Deep TMS – Week One
So here I am sitting here at the end of week one of Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. I have undergone five treatments and my treatment schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I’m having a difficult time writing about the week. I feel like there is there is so much information to share, yet my depression steals all of my energy and motivation. Just a reminder, I am not a doctor and this is not any medical advice whatsoever. Please research Deep TMS for yourself, I even recommend looking at brain anatomy as well. I felt very informed before my first visit.
First, I have to say that Garrett, Tori and Jaycee are three of the most professional, compassionate, empathetic and informative providers I have ever had the privilege to know. Monday, my first day began with a little paperwork and a twenty-one question survey that I believe was a preliminary basic assessment of what my current status or level of depression is. Then came the machine.
Garrett explained everything step by step. He took measurements of my head to start the “targeting” process. A head cover goes on first and then the helmet (that’s what I call it anyway). Garrett then proceeded to administer a single pulse several times at different locations and strength. This was done to locate the optimal area for treatment and to establish what they call a motor threshold. The threshold is essentially the highest level of energy without causing involuntary muscle movement. Then the first treatment began.
The treatment itself is interesting. The only way I can think to explain how it feels physically is this. Put a football helmet on and let a woodpecker land on your shoulder and peck at your head. Seriously, it just feels like a light thumping on the side of the head and hearing the clicking of the machine. For me, no discomfort, no pain and no adverse effects whatsoever, and that includes the entire week of treatments. Please feel free to ask me questions about the process through the Prime TMS website. I think this should finish any type of introduction to the process now as well.
So now I have to talk about me, which is very difficult. Reading last week’s introduction, and a few PM’s, I have greatly exposed myself and we all know the internet is forever. I have received some great comments and a few not so great messages. Regardless of the trash that people want to throw at me, my sole purpose writing these short descriptions of my experience is if they may possibly help some of my fellow Veterans or anyone else considering Deep TMS.
So, what DID happen this week? One of the first things I noticed by about Wednesday, my level of anxiety was reduced considerably. I simply don’t stress on the stupid stuff lately. I still have a lot of things that are making my life miserable, but I don’t dwell on the negatives. This was the most profound change that I have noticed. Also, my thoughts of suicide and suicide ideation have been reduced as well. I did have a couple of low days, they actually happened during the day after a day without treatment. I also think one variable seems to have an effect as well. Have support around you as you are receiving treatments. One of my greatest disadvantages that I am dealing with during this treatment is loneliness. I don’t know anyone in the town I live in and pretty much have no friends in the area, so that makes things tough.
So, what didn’t happen this week? I didn’t develop more motivation or energy, but I did manage to get to the grocery store. I didn’t become less reclusive, in fact most days, I don’t leave my apartment except for my TMS appointments. Due to my depression, I have lost all interest in activities that I used to love, including just the day to day stuff. This area has not improved. In addition, my level of alcohol consumption has not improved. This first week has not been proven to be a magic pill, but as I said before, I am seeing improvements in certain symptoms of my depression.
So, if you’ve read all of week one now, thanks for reading. If anyone has specific questions about Deep TMS, reach out to Prime TMS and Garrett will reach out within a day or two. If you want to talk to a patient going through the process, you can definitely see me through Facebook, but going through the Prime TMS contact page, you can guarantee to reach me.