From Rock Bottom to “Being Larry” Again
About 2 1/2 years ago, Larry Jones hit rock bottom and felt like his life was over. He didn’t think that he had anything to look forward to. Larry, 75, has struggled with a diagnosis of severe depression for 30 years. Over the past 20 years, he has tried various depression medications with little to no relief.
When Larry and Becky, his wife of 54 years, temporarily separated, he spiraled into a very low place and started having suicidal thoughts. His primary care doctor suggested that he seek some professional mental health counseling. He began seeing an outpatient therapist at Brook Lane. While it felt good to discuss his struggles, it became apparent after several sessions that Larry needed a more intensive treatment.
He then tried the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) at Brook Lane, which is a day treatment program consisting of both group and one-on-one therapy that allows you to return home each evening. There were some good aspects of the PHP program, but Larry still was not feeling better. After several unsuccessful attempts with new medication, Andrea Allen, a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Brook Lane, suggested that he try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)–a new and innovative option for individuals with treatment-resistant depression.
TMS is a well-tolerated, highly effective, noninvasive treatment that can facilitate a profound improvement in the life of a person with severe depression. It is FDA-cleared and does not cause significant adverse or long-lasting side effects. The patient is comfortably seated in a chair, wearing a helmet. Treatment is administered through coils in the helmet that deliver gentle electromagnetic pulses to key areas in the brain involved in mood regulation. Patients are awake and alert during treatment.
“I was nervous and very skeptical going into it,” says Larry. “It was like tapping your fingers on your forehead really fast for 30 seconds and then resting, and then doing it again several times. It wasn’t a hard feeling–it didn’t hurt, but you knew it was there.”
The average treatment schedule consists of 36 sessions over a 6-week period. Each session typically takes 20 minutes. “I actually fell asleep a couple of times during treatment,” says Larry. “I worked at it–I was tired of being depressed and TMS reset me!”
“My friends, wife and kids noticed the difference not long after I started TMS,” says Larry. “I am feeling a lot better now. My outlook on life is completely different. I’m having more fun and doing things that I used to like doing. I’m ‘being Larry’ again!”
“I’m glad I decided to give TMS a chance. I would do it again for my wife, my kids and me,” he says. “I would recommend TMS to others. I’m glad to have met the people at Brook Lane. They are very uplifting and supportive.”