By Megan Sanders
Depression is something that I have been around the majority of my life. Most of my immediate and extended family members have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Although I have never experienced this illness myself, I know what depression can do to people; how it affects their relationships and their perception of the outside world. Depression has the unfortunate ability to make us feel isolated, even when surrounded by family and friends. These memories were at the forefront of my mind when I interviewed for the position of TMS technician. I knew that I wanted to help others and because of my experiences growing up around depression, I have great compassion for those suffering.
Shortly after starting as a technician I had the opportunity to see just how TMS can positively affect the life of someone with depression and lead to healing. One of my first patients expressed to me that his depression had greatly affected his life. He had to quit a job and move away from a city he loved. After about 5 weeks of treatment, the patient began to express that for the first time in a very long while he was able to focus and think clearly. He was able to realize and name things, places, and individuals that were impacting his life in a negative way. At first glance this doesn’t seem like something to celebrate, but for this particular patient he was finally able to recognize things in his life that needed to change. He was able to go to therapy and really dig down and work on those experiences that had caused him pain.
According to psychology researcher and writer Frank M. Wanderer, PhD the first step of healing is understanding. How can we be expected to change our lives for the better if we don’t know what is wrong? For this patient, deep TMS therapy gave him the opportunity to begin the healing process. As author and activist Christine Caine said, “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.” Occasionally what we need to grow is a chance to get unstuck, and then we can begin to recognize the truth around us. With this newfound hope we can begin to heal and change our own lives for the better.