9 Patients Share an Honest Review of TMS Therapy
May 15, 2019
According to Dr. Adam Stern of Harvard University, two-thirds of people with depression aren’t relieved after trying an antidepressant. If you’ve tried antidepressants and/or psychotherapy to treat your depression and been unsuccessful, you may want to consider Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy to help with your symptoms.
At transformations, we use NeuroStar, an FDA-approved system of TMS therapy. TMS specializes in targeting underactive brain areas associated with depression by sending magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain in those areas. NeuroStar is a noninvasive treatment method as well as non-systemic, meaning that because it is not consumed orally, NeuroStar doesn’t course through the bloodstream.
If you’re nervous about trying TMS for your depression, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional to address any questions you may have and to see if TMS is a good fit for you. But in terms of honest patient TMS therapy reviews, we got you covered. Read on to find out what real life patients have to say about their experience with TMS.
Robert had been suffering from depression for years before trying TMS, with symptoms spanning back into his teens. It greatly interfered with his quality of life, causing problems with his work and the way he engaged in relationships with others, adding that his depression basically defined who he was.
Fortunately, Robert reported that TMS therapy has allowed him to feel better and work better. He first noticed symptom improvement within three weeks of treatment. Better yet, Robert explained that side effects were minimal and the treatment process was easy.
“If I could go back and talk to my depressed self, I would say ‘Do not hesitate. Get the NeuroStar TMS Therapy and make that change.’”
In order to qualify as a candidate for TMS, a patient must have tried more than one antidepressant without success. Kim was such a candidate. She had tried four antidepressants, none of which adequately helped her depression symptoms, which included decreased interest and an overall negative impact on her daily life. Furthermore, Kim was unhappy with some of the systemic side effects from antidepressants, which can include nausea, drowsiness, and irritability.
Kim was impressed with how well TMS therapy improved her symptoms in as little as 5 weeks after starting treatment. She noted the experience was painless in comparison to the side effects she experienced with antidepressants. After TMS therapy, Kim said she started feeling joy and motivation and that she stopped isolating herself from loved ones.
“After NeuroStar TMS Therapy, I am motivated and looking forward to the future.”
Craig suffered from depression for nearly 20 years before NeuroStar treatment. His depression greatly impacted with his quality of life in that it kept him from finishing college and succeeding in work. After trying many types of medication, Craig saw no symptom improvement in addition to suffering from the side effects that came with increasing the amount of medication he was taking.
After NeuroStar treatment, Craig reported his progress as “phenomenal” and that he is now able to work again and enjoy spending time with his children. He appreciated how simple TMS treatment is, in addition to its benefits, such as being a quick and relaxing process.
“Now, I feel better than I have in years. I have my life back.”
Similar to previous examples, Martha suffered from depression for three decades. She wasn’t diagnosed until she was 40, which is when she began taking antidepressants. For Martha, the side effects were unbearable, causing her to gain weight and feel disconnected from herself and the world around her.
After TMS therapy, Martha saw a dramatic improvement in her depression, as she started to reconnect with loved ones and had better control of herself and her life. As opposed to the antidepressants, Martha felt no side effects with TMS and was impressed by how basic and noninvasive treatment was.
“Today I feel clear, light and happy. NeuroStar TMS changed my life.”
Marie had been going to therapy on and off for about 40 years before trying TMS. She had been on four different combinations of medication over the course of five or six years without long-lasting symptom relief. She suffered from many symptoms of depression, such as excessive sleeping and feelings of hopelessness.
After one month of TMS therapy, Marie reported that her feelings of depression had subsided and she felt like a different person.
“It’s been worth every penny. Absolutely worth every penny. I don’t know what else I could have done… This has saved my life. I have no doubt about that.”
When Benjamin first discussed TMS therapy with a psychiatrist, Benjamin said he had definitely heard about this new form of treatment but never thought he would be one to try it. At the time, he was working as a restaurant cook in Seattle. The intensity and fast pace of his job brought his anxiety symptoms to the surface, which caused him to seek therapy and medication.
As his anxiety became under control, Benjamin noticed his depression was becoming more severe. He spoke with his psychiatrist about how different types and doses of antidepressants weren’t working as well as Benjamin hoped, and his psychiatrist recommended TMS.
Benjamin was certainly hesitant about treatment. He was nervous about the time commitment—about 30 minutes a day five days a week—but was excited about the noninvasive and non-systemic qualities of TMS. After a difficult first session, Benjamin reported he felt “like a newer person.” He started feeling happier and consequently being and looking happier—a result he is happy about.
“After these treatments, I feel like I'm more connected with myself and the world around me, and I can truly say that I'm happy with myself.”
Before being diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety, Cindy was not sure why she consistently felt so sad and felt like she shouldn’t be feeling this way. Her symptoms were on and off with the use of antidepressant medication. When an illness caused her to go off of the antidepressants, Cindy began TMS therapy.
After a few weeks, Cindy’s depression symptoms began drastically improving. This resulted in her feeling better overall, now engaged in life and in her relationships with her family.
“I really liked how I was starting to feel better, and I feel like I got my life back from it. It has been missing for a long time.”
TMS is advised for patients ages 18 and older, and Sarah was on the younger side of this age group. Sarah dealt with depression in high school, resulting in a difficult home life and trouble in school before she stopped schooling because of her mental health.
Sarah noticed improvement in as little as two to three weeks after TMS therapy, with progress only going up from there. One interesting thing Sarah said was that she called TMS “self-accomplishing,” because as opposed to taking medication daily and relying on it, TMS allows the patient to feel like they are taking control of their mental health by committing to get a procedure done and receive treatment five days a week. She reported that her mood and well-being greatly improved after treatment.
“[TMS therapy is] enlightening, because it’s almost like a whole weight is lifted off you because you feel lighter and you have a whole lot more to look forward to.”
Kristi is a wife, mother, and real estate broker who suffered from depression for 45 years by the time she sought out TMS therapy. Having tried a handful of different antidepressants, Kristi reported that she still had a persistent “underlying” sense of depression, even while she thought the medications were working.
While undergoing treatment, Kristi began looking forward to the next session. She reported TMS therapy sessions as being relaxing and that she quickly became used to treatment. Everyone around her noticed how well her symptoms improved after TMS. In addition to Kristi’s positive results, multiple friends with depression heeded her advice and tried TMS therapy with similarly successful results.
“It’s like coming out of a shell.”
Ultimately, speaking with a healthcare professional is the best way to see if TMS therapy via NeuroStar is right for you. It is definitely worth a conversation, especially after hearing all of the positive things these patients had to say about TMS.
If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from anxiety or depression, speak to a mental healthcare provider as soon as possible. If it is a mental health emergency, call 911. Try not to let thoughts of how you should be feeling get in the way of taking care of yourself and your mental health.
What is your experience with TMS therapy? Let us know in the comments!
*Name has been changed for privacy reasons