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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

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So, I met with my psychiatrist today, full session because of recent and persistent suicidal thoughts/ideation/planning (not relevant to this discussion). He bumped my visits up from once monthly half-session visits to once weekly full session visits for the reason mentioned above.


Anyways, because my depression is treatment resistant, or rather untreatable with medication (aside from bupropion, but he wants to hold off on that until I see a neurologist), he recommended that I either try ECT or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) considering that both are highly effective at treating extreme depression for short periods of time (~6 months or so). He recommended TMS over ECT though because of the risks associated with ECT and subsequently referred me to a local psychiatrist specializing in treating depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders with TMS.


Has anyone had experience with TMS? If so, did it have any effect on HPPD, positive or negative?


I know for depression they target the limbic system and frontal cortex. I mainly just worried about it making HPPD worse, however unlikely that may be.

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I have tried tDCS, didn't really do anything... But TMS works in a different way, so well worth trying. Really interested to hear how you get on.


I personally think TMS would be far safer than an SSRI

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  • 2 months later...

My main concern would be the effect on visuals. Also my brain is already hyper active enough I'm worried this would send it into over drive with the racing thoughts/intrusive images etc...

I've read it can help that tinnitus and there is a study starting next month of the effects of TMS on depersonalization

This does look like a promising avenue but I'll need to find out more about it before I push for it

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

So, little bit of an update. I turned out to be a good candidate for the treatment, mainly because of my age and the severity of my depression (there's a lot more to lose as the evaluating psychiatrist said). Unfortunately, because of time constraints, I can't do the treatment as the only times the center does treatments is between 8:30am and 3:30pm which is when I just so happen to be in class/at work. Not to mention you have to do it 5 days a week for 5-6 weeks at a minimum. Also, it take 3 or so weeks to get approval from insurance and the company that owns/manufactures the machines


So, it's a no go from here because of logistical reasons. I did learn a little about it. Your first treatment is where they actually "personalize" it. They spend about 45 minutes pinpointing exactly where to focus the pulse so that the potential effects are maximized.


I also learned that it isn't particularly effective. It has about a 50% success rate nationwide, the clinic which I would potentially be going to has had 20 patients so far, 12 of which had their depression go away, 4 who had some improvement, and the other 4 either showed minor to no improvement (according to the psychiatrist).


I would consider ECT, but at least where I live, it's very hard to get ECT unless you've been committed or the situation you're in warrants it. The problem is, for ECT they put you under and it basically leaves you unable to function for a whole day, and there are far greater side effects and risks.

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I did rtms and can tell you it didnt do anything for dp/hppd. Next month im going to do ect.

If this is not going to work I have tried everything available to get rid of hppd including numerous of medication.

The one thing I can say is that only klonopin (in the beginning) worked well. Sinemet also worked great, had to stop due sideeffects

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