TMS Patient Experience: Frances

TMS Patient Experience: Frances

I remember driving home from TMS one day and quite joyfully singing along with the radio. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d done that.

Frances, TMS patient

We’re proud of the technology, team, and process we offer our patients seeking Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment.

(New to TMS? Learn more about it here.)

And as we witness each patient experience the benefits for themselves, we’re right there celebrating alongside them!

This week, we’re talking with Frances about her experience with TMS.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Frances! Can you share a bit about what life felt like prior to beginning TMS treatment?

I’ve been struggling with depression since I was about 14-years-old, but it got much worse about two years ago.

In the six months leading up to my TMS treatment, I was struggling worse than I ever had. I couldn’t sleep at night, I would get maybe four hours of sleep (six if I was lucky). Then, in the morning I would struggle to get out of bed and get to work.

Because I was working from home, I started working from my bed. I wasn’t showering very often, brushing my teeth, washing my face, doing any care tasks. Then at night, I would deal with overwhelming suicidal ideation. I was having panic attacks at night coupled with these intrusive thoughts of suicide.

What had you tried (before TMS) to address these challenges?

I had tried five different depression medications and few different types of therapy. I’d also tried acupuncture.

Any hesitations about exploring TMS for yourself? What made you decide to give it a try?

My biggest concern was that I would be putting a bunch of money into something that wouldn’t work. But, learning that it was covered by my insurance gave it a lot of credibility to me.

I knew the way I was living was unsustainable and I began looking into alternative depression treatments like ketamine infusions, but found those aren’t covered by my insurance. Then I found TMS.

What was the experience like for you?

I found the first few treatments kind of difficult. For whatever reason, the placement sometimes caused nerve pain in my teeth. But, they were able to adjust the placement to where that no longer happened.

I started to wear earbuds during the treatments and listen to an audiobook, and I found the time very relaxing. Eventually, it just became a normal part of my schedule.

What were some of the first changes you noticed after beginning treatment?

Around the end of week three, beginning of week 4, I noticed my mood lifting a bit.

I remember driving home from TMS one day and quite joyfully singing along with the radio. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d done that.

How does life feel different now, after TMS treatment?

TMS didn’t get rid of every single bad day, but bad days aren’t depression days anymore. I can still get out of bed, take a shower, brush my teeth, leave the house if need be. And for the most part, I have a much more positive mood in that I don’t assume every day will be horrible.

I have better relationships with the people in my life. I’m able to accomplish tasks better. I sleep significantly better — I fall asleep faster and sleep longer. And I no longer struggle with suicidal thoughts at all.

Any advice or encouragement you’d like to share with someone considering TMS?

The first few weeks can feel discouraging because you don’t feel much change. But, it’s worth it!

Thanks, Frances! We’re honored to have worked with you.

Inspired by what Frances shared? Interested in learning more about TMS?  


Enjoy this post? Check out these other posts about TMS:

TMS Patient Experience: Whytnee
TMS Patient Experience: Amy
TMS: The Promising Depression Treatment You’ve Never Heard Of
Preparing for Your TMS Evaluation
5 Reasons to Choose Sonder Psychiatry
Meet the Providers: Erin Fritz
Meet the Providers: Lisa Lemke
Meet the Providers: Daniele (Dani) Hagberg