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    Martha Rhodes

    I’ve just spoken with another TMS patient (by phone) who has had somewhat of a lift throughout her 36 treatment sessions, although they came and went, off and on/off and on. The lightness she felt last week has turned back to sad and weepy feelings. She’s now wondering if she should do MORE treatments, or just quit and go back to the weepiness and lethargy her depression brings on. It occurred to me that after my 36 treatments, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself either. All of a sudden, after having something to do every day, having a goal to meet, and becoming attached to my TMS Coordinator who felt like a dear friend by the time I was done, I felt afraid and empty not knowing what I was going to do with my time.

    As we shared our experiences, I realized her fear of “going backwards” had also bothered me when I finished my initial six week TMS treatments — and that was five years ago! But then I remembered a few things I did that helped buoy me up as I transitioned into living life after TMS with this chronic illness, but without the burden of medications and their side effects. Here’s what I remember doing (and some of what I still do today!):
    1. I kept up with my Talk Therapist who encouraged me to start writing.
    2. I began exercising more (although I still need to do more of that even today!)
    3. I found something to DO that gave me a SENSE OF PURPOSE. I volunteered my time and put my attention “over there” instead of “here”. I was amazed at how much better I began to feel by doing something good for someone else.
    4. I took a course (writing) and met new people, tried doing something NEW and DIFFERENT for myself–and got myself out of the house once a week in the bargain.

    Even with having a treatment like TMS–or any therapy that works for each of us–I think the biggest dilemma for anyone suffering with chronic depression is the battle of low self-esteem, feeling like a burden to loved ones, feeling worthless and useless, feeling hopeless and that life is meaningless and is far too random.

    AHA! — I’m just noticing as I write this there are a lot of “LESS”-es in that last sentence. Less is NOT good. MORE is better when dealing with depression. MORE interaction with others (less isolating), MORE getting out of the house and helping others (less doubting that we even matter in this world), MORE doing something different and changing it up in our life to create new experiences (less worrying that we’ll fail), MORE feeling that we have a purpose in life (less feeling that we have no control over our fate).

    If anyone has advice for patients who need to know how to handle life after TMS, please comment. I’d love to pass more ideas along to the patient I just spoke with, and I’m sure she’d really appreciate it, too!



    Thank you, Martha. I finished treatment a week ago and have felt a bit untethered since, so your words couldn’t have come at a better time. If I get any bright ideas I will let you know. Sooxie



    Hi Martha,
    When I first heard of TMS my insurance did not cover it. I found an amazing patient advocate from Neurostar. His name is Chris Blackburn. He began the appeal process for me and then, voila, my insurance started covering….that was the beginning.

    Fast forward to my 5th week of treatment and I am feeling nothing. If anything I am worse as I have added depression thinking that I will be one of the unsuccessful cases. If I am in the dip phase it started last week or more. Have other people taken this long to respond? Have other people had a late dip?

    BTW I read your book before I started and I refer back to it often, thank you for writing it.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by  kate.



    I know how you are feeling. I felt worse too after several weeks and no change. I finished treatments in mid May and still feel very depressed. They say there can be a delayed response but I still feel nothing.

    I have children so I have a ‘purpose’ and I am trying to keep up with a few activities for myself. But everything seems like such a burden and overwhelms me. I force myself through each day and worry that tms is yet another dead end for me.

    Hopefully you will see results because you aren’t done yet. Best wishes for you.



    I have my very last session next Wednesday. I have felt nothing or possibly the slightest hint of something yet it even that comes and goes. I have been very weepy the past week or so and feel VERY let down that TMS did not do more for me. I did try to be realistic as I knew form the start that not everyone sees results….but naturally I had high hopes. : (




    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling any better. Neither am I. I finished in mid May. I’m so discouraged and really let down. This sounded like it had so much promise. So here I am still dragging myself through every day. Can’t help but feel hopeless at this point. TMS is a hard thing to go through and takes SO VERY MUCH effort to end up with no results.

    I think the success rates we are being given need to be reevaluated.



    Today is my last day. I have not missed one appointment and I really tried hard to keep my hopes up but today I feel like “why bother”. I have felt no improvement whatsoever in my depression. Disappointment doesn’t begin to describe how I feel now. Where to go from here? Meds that don’t work which is why I tried TMS in the first place? Not interested. : (

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  kate.


    dear kate, and martha………. Kate, I’m so, so sorry you didn’t get results, I’m in that same position right now, and now those thoughts about what did I do wrong to have it not work, I really, really thought it would and I hear there are so many that don’t get feel help until after TMS, some even months later, try to not give up. My question, for Martha or anyone, I’ve exhausted my TMS, and I can’t afford more, especially if it’s not working or going to make it worse, however , they offered and encouraged me to come a couple times a week, at 100.00 a session, trying to help me, but I don’t know what to do. I stayed home this weekend instead of forcing myself to go up to my mom’s as I usually do, and I can’t think at all. I have not done ONE lousy thing, not that I ever do, but this is even worse.

    What to do………………….. I’m so confused, could TMS really be affected me badly, that I an the exception and it’s made my brain worse? I feel some if not all mental issues are result of extreme water contamination as a child on a Marine Base Camp Lejeune NC. Before that came out, I had pinpointed that exact time that I changed from being an happy, energetic child to extremely lethargic, anti social, lazy, and and just “not right”, so there is that fear those toxins ruined my brain.

    Kate…………. I hope things turn around, keep posting, we are all watching. I am praying I have a miracle post to post soon too. Martha is a blessing…………………… everyone on this forum is a blessing, I wish we all had answers for each other!!!!

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