My insurance approved me for rTMS. And I’ve already paid my out of pocket maximum for the year, so I’ll basically be getting it for free.
I decided to do it because I’ve been getting desperate with the depression and negative symptoms… the anhedonia. The apathy. Feeling like I’m dead and like there’s no point. The darkness.
I have no idea if this is going to work. I start a week from tomorrow, and it’s everyday for 6 weeks, then 3 times on the 7th week.
I’ve read some studies that it’s effective for bipolar depression. I’ve read conflicting studies about it working for negative symptoms. Some say yes, it decreases them, even just a little bit. Some say no remarkable difference.
About a third of people who try rTMS have no response at all, and it’s possible I will need to go in for “maintenance” in 6 months, or a year.
Anyway – will keep you all posted as I go through this process, and let you know if it’s effective for so much of the bad stuff we suffer with. (And if anyone else has tried it, let me know what your experience was.)
It’s not FDA approved for anything except depression, anxiety, and quitting smoking.
I forgot to mention that – my anxiety can be crippling and I hope I can get some relief with that.
They’re working on FDA approval for bipolar depression, which I guess I technically have, as I am SZA. And I know they’re looking into it for other things, as well. The place I’m going to got me approval just on my depression – I guess they said the right things, and left out the psychosis part. They said it’s fine, as long as I stay on my antipsychotic and mood stabilizer.
I will definitely keep you posted about the negative symptoms. Even if it just reduces them by a little bit it will have been worth it.
I miss my mind… I used to live in creativity and art and words and music, and it feels like it doesn’t exist anymore.
No. rTMS is transcranial magnetic stimulation. Basically, they put these magnetic coils against your head, and it drives pulses into your brain to stimulate the parts of your brain that are dormant and causing depression. There’s virtually no side effects, except for mild headache and scalp pain, and you can drive yourself home after.