When it comes to depression, one of five adults at some point in their life will experience it.
“I didn’t want to live. I could see no the point in living. Everything was pointless,” said Martha Rhodes.
Even as a teen, Martha Rhodes could remember having thoughts of suicide. Her depression cost her career and nearly her life.”I overdosed because I couldn’t go on, I just couldn’t go on,” said Rhodes.
Neither therapy nor medication was helpful, she was considered treatment resistant. Her last hope was an alternative treatment called NeuroStar TMS, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, where through a coil, highly focused magnetetic stimulation is applied to areas of the brain thought to control mood.
Dr. Randy Pardell, a Psychiatrist said, “We utilize an MRI strength magnet to gently and persistently stimulate the areas of the brain that are under performing and under functioning.” The pulse is delivered for four seconds, with a 26 second break, the cycle lasts forty minutes.
“We see on spec scans or pet scans, these are scans that are able to look at brain functioning, that it awakens those areas of the brain,” said Dr. Pardell.
Rhodes said, “The only side effect is the intense tapping, and it’s intense, like a neogie.”
There’s no prep work for treatment and no after effects, unlike some antidepressant medication. Most patients have one treatment five days a week, for 4 to 5 weeks. Martha began to see results after her 18th session.
“I thought something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it and then I realized, it’s the awful feeling, the dread, that disgusting emotional nausea is gone,” said Rhodes.
The treatment is relatively new but there are other things they are treating, such as pain management, anxiety and headaches.
Some critics worry that the magnetic pulse is dangerous.
“The amount of stimulation you get from our machine in the total treatment is less than one MRI,” said Dr. Pardell.
Martha is medication free and most importantly, depression free.
“I feel saved and I feel survived form a dark and dangerous place,” said Rhodes.
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