I was enrolled in the Skyland Trail program and was working extremely hard at my recovery. Though I was diligent in my efforts, I felt that I was not progressing as I would have hoped. In short I still felt very depressed and was experiencing an extreme level of anxiety. My psychiatrist at Skyland, who I trusted wholeheartedly, recommended that I try transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as another therapy to help me along my path to recovery. I had a consultation with Dr. Hunter, who explained what TMS was, how the procedure worked, his experiences with treatments, and the outcomes for patients who experience treatment resistant depression (TRD).
How TMS affects each patient can vary dramatically. For me, there was a gradual effect. The first thing I noticed was that my symptoms of depression and anxiety did not worsen. By about the end of the third week, I began to notice some changes. Food which was tasteless to me began to have flavors, and the colorless environment I had lived in for months began to have color again. By the end of the fourth week, my anxiety began to quickly subside, and I was able to interact with other people much more easily. By the end of all my treatments I felt that all my symptoms were greatly diminished.
It could not have been an easier. The TMS treatments were seamlessly slotted into my day at Skyland such that I did not miss any of the sessions.
You are always nervous when you start a new procedure, but Dr. Hunter started slow, showed me what would occur, and told me I could progress at my own speed. I was able to tolerate the treatments very well and actually ended binge watching a number of shows on Netflix (which they have in the treatment rooms). During the third treatment I think I actually fell asleep, which was way beyond my expectations!