Saturday, March 19, 2016
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Final Post
Friends, I tried eight sessions of TMS and found I could not tolerate any more than that. The experiences of nine days ago were too frightening. Simply put, there isn't enough research data and aren't enough recorded anecdotal studies to give anyone a good idea of what to expect from treatment. I'm disappointed in the end result. It's taken me several days to fully recover from the process, which is why I haven't written about it until now.
I had plans to blog extensively throughout the whole of the 36 scheduled sessions. Now it's back to the drawing board. I am going to have to switch antidepressants again, as medication is currently the only option now available to me. Some people I consulted before I even started the treatments felt that my move was one of desperation. This is partially true, but if TMS was not FDA approved, I wouldn't have proceeded any further.
My psychiatrist feels that I should have never been cleared to participate in the first place. As I noted in an earlier post, I feel that business was favored over safety. TMS is indicated to work only for unipolar or major depressive disorder, not bipolar disorder. Had I continued onward, the doctor feels that I might well have been thrown into a very destructive manic episode or even borderline psychosis. In this situation, I may well be the outlier, but I suspect my symptoms are not unusual.
When TMS is used more regularly, I know other patients will experience similar side effects. Speaking of medication, about twenty years ago I was placed on a now regularly prescribed antidepressant called Effexor. I was one of the first patients tried on the drug, which has absolutely horrible discontinuation symptoms, should you need to be taken off of it completely. It took years for psychiatrists and researchers to realize how severe the side effects really were. I suspect the same will be true with TMS. Once again, I'm the guinea pig for cutting-edge procedures that are dubiously safe.