January 3, 2017 at 2:30 am #5636
I am 73 and have suffered with anxiety since I can remember. Depression crept in as anxiety knocked me down over time. I’ve been depressed for the past 30 years and no meds have really helped. I have never known what it is like to really LIVE life…but am an expert at coping with life. I suspect my illness was inherited and exacerbated by a father with OCD and a emotionally absent mother.
I am a veteran and get my mental health care at the VA hospital in Madison, WI. 2016 was the toughest year for me depression wise. A love relationship soured and I sank. Plus the med I was on (Doxepin) was no help with depression and caused a significant weight gain. I decided to slowly wean off the med but the dreaded withdrawal syndrome hit me early in Dec and I was hospitalized for 4 days with out of control anxiety and inability to sleep. At that time the doc who treats me suggested that I consider both TMS and ECT. I also had to restart Doxepin plus a couple of other anti-anxiety meds (I refused to take these meds before this event). So I quickly decided to try TMS even though I am not totally comfortable and trusting as this is a new treatment offered at the VA. 2 other people and I are the first patients to receive it. The VA hired a young psychiatrist from Stanford U to head up the TMS unit. She has administered it to 18 patients while at Stanford.
I probably won’t sleep well tonight as my nerves are on edge. But I do have hope. My biggest concern, voiced by the psychiatrist in charge, is that my depression may be helped but my anxiety may still remain. She briefly mentioned possibly doing some treatments on the right side of my brain to help the anxiety.
I am very fortunate that my treatment cost will be only $50/treatment. Veterans with several connected disability pay nothing for the treatment.
Please pray for me over the next month and a half that I can finally, in my last years, feel the excitement of really living.
God bless all of you.
PeterJanuary 9, 2017 at 2:27 am #5639
Had my first 4 treatments last week. They started at 80% of motor threshold and moved up to 120% by the end of the week. Also, the method of placing the coil used by Neuronetics was superceded by an independent method of placement that involves finding the vertex of the head and measuring from there. The third session, when we went up to 105%, bothered my right arm. I had tingles in the arm and involuntary movement in my right hand. On the last session, using a slightly different method to place the coil more exactly, I had twitches above my left eye and a minor toothache on the left side during the pulses.
I am not feeling dramatically different but I found myself smiling and cracking a joke yesterday for the first time in quite a while. On the negative side, I am tending to overeat and forgot a couple of important dates that I used to remember easily.
Week 2 starts tomorrow.
God bless you,
PeterMarch 31, 2017 at 9:06 pm #5731
Hi Papa Peter
Wanted to know how your TMS Treatment course ended. You seemed very positive at the outset, I sincerely hope the results were what you needed and were looking for! Good or bad, let us know how TMS turned out for you.April 1, 2017 at 3:42 am #5733
Without hesitation I can say that TMS helped immensely with my depressive symptoms. But I am left with significant anxiety issues. Will I go back for maintenance TMS? You bet. But right now I am trying to figure out how to manage the anxiety, hopefully with less medication.
Thanks for asking.
PeterApril 1, 2017 at 4:59 pm #5734
First I would like to express my gratitude for your service to our country and for the freedom I enjoy. Thank you.
I am a 66 year old patient who had TMS 6 years ago and had a very positive outcome after a life-long battle with depression. I wondered if you ended up having treatment on the right side for your anxiety? Are you finding that your lift from depression is occurring at a slow steady pace or was it quick? What else do you do to manage your depression and anxiety? I ask because I find I need a multifaceted approach to managing my brain health and any ideas or processes we find that supports health, when shared, may help others (if you don’t mind sharing.)
ColleenApril 3, 2017 at 12:05 am #5737
Hi Colleen. My depression lifted quickly a couple of weeks after treatment ended. It was a strange feeling – having the same old anxiety but not having the disabling depressive thoughts. Unfortunately I cannot really provide much in the way of “post TMS” advice because I am still trying to figure out medications. I have been on heavy duty doses of BuSpar as well as Trazadone because I was able to sleep before starting TMS. Am seeing my doc at the VA this week with the hope that I can begin tapering those meds.
With all that in mind, there are some steps that I am taking that help a lot.
1. Am doing a weekly mindfulness group and practice “kindness meditation” daily. I love it.
2. I really like the writing of Dr. Amen and am hoping to start on his recommended meds for my diagnosis (Wellbutrin and gabapentin)
3. I have begun one-on-one psychotherapy using CBT
4. Daily walks.
5. Avoiding processed foods.
Hope that helps.
PeterApril 13, 2017 at 1:31 am #5744
So nice to hear from you Papa Peter.
Thanks for your response. It can be so helpful to others when we share the steps we each take to help manage our depression. Your dedication and courage as well as fortitude is inspiring. Thanks for sharing!
I hope as you proceed on your journey things continue to improve.
Please stay in touch as it is nice to have your input and wisdom.
Sending support and gratitude!
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