By Jeannine Clark
Director of Community Education/San Diego
I read somewhere that a person only really needs three ingredients for happiness: something to do, something (or someone) to love and something to hope for. This has stuck with me for many years – so long, in fact, that I can’t even credit the author.
I’m one of the lucky ones who have all three of those ingredients for happiness. I get to do something that positively impacts peoples’ lives (at Achieve TMS) and that makes me happy. My days are spent in service of patient care. I am not a clinician or a technician, but I get to connect with providers who treat patients with depression, anxiety and a host of other illnesses, and offer them real hope for wellness.
One of the reasons I love my job is because I get to help doctors solve complex, troubling cases. Imagine being a healthcare provider, with a desire to help people, but many of your patients are not responding to the medications you prescribe. Not only do the medications not work in some cases, but the drugs that are prescribed often cause more problems in the form of side effects, adding to the frustration for both the patient (whose list of ailments is growing) and the doctor, who is trying to help.
In the field of healthcare there is no shortage of problems to solve and I am acutely aware of this whenever I talk with providers and patients. So how do I help solve problems? I have the good fortune to be responsible for educating healthcare providers on the benefits of TMS treatment. Can you imagine how wonderful it is to finally have real hope to offer those in pain?
Imagine the difference it makes in a patient’s life when, after living as if the “dimmer” switch is always turned down, finally the light shines brightly and they are free to pursue the ingredients for happiness in their life. That’s what chronic depression is often like — a dull malaise that won’t lift. But when the “switch” is turned on, and the fog has disappeared, a new day truly dawns. For some it’s that dramatic, everything seems brighter and possible. For others, it’s a slow reentering into normal daily life and family activities.
One of my favorite patient stories is about a nurse we treated who was on medical disability for 8-years for chronic depression. After just 6-weeks of TMS treatment she returned to work, ready to resume her life again. Just a month and a half of treatment solved an 8-year problem. Imagine the impact that made on her family, not to mention her finances.
In a time when having something to hope for is a challenge; it’s rewarding to know that we offer real hope to those who suffer. That makes me happy; after all, that’s one-third of the happiness equation! My advice for those who are struggling is to find something to do each day that makes you happy; share your time with someone you love; and hope for something that makes your heart sing. If you look, I promise, you will find all three of your happiness ingredients.