Our patient describes his experience in his own words
“I attended clinic in Bristol & a wonderful technician called Vinnie, welcomed me in & put me at ease.”
“I had had ECT before & it was brutal so was a little nervous. It was explained that 60% was success figure for TMS. I was naturally sceptical & approached desperately wishing a positive but fearing a negative result.
“I was 45 treatments in when I realised that it was not denting my low mood & negativity. I feared a failure here & thought to my future with great menace, I had pretty much decided if this didn’t work I would take my own life.
“The psychologist Alex, decided that after 45 treatments I was not improving, so time to reconsider. I had pretty much given up in my heart. He prescribed 10 more treatments but on a different protocol. This he said was most successful in Canada he said, as I asked in desperation.
“I said does TMS make you happier if it works, he replied no, it may lift the fog but no, happiness is something you need to seek out.
“I respected this comment & accepted the likelihood of these ten not to work either. My suicide was looming & feeling desperate. I even thought as Alex was employed by Smart TMS, of course he will promote more treatments that my friend was forking out for.
“Over the next week I noticed a quantum shift that was so subtle.
“I wasn’t sure. It was happening & fog as Alex mentioned was definitely lifting. I started to make bold decisions I never would have dared before.
“I decided to come off all medication slowly over a month against medical opinion. I loathed taking drugs like Lithium & was convinced it was part of the problem. Kurt Cobain blew his brains out whilst on Lithium.
“The next 15 – 20 treatments were delicious. I was fired up & with a totally different mindset. I approached life differently & literally like a drowning man made a grab for life.
The treatment was uncomfortable but you got used to the electro pulses through the prefrontal cortex & I was now lapping it up. I was having accelerated treatments up to 3 a day, sometimes. I explored the city of Bristol between treatments & got to really like the place. On one occasion I walked towards Cabot Circus & COVID-19 had rendered the city a ghost town. I wasn’t sure I should be walking here but was so animated & high on life that I just ignored the thoughts. I saw a homeless man, virtually the only other human round this central city location, I walked past him sadly indicating I had no change. I so desperately wanted to help him I decided that if he was there on way back I’d give him the only tenner in my wallet. I passed him on way back to clinic, and dropped a tenner in his woolly hat. His jaw dropped & I felt so good I’d helped this poor man. I had been him a few weeks prior.
Vinnie & I just chatted incessantly & listened to my Spotify collection. I was alive & smiling whilst talking to him, I noticed my psychometric test sheets were taking me into remission. My scores steadily dropped from a steady 15/21 To virtually 0 on last day. 60 treatments in I was a different man entirely.
“I was animated, incredibly talkative & busy. Productivity was happening all the time. I explored the city of Bristol with relish having avoided parks & treelined streets before because on every stout tree branch I saw my gallows. Now I just started to see beautiful trees.
“If lockdown had happened after my 45th treatment I would have probably accepted my fate & committed suicide.
“I was blessed as finished my 60th treatment the week they closed. I thanked Vinnie on 31st March 2020 & headed home as spring was really kicking in. I received a speeding ticket & 3 points that day but it didn’t register I was so high on life.
“My birthday the next day & I reported with glee to my guardian angel I called him. The fog had lifted & I was free to pursue happiness & I did with gusto.”
(* Name changed)
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Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)