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    It is commonly reported that patients need 30 to 40 sessions of TMS to derive the most benefit in the treatment of their depression symptoms. In clinical trials, 1 in 2 patients achieved significant relief of symptoms after four weeks of treatment and 1 in 3 experience complete remission after six weeks of treatment. Some patients may experience results in less time, while others may take longer.


    Martha Rhodes

    My doctor and TMS coordinator told me from the very first treatment that TMS isn’t a quick fix—and they were right. It took about two and a half to three weeks before I started to notice an improvement (session 19 or 20). At the 12th or 13th appointment I was actually feeling worse, and when I asked my doctor if any other patients had seen a dip in their mood, she said they hadn’t. The only report was that patients felt increased anxiety for a few days midway through the six weeks.

    However, since that time there have been others who have reported this “dip” that lasts only a few days, and then they started to feel much better right after that, just as I had. Not everyone has this, however. In many cases this period requires more patience and trust. The main thing is to remember the original commitment to not give up on the six-week process.

    When TMS does start to take effect, it is subtle but unmistakable. I woke up one morning to notice that something was just a little different. The disgusting “I wish I were dead” feeling had vanished. It was just a discreet awareness that the horrible dread feeling was gone. Slowly but surely I felt better from that day forward. I’ve also heard of patients who felt no improvement after their initial six weeks, but a week or two later they ultimately experienced the positive effect from TMS.



    I completed 22 treatments now. During the 1st week, I thought maybe there was a subtle uptick in mood. Actually, I think there was, and I believe it was because I made a very strong, concerted commitment and effort to do a number of things to either help ‘make it work’ given the time, money, effort, and feeling that it was a ‘last resort’ for me to feel better, or at least maximize the chances. So, I worked very hard to be sticking to better sleep, eating and exercise habits and making an effort at work to fight through the anxiety and procrastination that plagues me.

    And I did this for a week or two. I finished the last 2 weeks of treatment during the holidays, while off work for 2 weeks with family, so the routine changed, although I kept up with a modified schedule and version of most of the good habits.

    Unfortunately, the full weight of depression returned and has not abated. I can’t say I have or am experiencing any benefit from the TMS treatments, plus, in all honesty, I now also have the added weight of one more thing that didn’t work, which I’ll have to pay for and have no idea how.

    Obviously my personal experience should not be generalized for everyone, any more than should be the experience of someone who has benefited from TMS. Right now, I could not recommend TMS as a treatment to others.

    What really bothered me, was the lack of service from the doctor, neglecting to be really on top of a couple factors that I clearly communicated on multiple occasions to the technician, and then at the end, seeming to have no real interest in my actually getting better. His only points of hope or possibility at all were for me to query whether my wife thought I had seen improvement, and whether I noticed improvement in the following month. My wife’s assessment is about the same as mine – that I have been showing some real signs of progress associated with the hard, DBT skills work I have been doing, and unfortunately, I’ve noticed no improvement this month.

    It is very difficult to convey the level of disappointment and even somewhat disillusionment and feeling like I was a sucker for trying this expensive, time-consuming therapy, giving it a really serious go for 22 sessions straight, etc. and experiencing no benefit whatsoever.

    I think people here and elsewhere deserve to hear these accounts along with the positive ones when evaluating their chances to benefit from this treatment



    I had a few hours of wellness here and there starting Week 2, and a big dip in Week 5. We kept going past 70 treatments until the results started to stick.

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