Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is becoming more commonly known, which means more and more people are trying it. In its early days, the data around the effectiveness of TMS was inconsistent, but later clinical trials have shown positive results.
Today the FDA-approved procedure is sought after by individuals from all over the country who suffer from depression, notably if antidepressant medications have not yielded results as part of the individual’s treatment course.
Individuals’ Experiences With TMS
In a story done by the national publication The Atlantic, entitled “The Helmet That ‘Resets’ Your Brain,” Bre Hushaw, a TMS patient, recounts her experience.
“From age 15 until I was 20, I was extremely suicidal, and I was self-harming.” Hushaw decided to enroll in a TMS treatment course for 20 minutes every day for a full six weeks. When asked about her outcome and how it affected her major depression, she had this to say, “I felt like there was a huge blanket that was lifted off my shoulders, and I felt completely free.”
Candise Miller, a marketing director for a mental health clinic, was also interviewed as part of this same story by The Atlantic. Candise also opted to try TMS therapy. When asked how she responded to the depression treatment, she said, “My life is forever changed.”
The Cape Cod Times also did a story on patients’ experiences with transcranial magnetic stimulation. The article details the journey of Sharon DiGennaro, who drove three times a week to a treatment center for TMS sessions to treat depression and anxiety.
Sessions involve using powerful magnets like those found in an MRI machine, which creates a magnetic field that delivers repetitive magnetic pulses to nerve cells in different areas of the brain.
DiGennaro describes what magnetic therapy sounds like explaining that she “hears a rapid tapping sound, like a woodpecker drilling into a tree. The sound starts and stops for about 17 minutes, and then they switch the device to the other side.”
Recounting her experience with TMS, DiGennaro had this to say, “I am happy. I am joyful. I’m laughing all the time. I have my sense of humor back.”
Marcia Terry was another individual who shared her experience with CBS in the news article entitled “I have so much hope: How deep transcranial magnetic stimulation changed one woman’s life.” Marcia lived with depression almost her entire life. She tried several treatment options, each without success. After discussions with her doctor, she finally opted to undergo TMS treatment.
For Marcia, the treatment worked so well that she indicated, “I will never give up again, and I have so much hope,” adding if her depression were to return, she would at once resume TMS treatments.
How Will TMS Work for You?
The best way to figure out if TMS therapy is right for you is to speak to your healthcare professional. If they indicate TMS is an option for you, they can answer any questions, explain any potential side effects, and connect you with a treatment center.
What will your experience with transcranial magnetic stimulation be like? The only way to know for sure is to give it a try. Especially since experiences can vary depending on the level of symptom relief sought, the disorder treated, duration of treatment, and other factors.
With all the positive feedback from people who have given transcranial magnetic stimulation a try, it is worth exploring, especially for those with depressive disorders.