‘Continuous Care’ – TMS maintenance
Continuous Care offers on-going maintenance sessions of rTMS to help avoid relapsing and keep the positive effects of the treatment topped up.
Here Jaime-Lee documents her journey; describing how her conditions can affect her daily life and how treatment then maintenance sessions helped her to recover.
December – a review of the year
This time last year, I was struggling to cope with tasks that most people see as being normal, every day jobs.
I struggled to leave the house without feeling intense anxiety and had become depressed, meaning I just wanted to curl up in bed. The anxiety had become so unbearable that I even had to miss my daughter’s 10th birthday party. In the run up to Christmas, I missed out on all of the festive fun with my family and to make matters worse, I was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, which made me dizzy and have constant pressure in my ears.
My thoughts were consumed by anxiety relating to my health and I found myself checking my blood pressure regularly to try to reassure myself that I wasn’t going to collapse at any moment, leaving my family behind.
As we entered 2018, I knew I couldn’t go on like this, but the medication prescribed by my GP wasn’t working, so what else could I do?
My fiancé supported me throughout my good days and bad but I was still conscious that I was missing out on my children growing up and was signed off work, causing us to have to tighten our belts financially, too. Almost six months past and I was still just surviving, not living the life I wanted to live, when I came across an advert for a new mental health clinic opening in Manchester. They were offering treatment to those who were suffering from treatment resistant anxiety and depression. Not only that, but they had the support of Emma Kenny, the psychologist I had spent hours watching on TV, so I applied and kept my fingers crossed. It worked – I was chosen to have treatment and have been working towards ridding myself of the anxiety and depression that had plagued my life.
Throughout treatment, there were good days and bad days, but on the whole my progress was good and my Clinician, Aleks, has confirmed that I am now in remission, which means I’m officially no longer depressed! I have been weaned from my antidepressants and have managed to watch my children in their school nativities, attend family parties and I’m even planning to cook the Christmas dinner, which is never something I would have attempted without worrying for weeks and weeks in the run up to the big day. I’ve noticed that I’m drinking less alcohol and snacking on less junk food, which has helped me to lose weight and I have managed to return to my job, that I absolutely love.
Next year, I am beginning monthly maintenance TMS sessions with Abie as I’m so happy with my progress that I don’t want to slip back into old habits and become depressed and anxious again. Abie is really supportive and it’ll be great to catch up with her. She always notices little changes in me that I don’t see for myself and I can’t wait to tell her all that I’ve achieved since I saw her last!
I have recommended TMS treatment to everyone I know who is suffering with mental health problems or addictions. 2018 has been the first year of the rest of my life and I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings!!
January – new year, new me
Abie has said that I seemed like a different person when I attended my first maintenance session compared to how I was when she first met me. The session was intense, but over quickly and Abie kept me talking to take my mind off of the tapping sensation on my head. Public transport used to be a nightmare for me and travelling in the car sent me into a panic but I was able to travel into central Manchester and be back in time to collect the children from school, something that most people take for granted.
I am a little nervous about only having one appointment per month, but the team at Smart TMS assure me that this will be enough to keep me at my best. I’m still not taking any medication – This is the longest I have been off of anti-depressants in almost 10 years and I am loving not having to cope with the side effects. The newspapers talk about the “January Blues”, but if I’m having a “blue” day, I’m able to remind myself that everyone feels down now and again and that I have come so far. I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel between now and my next session with Abie and will be sure to update you all soon.
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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)