My name is Laurie and I am 48 years old. My first experience with depression was with Dysthymia in my early to mid 20’s and for years I did not recognize it. While listening to a lecture in graduate school, I realized that I fit every criteria on the slide. That was around 2000, and I sought out treatment then, but over the years, despite meds, it has progressed. I think the majority of my adult life has been one long episode, at times waning, but always returning and getting stronger and stronger. My first major episode was after my divorce in 2003-2004. I have been through one failed marriage and although there were many factors that contributed to it, my depression was one of them. My other relationships all suffered including a distancing from my parents who I have been close with all of my life. I avoided social contact and interactions, and very few people were aware of my situation. Interestingly enough, my career flourished for the most part, and work was one place where I was relatively happy. I have worked in the healthcare field for many years, first as an RN, then as a pediatric nurse practitioner for the last 10 years. My main interest is my family, but I love animals, traveling, and needlework. Hobbies and interests fell by the wayside with depression though.
I had become so depressed and my primary psychiatrist had prescribed and tweaked all the different meds he could think of. I was on the verge of inpatient hospitalization when he referred me to Dr. Hutton who felt I was a perfect candidate for NeuroStar TMS Therapy. When weighing the options, it was an easy decision.
I was skeptical of treatment at first, as I was unaware of the true understanding of how it works. But as I saw my progress and began to feel better I became a believer. As for the experience itself, I put my headphones on and listen to my music, and before I know it, I am transported to a place of calm, quiet, and peace. In fact, I often fall asleep and I am always disappointed when my session is over. The actual physical appearance is “odd” at first – like I would imagine a woodpecker sitting on your shoulder and tapping your head would feel like. However, I quickly became used to the sensation and it is now almost soothing.
I knew that I would have to put the money up front and hope that my insurance company would reimburse me (still waiting for that). I raided my IRA to afford it. But again, when faced with one of two options, there really was no question.
I have not felt this good since I was in high school. I can find joy in the simple things in life and I am no longer afraid to get out of bed in the morning. With my last major depressive episode, I was forced to take a leave of absence from work. That was the first time in my life that I had become unable to function due to the depression. Although it has only been a short two months, I can’t remember the last time I felt this good.
There is only one thing that I can say and that is that it appears to be working. I remain on medications in addition to my treatments, but I am HOPEFUL about my future!