The Life-Changing Magic Of TMS
January 13, 2020
Depression is among one of the most commonly experienced mental health concerns for people aged 15-44 and leading causes of disability. Psychotherapy and medication are extremely helpful in reducing and sometimes healing symptoms. But sometimes, pain derived from depression is unrelenting.
Dr. Adam Stern of Harvard University states that two-thirds of people seeking relief from depression will not find it from their first round of antidepressants. Some people, however, will still be weighed down by depression after multiple rounds of psychotropic medications. If that sounds like you, it may be time to give a different treatment a try.
Here at Transformations, we want you to heal. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has changed the lives of those who have suffered for too long, making hope possible. Don’t take it from us--take it from people who come out the other side. Ahead are real stories from real people and their experiences with TMS.
At 61 years old, Alda had been well-acquainted with depression. For years, the severity of her condition made it extremely difficult to function. So, she sought help, trying every class of medication available. But instead of finding relief, she found herself saddled with unwanted side-effects, like weight gain. Still, she kept going the same route but began to lose hope--that is before she discovered My Transformations.
Though she’d tried what she thought was every treatment available, TMS was new to her. She liked that there was virtually no risk of side effects, definitely a plus. Still, what she liked most about TMS was that it worked. She says,
“The biggest thing for me was that it saved my life. Literally. If I had not come to Transformations, I certainly would not have survived this pandemic. Now for the first time, I know what it’s like to feel worthy just because I am who I am.”
Coronavirus has been difficult for everyone’s collective mental health. But for those with severe, long-standing depression, like Alda, it’s presented some particularly tricky and enduring challenges. We’re so grateful for her seeking out the treatment and life she deserves!
When Sue heard about TMS for the first time, she had reservations about its direct effect on the brain. But after living with Major Depression her whole life and having it be the center of attention for both she and her late husband of 37 years, she decided to give it a try.
It was a decision she didn’t regret.
Reflecting on her experience, she says--
“I tried to take my life at sixteen years old, and now, as I sit here in this chair, I think to myself, For once in my life, I am glad that I wasn’t able to do that. TMS has changed my life more than I can say.”
Tim had almost given up on everything. In the throws of his depression, he spent a month in bed, unable to get up. He didn’t go outside. Feeling depleted, desperate, and alone, Tim can’t recall ever experiencing such a low before. He’d also struggled with managing his anger.
That’s when Tim came to Transformations. Going into the process with an open mind, he was delighted with his results. Even his daughter noticed his new laid-back nature!
“I can’t think of one bad day that I had here. And about halfway through, I started to feel a lot calmer. I couldn’t imagine why anybody, anybody, wouldn’t come and try TMS.”
Heather began experiencing depressive symptoms during high school, but it wasn’t until she had her first daughter back in 2016 when things took a turn for the worst.
“Depression, for me, totally took my life away.”
She went through four doctors, several medications, and even spent some time in a psychiatric unit. Still, nothing worked. Even when her mother-in-law found Transformations and TMS, a treatment modality she had never tried before, she wasn’t hopeful. She’d been struggling for so long that she felt incapable of the feeling.
Heather emphasizes dedication when going through TMS. She says that it’s time-consuming but worth it. She’s one of many who have achieved remission.
“Now that I no longer have depression, I am happy every day,” she continues, “I just wanted to say thank you to Transformations for giving me my life back.”
Having been hospitalized ten times and taking twenty-seven medications (that he can recall), Robert couldn’t find relief from his severe psychotic depression. Instead, the treatments he went through did him harm rather than good.
“The side-effects were so bad that I had these terrible, terrible tremors.”
Robert has three degrees and is a certified doctor, but his condition made it impossible for him to be stable in his field. Because of that, he began working at a convenience store.
After a friend of his, a neurologist, sent him literature on TMS, Robert began treatment at Transformations. He described the treatment as “accelerating the inertia” of his recovery.
He puts it into perspective by talking about his relationship with music. Before his severe last bout of depression, Robert was an avid piano player but stopped in 2018. Upon finishing TMS, the music returned to him.
“Yesterday, for the first time, I sat at a piano and played for an hour. Today, I will go back for another hour and do it again.”
Former NFL running back, Merril Hoge, wants to make one thing clear--it wasn’t the concussions he suffered that ended his career. It was improper care of them. Since finishing his tenure as a pro football player, Hoge has found a new passion--brain care.
After suffering from depression, he decided to try TMS. What drew him to the treatment--it’s not medication. His reasoning is understandable, given some of the negative side-effects associated with depression meds.
Meeting with Transformations founder, Dr. Wakim, Hoge was impressed by the lack of side effects and TMS’s real positive results.
“Dr. Wakim has seen the results on every category I’ve even, you know, challenged him on. And he has amazing statistics to back him along with the patients, and that speaks volumes.”
Dottie Bryan, a life-long sufferer of depression, did everything she could to mitigate her depressive symptoms. She tried countless medications and though recovered now, began to suffer from anorexia nervosa. For Dottie, her eating disorder functioned as a way to numb her pain.
Three years ago, Dorothy walked into one of Dr. Wakim’s offices as a last resort. Like many, she was skeptical of TMS but did not regret going through treatment.
“I got back my life. I enjoy things. I enjoy my marriage--I enjoy my job. I enjoy just getting out rather than hiding all the time. I’m a much happier person today because of TMS.”
“Depression is like a monkey on your back that you just can’t shake.”
That’s how Lindsey described her condition. Like many sufferers, she felt empty and struggled to do the things she needed, like taking care of herself and her family.
To heal herself, she tried many different treatments. They all showed promise for a time but eventually plateaued. Lindsey lived with depression for fifteen years before trying TMS. And within two weeks, she began feeling relief from her symptoms. Ultimately, that relief became her new normal.
She now has the energy to do things that people without depression take for granted, like going outside and exercising. What’s more, she feels worthy.
“I don’t feel like I’m supposed to be sick--like I deserve to be sick,” she continues, “and I really feel that’s been the biggest testament to how useful and how beneficial this treatment really has been.”
For thirty-eight years, Marian Jo felt like the walls were closing in on her. She describes depression as a consistent state of darkness. But after beginning TMS, she noticed herself becoming someone new.
Marian Jo started to feel a difference after five sessions. With TMS’s help, she’s become a more confident person who now can show up for herself. One of the most rewarding things for Marian Jo is finishing things she starts--no longer putting her dreams on the back-burner.
“I’m not as anxious, I’m not as depressed--it changes your life. I wish it had been around thirty-eight years ago.”
If there’s one thing we can take away from these stories, it’s that TMS works! Treatment for depression and other mental health concerns are not one-size-fits-all. Sometimes, that means medication isn’t enough or that it’s just right. If you’re looking for a new route to wellness, talk to a trusted health care professional about whether TMS is for you.
We’d like to thank our clients for being candid about their experience with TMS. We’re humbled by the impact it’s had--it’s why we do what we do at Transformations!