What does TMS Therapy Feel Like?

The only challenge I had to deal with during the first week was the intense tapping that required some getting used to. It felt like a small woodpecker tapping on the left side of my head in the front above the temple. The tapping was very quick for four seconds and then it was off for twenty-six seconds and then on again for four seconds. This sequence lasted for the thirty-seven minute session. It “smarted” only for those four seconds. I was a bit of a wimp about it, and because I was so fragile and depressed, it made me feel even more pitiful. But it’s like anything else, you get used to it—sort of like buying a pair of shoes you absolutely adore but they hurt your feet for the first week or so until you break them in. Then you feel like you could walk a mile and back in them. The same thing happened with getting through the adjustment to the tapping. Eventually I hardly noticed it.

3 replies
  1. kate
    kate says:

    I read Marthas book, excellent! I had my first treatment with mapping yesterday. Apparently I am one of the few people who have a very sensitive facial nerve. No matter how many adjustments were made they could not get away from it. I had terrible pain surging down my nose and across my right eye. Is this really normal? I can get used to the tapping but the other pain is so intense. I was not expecting that at all!

  2. patjrvj
    patjrvj says:

    I’ve just started treatment. The hardest part was deciding to do it. My doctor recommended it over a year ago, but since I have good days interspersed with the bad days I always think, “I can handle this.” And the thought of having my brain zapped is terrifying. My mother was locked up and given ECT treatments back when it was incredibly brutal, and my father made a habit of calling her a mental case and threatening to have her locked up in the “looney bin” again if she didn’t behave. Of course he’s the one who should have been locked up in prison, but never the less it has added to my fears and feelings of being defective. I’ve been told I have dysthenia, not sure on the spelling, basically low grade depression with periods of major depression and more recently my doctor said I have “break through depression.” Whatever you call it, I’m 58 and have done battle with it my whole life. I had a very bad spell over the holidays, unable to function, wanting my life to just be over already. It led me back to my shrink, ready to try anything, and so I have now had 4 sessions. I don’t know what to expect. In the time it took to set up the sessions my depression already went from a 9 and a half down to a 6 on a scale of one to ten, so how do I know if this is working? Also yesterday I woke up, very early, in a mental panic because I couldn’t feel my heart. In other words a total lack of affect. The feelings came back and I actually had a joyful day, but now I have a new fear, “Am I going to become an emotional zombie?” The reason I stopped taking SSRIs, aside from the fact that they never stopped the descents into the abyss, is that they made me feel apart from myself. I have worked very hard not to disassociate. I decided a long time ago I’d rather be in pain than be absent, (at least most days.) So has anybody else stopped feeling after these treatments? I’ve only had 4 treatments with the weekend off, tomorrow they resume. I guess I should talk to my doctor and I will, but looking for an answer led me to this site, so is there anybody out there?

    On a positive note, after surviving the initial terror of going for treatment, the process itself has been no big deal, just a bit unpleasant. I’m watching Cesar train dogs and that’s nice. The nurse/technician insisted that I watch something pleasant to take my mind off the woodpecker tapping on my head and I’m glad I listened because it really is not that bad.

  3. terrig
    terrig says:

    today will be my 26th tms treatment….
    I really thought by now I would be feeling like the Martha Rhodes book described…
    but unfortunately im still struggling @day. 🙁


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