Witnessing my mother’s journey through her OCD treatment laid the foundation for my interest in psychiatry. Watching her transformation from initially being treated with heavy doses of drugs to seeing what happened when she switched psychiatrists was eye-opening. Her current doctor focuses on an integrative approach to medicine, connecting with her on a deeper level, and pointing her towards resources outside of the clinical setting such as, group therapy, yoga, meditation, nutrition programs and massage therapy. Under this doctor’s guidance, many of my mom’s debilitating symptoms have gradually been alleviated. Witnessing my mom get her life back instilled in me a commitment to provide help to those in need.
As a TMS Technician, I have treated patients suffering from depression who are in a similar situation to my mom. Their prescribed medications have come with a lot of side effects such as constant irritation, insomnia, and nausea. A lot of them come into our free consultations because they want to find a safer, non-invasive means to treat their symptoms, and upon hearing the benefits of TMS, it is rewarding to see hope return to them.
As I continue to treat more patients and connect with them on a deep, emotional level, I have gained more confidence in my ability to establish trusting relationships with strangers. My emotional intelligence and patience continue to grow in this fast-paced and demanding environment. For example, I recently worked with a patient who was not talkative and appeared anxious about treatment. I noticed his Game of Thrones phone background and decided to ask him about the most recent episode. He began to relax as we talked throughout the entire session about the show. In his subsequent sessions, he has been more open and comfortable. It is moments like this that bring me fulfillment as I create safe, comfortable spaces for my patients to receive treatment. As my emotional intelligence and patience grow in this fast-paced environment, I am eager to continue to make an impact on patients’ lives.
With all of the positives, being a TMS Technician has also presented a challenge when treating depressed patients who are also very sensitive to the treatment procedure. It is my job to know when it is best to push these patients to receive full stimulation to reap maximum benefits, but also to know when I am pushing too hard. With the help from my team and mentors, I have been able to overcome this challenge.
Although deep TMS is only FDA cleared for depression, I am excited for its promise in treating other disorders such as PTSD, Autism, Smoking Cessation. There have been recent studies that show that TMS is effective with OCD, and I cannot wait to break the news to my mom once this treatment becomes FDA cleared.