The Daily Mirror kicked off Mental Health Awareness Week #MHAW2017 with the story of Smart TMS patient Freddie Webster, who beat serious long term depression with rTMS treatment.
The feature ‘Depressed man has been ‘cured’ by revolutionary treatment – and it doesn’t involve drugs‘ examines how Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation helped Freddie to move on from a 10 year history of depression with suicidal thoughts.
Freddie’s TMS Experience
Freddie struggled with serious depression for many years. He told the Mirror:
“The depression impacted all areas of my life. When it got more severe it would affect how I functioned at work, my motivation, my ability to make simple decisions, to communicate, even getting to the train on time.”
Having, trying medication and exercise but never really getting better
“One day I listened to a podcast with an American comedian who struggles with clinical depression. He said the only thing that worked for him was a treatment called TMS – a magnetic therapy for the brain. I’d never heard of it. He described what it was like, and said it felt like the weight he’d carried on his forehead for as long as he could remember had been lifted. It allowed him to come off medication completely, and he was no longer in pain.
“I knew I had to do it. I asked an NHS psychiatrist’s opinion before I went ahead and they said they only paid for it in extremely disruptive and severe cases, and had only used it on someone who was so violent he could have ended up in prison without it. I had to seek private help.
“Of course, there was part of me that had doubts because it was expensive, but at that point I would have tried anything. I knew I couldn’t live my life any more like that, I was willing to do anything and I’d have sold anything I had to do it. I called a psychiatric clinic specialising in TMS, had a consultation and was told I was suitable for treatment, which uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the front area of the brain affected by mental health problems, so the neural pathways in the brain are stimulated and re-grown.”
Freddie had 20 sessions of rTMS therapy for depression, each around 40 minutes long, followed by 15 minutes focusing on the right side of the brain to deliver anxiety treatment.
Freddie describes how the results built up:
“For the first three weeks there was an up and down in my mood as the relief gradually came in, and the real change came in the last two weeks of treatment when I started to feel normal all the time. I felt confident things were different this time, that it was a purer kind of feeling than I had felt for 10 years. It was like I was re-growing that invisible broken leg and, not just that, I was walking and even running on it.
“I finished the treatment three months ago and life has gone up and up and up, and I’m still improving every day, it didn’t just end when the treatment ended. I can’t remember feeling so consistently like myself and at my full potential like this for over a decade.
“I have a healthy brain and I feel confident the depression isn’t going to come back because I’ve been fixed – it’s not just putting a plaster on it like drugs can.”
“For some patients TMS can be a life-changing treatment. Around 30% of patients who have this form of treatment report having no symptoms of depression afterwards, while others say their depressive symptoms are significantly reduced. We hope to see TMS offered by the NHS, as we know current treatment for resistant depression costs twice as much and is not proven to be more effective.”
Read the full story on the Mirror website:
Read more about Freddie’s story on the Smart TMS website:
at Smart TMS, London
Smart TMS offer treatment for depression with Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy (rTMS) in their London based clinic and have plans to open further TMS Treatment Centres in the UK during 2017.
SMART TMS CLINICS
Smart TMS is a specialist provider of TMS treatment in London. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy (rTMS) is a technological breakthrough in the treatment of depression with a variety of further potential treatment applications. It is a non-invasive treatment for depression which uses magnetic impulses to work on areas of the brain affected by depression and has the approval of NICE.
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