Depression Story By: Phil

My name is Phil Bunnelle. In my professional career, I worked as a mechanical engineer, designing agricultural machinery and mining equipment among other things, mostly in California. I enjoyed physical activities such as hiking, biking, and swimming, as well as doing graphics and other creative work on the computer.

Following service in the Navy, I slipped into depression at age 22, while attending college. Prescribed Bensedrine and Dexedrine, I was catapulted into a high that lasted 6 months, after which I crashed. Over the next several years I saw different therapists, none of whom seemed to help. Eventually I found a psychiatrist who was effective and saw him three times a week for a number of years.

Better able to cope, but still suffering from depression, I then tried all different kinds of therapy, ranging from support groups and marathons to Primal Scream.

Depression seriously impacted my social life, resulting in my not marrying until I was over 50 and missing all the joys of having children and associated family life.

Over the years, I tried various antidepressants, including Parnate, none of which really helped. When Prozac came out, I decided to give that a try, with Dr. Shakir monitoring the results. It helped alot, but eventually became ineffective. Over the next 20 years Dr. Shakir prescribed various antidepressants, as some wore out or produced undesirable side effects.

Generally though, I was reasonably happy and stable until my wife died a little over a year ago, after which I crashed. I eventually recovered from that but went down again in December, around the first anniversary of her passing. Shortly after that Dr. Shakir began offering TMS treatments and indicated that I would be a good candidate. Having tried nearly everything else, I decided to give it a shot.

I almost immediately responded favorably, although there is some question how much was merely due to the passage of time and the antidepressants I was taking, and how much resulted from the TMS. Since the completion of treatment, I’ve been through one dip caused by external factors, but recovered almost immediately. My emotional state is currently about on a par with the upper levels of the recent past. Hopefully, it will remain at that level. I’m continuing to take antidepressant medication.

People have been commenting that I seem to be smiling more.

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