a depression score of approximately 15 down to a depression score of 1. I am currently on medication but am starting the slow process of coming off medications. Because of some of my hurtful actions and hurtful words, not everyone is still in my life following this episode with depression; however, I’ve accepted that reality. The people that weren’t willing to be supportive during my time of trial aren’t the types of people I need in my life during the good times. My true friends and family continue to comment how great it is for “me” to be back, and I am getting back involved in church after a six-month hiatus.
Life is enjoyable again! Small “downers” are easy to handle. The transformation I have experienced was well worth the cost and the hassle of daily doctor visits. TMS without a doubt saved my life and restored me to “me.” I highly recommend it to anyone else in a similar situation where medicines have not worked, and suicide seems like the only viable option.