TMS Therapy®—FDA-approved non-drug, non-invasive treatment for depression By Diana Dunne Jennifer says she gladly “jumped right in.” “In 2013, I decided to make some major life changes, and addressing and dealing with my depression was near the top of the list,” she says. “So when I met Dr. Ahmed and heard about TMS Therapy®, I
TMS Therapy®—FDA-approved non-drug, non-invasive treatment for depression
By Diana Dunne
Jennifer says she gladly “jumped right in.” “In 2013, I decided to make some major life changes, and addressing and dealing with my depression was near the top of the list,” she says. “So when I met Dr. Ahmed and heard about TMS Therapy®, I knew it was no coincidence.”
Like many who suffer with depression, Jennifer’s story is a sad one. But unlike many, hers has a happy new beginning at this chapter in her life.
Jennifer recalls having depression since she was 10 years old. But the episodes were few and far between, sometimes occurring every 8-10 years. Though they were infrequent, they were challenging, she says. “During a typical episode of depression, I could not get out of bed and I felt like crying constantly. Depression feels like the sky has layed down on top of you and the world has turned into a big ‘ol thunderstorm.”
She used medication off and on, and participated in group therapy and individual therapy to keep her sadness at bay. For years, this was good enough.
Jennifer grew up, married, and had a daughter. She kept herself busy as a wife and mother and started making jewelry to engage her creative nature. Episodes of depression would come, and they would go. Then, they began to visit her more frequently.
“When I was having an episode every 8-10 years, I felt that I could deal with that,” Jennifer says. “Then I started becoming severely depressed at least once every year. The frequency was increasing, and so was the level of depression. I ended up in an outpatient psychiatric hospital.”
Jennifer says she was taking so much medication that she experienced hallucinations. “In general I don’t like taking medicine, and taking it in these large doses was over the top.” She decided it was time for a new approach to her life, and to her illness.
Jennifer noticed that she was having more trouble getting along with her husband after 40 years of marriage. “Previously I’d not been aware of it that much,” she says. “But as I got older I realized how mentally abusive he was to me. I became more aware of the lack of attention and affection and the deterioration of our relationship.”
Unwilling to be part of an unhappy marriage any longer, Jennifer courageously divorced her husband last June. They had been living in California, but she longed to return to her home in the Houston area. So she packed her belongings, bought a home in Clear Lake, and embarked on a new life on September 20, 2013.
But still there was that depression issue to deal with. “The first thing I did when I moved back here was look for a psychiatrist,” Jennifer says. “That’s when I found Dr. Ahmed. I went to his website and it talked about TMS. I was intrigued and began to find out as much information as I could about it.”
At the time, Jennifer was considering ECT—commonly known as shock therapy. “I thought ECT was my only option. Then, thankfully, I discovered TMS. I called the Psyclinic for an appointment and asked if I could learn more about TMS when I came in.” TMS Therapy is very different than ECT. It’s the first FDA-approved non-drug treatment for depression and works by stimulating areas of the brain that are underactive in patients with severe depression. Because it is a non-drug, TMS Therapy is free from the side effects of antidepressant medication.
“The first time I met Dr. Ahmed I thought, He’s a very a cool guy! We have interesting conversations. He’s very different from other psychiatrists I’ve know,” Jennifer says. “I told him I’d learned a lot about TMS and that I wanted to do it.” Though Dr. Ahmed doesn’t generally recommend TMS to patients on their first visit, he knew that Jennifer was a candidate, she’d done her homework, and she really wanted this treatment.
A New Story Begins
Jennifer finished her treatments in early January with amazing results. Today she is on low doses of medication with the hope that she will gradually be off of them completely. “At about the fifth or sixth TMS session, it felt like a giant cloud lifted off my head. I then realized it was always over my head. Now, the cloud is gone! I used to have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and clouds depressed me,” she says. “One day I came into Dr. Ahmed’s office—it was really gray and rainy outside. But I began to notice that, even though it was rainy, it was really quite bright outside. I knew TMS had worked at that point. I was seeing the world differently.”
Her relationships have changed as well and Jennifer has a new “old” man in her life. “After I graduated from Clear Creek High School in the 60s, I met a guy and we dated for five years,” she recalls. “I was madly in love, but I came from a generation where you get married and have children. He didn’t want marriage or children, so I moved on. We stayed in touch over the years, and now we are together again and getting to know one another at a different stage in life.”
Jennifer says she’d like others to know that there is a new option for depression. “You don’t have to live with it the rest of your life. Depression is terrifying. So no matter how you are trying to deal with it—with medication, alcohol, or you’re a workaholic or non-functional—consider TMS Therapy. It’s not something you swallow, there are no shots, and throughout my treatments I mostly watched Ellen on TV or relaxed and fell asleep!”
The PsyClinic is one of a select few professional facilities in the greater Houston area proudly offering TMS treatment to patients. For more information and to schedule a consultation, call The PsyClinic today.
What is TMS Therapy?
TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) Therapy for the treatment of depression is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure that uses a pulsed magnetic field, similar in type and strength to those produced by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.
During TMS Therapy, the treating clinician positions a treatment coil on the patient’s head over the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain known to affect mood. The treatment coil generates a highly focused, pulsed magnetic field to stimulate cortical neurons, resulting in a release of neurotransmitters—like 5HT, NE and DA—to treat depression. These are the same neurotransmitters that are provided artificially through antidepressant medications. Learn more at www.ThePsyClinic.com