I had an appointment with my Psychiatrist on Tuesday. It went well and we did EMDR centred around my shame for the abuse that happened to me as a child in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s. I can understand the logic that it was the men’s and priests fault and not mine but it is not how I FEEL. I feel extreme shame and guilt for the abuse I went through. This is largely due to the expert grooming techniques they all used and just also how it made my body experience the abuse. This is very common amongst rape victims. They blame themselves not the perpetrators.
As a result of the shame I experience severe depression. I have taken so many antidepressants over the last seven years. They work for a time, maybe even up to a year but then stop working. As a result I have run out of antidepressants to try. It is very disheartening. I am also on mood stabilisers to control the swinging moods that go with the depression.
So my Psychiatrist said I had two options ECT or TMS. In talking through the pros and cons of both treatments we decided against ECT. It is very effective for depression but often accompanies severe memory loss. It is also contraindicated for people with PTSD and CPTSD. The evidence isn’t in yet on the effect on those with Dissociative Identity Disorder but to date it is pointing that is has no benefit and can actually disrupt the system adversely.
That left us with TMS to examine. This is a new treatment for depression and is yielding good results.
What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?
TMS is a mild form of brain stimulation. Magnetic fields, generated by a simple
coil placed on the head, are used to stimulate a small area of the brain. The
stimulation takes 20-30 minutes and is typically given over consecutive weekdays
on an outpatient basis. While receiving stimulation, the patient is fully awake.
TMS is usually well tolerated with minimal side effects. There is no anaesthetic and
memory is not affected.
When is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation used?
TMS is used to treat depression and can be offered when patients have not responded to antidepressant medication, prefer to try an alternative to medication, or cannot tolerate antidepressant medications due to side effects. It is important that a thorough psychiatric evaluation is undertaken for each patient to determine if TMS is a suitable treatment.
Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to treat depression
A large body of research conducted worldwide and at our centre indicates that TMS has antidepressant effects when applied over the frontal areas of the brain. This includes more than 30 studies in adults with depression. It is understood that TMS works by modifying and correcting activity levels in the depressed brain either by increasing brain activity in areas that are underactive when people are depressed or
reducing activity in areas that are overactive. TMS is now an approved treatment for
depression in countries including Australia, the United States, Canada, Israel and the
Given all that information and a day to think it through and do my own research, talk to people in the Clinic in Burwood that I am in at the moment. I have decided to do TMS. It appears to be a viable and optimistic option for me. It gives me hope that if I can control my depression I will be less suicidal and not have another incident like I had five weeks with two weeks in ICU and a week on a general ward.
I’m being discharged for a few weeks to have a break from the Clinic where I have been for five weeks and brought back in, in about three weeks to start the round of twenty treatments. It takes a month.
So it’s a beginning of a new journey for me.
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