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@tbaxter33

Posts: 22
Joined: Aug 02, 2017

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for long-term depression

Posted by @tbaxter33, Fri, Mar 16 10:18am

Does anyone have any experience with TMS therapy for long term depression? I have fought the demons of depression for years. Some days are better than others, but finding the emotional energy to do anything other than go to work and do the job is next to impossible most of the time now. I have been on several different medications over the years. I can’t say that any particular one made a notable difference at all. I am continually frustrated with a lack of energy and a lack of desire to do the things that I once enjoyed, and that I had looked forward to at this stage of life. Every day, I pretty much feel like “this is it” — as good as it is ever going to get — and the opportunity of any meaningful contribution of life is over — done — finished. Retirement is something that I longed for over the years. As it draws nearer, I fear it because I see myself just fading away and soon gone. So, I ask about TMS therapy. It is very expensive, requires a huge time committement, and is not covered by medical insurance. I have spoken with doctors (psychiatrists) at a couple of top hospitals in the nation and have not gotten stellar reports from them. The consensus was that it works for some but not for others and the success rates are fair at best overall. Having said that, my doc says they have seen amazing results from the therapy and people complete it and the negative thoughts are pretty much gone. He says their success rate is extremely high. I have not done it because: a) too much time away from work; b) too costly and not covered by medical insurance; c) the reports from two docs from world known excellent institutions which were not glowing. I have searched for answers for years, with none. Now, I have developed chronic pain in the lumbar area, legs, neck, shoulders, arms, etc. I am working on the back with a major pain managment group with some injections which I hope will help.

REPLY

So, based on no responses, it sounds like nobody has any reports on TMS.

I did TMS for depression. Normally, it costs about $200 for daily sessions, five days a week, for about six weeks. With Medicare, it cost me $40 a session. TMS, for me, long term-depression, it helped dramatically for about 6 months. Then it wore off. You can do TMS two 6 week rounds, but I'm still deciding. You see, things I've learned from the TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) neurostar.com – is that, in my lay opinion, depression is a multi-pronged disease, with genetic components, traumatic experiences and losses, social isolation, improper nutrition, lack of exercise, lack of meaning in one's life, goals, and positive people who tell you "yes, you can do it" around you and doing things just for fun that used to make you happy, that unless you have all that, a "non-depression lifestyle" imho, then TMS alone may not be enough. One has to "fix" all of it and make major lifestyle changes if can.

Hello, @tbaxter33 — I'm sorry your emotional energy is low right now, along with your energy and desire to do things you once enjoyed.

I thought you might be interested in this Mayo Clinic information about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): http://mayocl.in/2HXWjpX.

I believe that some other Connect members who've dealt with depression and have looked at and/or been involved with a variety of therapies may have some thoughts for you, like @jimhd, @parus, @georgette12, @trider7140, @padraig, @wendyw and @theotherone. I am also tagging @toshkana, who was also interested in this therapy.

Are you pursuing other therapy while you research TMS, then, @tbaxter33?

@stressedmesseddepressed

I did TMS for depression. Normally, it costs about $200 for daily sessions, five days a week, for about six weeks. With Medicare, it cost me $40 a session. TMS, for me, long term-depression, it helped dramatically for about 6 months. Then it wore off. You can do TMS two 6 week rounds, but I'm still deciding. You see, things I've learned from the TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) neurostar.com – is that, in my lay opinion, depression is a multi-pronged disease, with genetic components, traumatic experiences and losses, social isolation, improper nutrition, lack of exercise, lack of meaning in one's life, goals, and positive people who tell you "yes, you can do it" around you and doing things just for fun that used to make you happy, that unless you have all that, a "non-depression lifestyle" imho, then TMS alone may not be enough. One has to "fix" all of it and make major lifestyle changes if can.

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I had TMS for depression back in 2009-2010 at Rush Pres. in Chicago. At that time insurance did not cover the expense. Overall, I had 43 sessions from November 2009 to February 2010. I paid $15,000.00 out of pocket for this treatment. I felt it was a positive experience and had relief from my depression.

Within the past years I have admitted myself in a psychiatric hospital 3 -4 times. I also had ECT while in the last hospital stay. With this treatment I lost a great deal of my memory. I have also had medications of all sorts throughout the years. Recently I was given a genetic test to indicate what medications would be best for me. I feel that I have found the correct medication because of this genetic test, and correct doses which give me relief.

I have recently had 36 TMS treatments at my psychiatrist's office. Medicare paid 80 % and the remaining 20 % was written off as I have limited resources. But, I also realize that life situations create depression. Currently my husband and I are separated although he spends most of the time at my home. For the last year and a half he has provided me with a monetary amount that helps with my expenses since my separation. I am now on a small pension and 1/3 of my Social Security. It is $1,200 a month and my expenses do not cover the bills. Now I wonder if I must make decisions on whether I stay in a marriage that has issues that may not be resolved and continue with times of depression. His pension and Social Security is enormous and he is not financial transparent with me. It seems to be a roller coaster ride. Up and Down!

TMS is now covered 80 % with 20 % left to pay. Can you ask if they can absorb the 20 %? Also, the treatments are very tolerable and if you can make appointments before work, you can have the treatments before you go to work. That way no loss of work time. Good luck! and, God bless!

I see you posted your inquiry in March and I hope you've found the answers you need. I had TMS when it was in the early years and at that time the patient's had to pay for all of the treatments out of pocket. However, my Dr petitioned my ins company andI I was his very first patient to have it covered through ins. It is widely accepted now with ins coverage. My experience after about 18 treatments was excellent. I went from very depressed and hopeless to realizing one night I was actually dancing to the music that was being played. I was back to me again. The depression stayed away for a long time but did eventually return. I understand now for me the treatments will be repeated for closer to 30 times instead of the original 18 I initially received. My MD thought research seems to show the effects are longer lasting by increasing the treatment to more sessions. He always said that if I felt it was slipping I could come back for a few booster sessions. I am going to do it again now years after my first very positive experience. It really helped me then and I look forward to a great outcome again. In addition I do receive professional therapy with a psychologist and PTSD counselor and see my Psychiatrist on a regular bases. For me it takes me and a team to work through the depression but the TMS was an excellent tool to use.

I have had mixed results with TMS. Had ECT 20 yrs ago and it worked for me for a couple of years. I went back last year for TMS and it did bring me back to normal but I relapsed 6 months later and now I'm back in TMS again.
For me the ECT worked best with the longest remission (2 yrs). However, it is much more invassive. Anesthesia 3 times a week for 4 weeks and 2 additional weeeks of not driving your car. I had some short term memory loss which was traumatic but I would be willing to do it again to have a remission length that is 4 times longer.
TMS on the other hand has no memory loss, no anesthesia. I had to go in 5 days/week for several weeks. So both are time consuming.
As for insurance, it paid for all the treatments (TMS and ECT).

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