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  • #31244

    patjrvj
    Participant

    This treatment is scary. I’m on day 6. I have high hopes that it will keep me out of the bad places I go, but I’ve done so much therapy and emotional work that I’m not always in a bad place. So I don’t know how I will even know if it’s working. A month ago I couldn’t stand my life any more, but by the time treatment started I was already on the upswing. The doctor recommended this over a year ago, but I always think I can manage the depression until I can’t. I have triggers that take me down and then I have to fight my way back up. I’m so sick of losing so much of my life staring at walls, isolating, and having no joy. Ugh! I just want to be well. I’M TIRED OF THE FIGHT!

    I have a high pain threshold so the treatments are no big deal, just a mild headache afterwards, not even bad enough to take a Tylenol. What I’m struggling with is self doubt and shame because I can’t fix this myself, as well as fear that TMS is just a stupid sham and I’m a fool for doing this. Interspersed with the other fear that I may be doing something horrible and irreparable to my brain and end up worse off after treatment.

    #31251

    colleencasey
    Participant

    Hi patjrvj:

    The depression fight is challenging and tough for sure. And when you have fought for a long period of it is exhausting. The good thing is that TMS and other technologies and understanding the brain are on the forefront of scientific research. Day 6 is early in treatment. May be you could do some simple things for yourself in the next couple of days – long hot bath, watching a favorite movie, etc., just for a momentary reprieve from the efforts to manage your depression. I know it is so difficult. You are doing what you can especially undergoing TMS treatment. It becomes a day by day waiting game to see if it works. Please know that this is a battle worth fighting with periodic rest periods. The outcome may be more than you could have imagined. You’ve got this!
    Sending support and strength.
    Colleen

    #31255

    patjrvj
    Participant

    Thanks for the support Colleen. I slept all night last night for the first time in I don’t know how long. I think something is happening in my brain, I had a better day than I’ve had in a long time. This is good, fingers crossed, hope it continues.

    #31262

    colleencasey
    Participant

    Back at you tonight!!! Great news!! Whooaaa.

    #31264

    colleencasey
    Participant

    patjrvj:
    Here is the good news. That ‘something’ that is happening in your brain, often does not stop when treatment is over. Many times things improve over a several month period – often slow and steady.
    If you go through ups and downs, try not to read into it because the TMS Treatment process for some may be smoother and less interruptive and for others, quite challenging – but it is short lived no matter what the process has in store for your.
    Because this is a brain disorder, you have done nothing to feel shameful about (easier said than done) because no one can fix a brain disorder without a medical, medication and/or or theraputic intervention of some sort. It’s a medical condition. Don’t hurt yourself over this because you are already suffering. There are valuable lessons that you may become aware of after treatment outcomes are apparent, regarding your depression. It’s a horrible challenge living with depression, but great insight into life and living a more quality life may be an unexpected gift. Self compassion is very healing for sadness and shame. Maybe those could be a couple of issues to work out in a theraputic session. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Sending my best for your self compassion, understanding and persistence.
    Colleen

    #31265

    patjrvj
    Participant

    Thank you Colleen, so, so very much for responding to my post. I am in tears this morning (understand my earliest thoughts of killing myself were before the age of 10.) I have fought this beast for so long and now the possibility that this constant battle may be coming to an end—well I can’t stop crying. I am optimistic. Optimism, imagine that! I’ll probably be in despair again before the day is over, but something is changing, something new is definitely happening. I’ve been journaling my experience with this therapy and would like to share my last 3 entries inclusive of this morning. And to those of you contemplating this therapy, don’t wait a year and a half like I did to try it, and please pray that this is real and will continue not just for me but for others who are suffering.

    Day 8

    I slept again last night, and the world was different today. I think something is happening in my brain when I sleep.

    Day 9

    Something is definitely happening when I sleep, and I am sleeping! I wake up and my brain just feels different, quieter more peaceful, I feel a warmth in my head. The morning seems to be the best part of my day. I’m starting to come out of this depression and as I do I realize just how bad it’s been, far worse than I was aware. I was very emotional this morning, crying because now that I’m starting to feel better I realize how bad I’ve been for so long. It seems that everyday the morning lift last a little longer, and when I sink it’s not as low. The changes have been so subtle that I haven’t been sure that something was changing until now the change is unmistakable. This is nothing at all like the god-awful drugs I’ve tried in the past. I don’t feel drugged and altered just more at peace. I even initiated sex with my husband last night and thought, “My God it’s been years since I’ve felt alive enough to want sex.” And how nice to be able to enjoy it: not like all the years on the SSRI drugs that didn’t work anyway. Can my broken brain be fixed? Is there a possibility I won’t have to fight everyday of my life to keep my head above the depression? I am beyond grateful for this gift I’m being given.

    12 days since treatment began

    Although I woke very early, I slept soundly last night. I marveled in bed this morning at the quiet in my mind and the lack of heaviness in my heart. I don’t know how to put it into words; something is gone that has always been there.

    The CBT therapy at the BMC (mental hospital) made me aware of the hornets’ nest of negative thoughts I carry in my brain. They taught me to catch the thoughts and neutralize them with logic. A very useful tool for quelling my out of control anxiety attacks. I at least realized that the feelings weren’t coming out of nowhere; I’m thinking thoughts that are bringing them on. Unfortunately, killing the one hornet that’s attacking is somewhat ineffective when you have hundreds of thousands of them buzzing around in your head waiting to attack. The peace I’m experiencing now are the hornets quieting. I want to cry; the attacks, the suffering might end.

    #31267

    patjrvj
    Participant

    Today is not so good, but still hopeful that it’s early in treatment. Thank you Colleen for the thought that the changes/improvements will continue even after therapy has ended. I’m hanging onto that thought today.

    #31276

    colleencasey
    Participant

    patjrvj:
    Yes hold on to that as this can be a roller coaster of feelings, emotions, thoughts and behavior as your brain adjusts. Its so hard to visualize what we are actually experiencing throughout treatment and the unknown of each day and each treatment can be cause, (if we let it) for projecting the outcome. We just aren’t going to know for weeks. More challenges for sure but we have an inner strength regarding a desire to manage this illness and feel better that will carry us. Touch that strength inside; its there.
    Thanks for staying in touch. My best,
    Colleen

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