I am excited to share my story with you because I believe that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a miracle therapy. Simply put, it saves lives. TMS helped save my life along with my therapist, and my Board-Certified psychiatrist, Dr. Prashant Gajwani, MD. I want to help spread the word that people with depression don’t have to suffer anymore.
So, about four months before I knew anything about TMS, I relapsed into a very deep depression after going through a grueling process for a job I wanted badly and a grueling medical review by Social Security determining if I was still eligible to receive disability benefits. I was really suffering. I was not just suffering with depression, I was struggling with a suffocating darkness that had weakened me to the point where I lost hope and even considered suicide. I was so tired, overwhelmed, and stressed out until it seemed like my smile had been permanently etched into a frown.
Normally, I’m able to go through depression episodes and bounce back but this time was different. I started spiraling downward and did not stop. My medications did not work. My therapy helped things for as long as I was sitting in front of my therapist. But, things started spiraling again as soon as I was alone. So, when I made it home after my appointment in October/2016, I got in the bed and did not get out of bed until three months later in February/2017. Well, not literally because I had to get up for doctor’s appointments and other occasional things that would come up. At which time, I hid the darkness weighing me down.
Somehow, I dragged my hopeless body out of bed on Valentine’s Day/2017 to make two appointments that were scheduled with my therapist and psychiatrist at The Solace Center at Riverstone, Missouri City, TX. I saw my therapist, first where we talked about HOPE. It was a tough sale at first because I had already stopped believing things were going to get better. But, I should have known my therapist was not going to give up on me without a fight because that is how she is. She gets into the ring with you and roles up her sleeves to help you fight or fight for you until you have enough strength to fight for yourself. She said five words that resonated with me, “You Got to Have HOPE.” I processed those words for a minute with a few tears in my eyes and said, “HOPE, huh? Okay.” I decided to give HOPE a chance. I decided to believe in HOPE again.
By this time, it was time for my next appointment. So, I went into see my psychiatrist, Dr. Prashant Gajwani’s, office and had a seat. We began to talk. I told him that I was not doing well, that my medications were not working, and that I needed to try something different. Dr. Gajwani listened then he asked me if I had heard of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). I said, “no, I never heard of that before.” He explained to me about TMS and its benefits/side effects-TMS is a non-invasive FDA approved medical procedure for the treatment of depression in adults. He went on to explain that TMS Therapy is an in-office treatment that takes about 37 minutes, is performed while the patient sits in a chair, and is administered five days a week, for up to six weeks. To make a long story short, I was given additional information on TMS to read. I did some online research from trusted sites until I felt like I knew enough about TMS then I decided to go for it! My insurance (Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield) covered the procedure 100%.
My treatment was easy and was a very pleasant experience. Showing up every day after driving over thirty plus miles one way to The Solace Center and having my TMS technician greet me every single day with her bright smile and warm spirit was very comforting. Dr. Gajwani, who is considered a national leader in the treatment of mood disorders personally checked on me every week. This reassured me that I was in excellent hands. There was a social component to my treatment also. Remember, I had been isolating for four months so it was nice to have somewhere to go and something to do every day.
I noticed in my first week of treatment that I had a slight headache but it went away by my second week of treatment. I gradually started feeling a difference in my mood during my second week of treatment and it continued to improve as the weeks went by. I noticed in my third week of treatment that I had increased energy when I got up in the morning to face the day. It was not a burst of energy but more of a subtle natural energy. I am not sure which week I got my smile back. I just noticed one day that I was smiling. I stopped keeping up with the weeks and just started enjoying my new awakening to a better quality of life. This treatment without a doubt helps those who stay committed to the six-week program. I did it, completed TMS and I am so grateful to my team at The Solace Center for their wonderful care and treatment. After all, TMS is How Nikita Got Her Smile Back!
I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2001 at the age of 21. I am now 35 years old. I have seen many different doctors and have been on numerous medications over the past 14 years. I have struggled with both manic and depressive episodes until five years ago when I became a patient of Dr. Prashant Gajwani. With the help of Dr. Gajwani, I haven’t had a single episode in the past five years. From the first meeting with Dr. Gajwani, I immediately felt very comfortable to share my previous history. Dr. Gajwani is by far the best doctor that I have ever been a patient of. He is kind, respectful, listens, always available, understood my condition, and was able to prescribe me the medications that I am on today. Dr. Gajwani has helped me become the person that I am today. I own two successful businesses and live a stress and anxiety free life. If I have ever needed anything relating to my condition, he has immediately made himself available to me. None of my doctors in the past were so responsive and helpful. When I came to my first appointment, I was in a manic state. He recommended that I seek therapy to help regain my mental state. The therapist listened to my current problems of my manic state and helped me regain my confidence by helping me understand my existing condition through conversation, role playing, worksheets, and plain old common sense. I am entirely grateful to her for her ability to recognize my triggers and how to stop a manic attack, a depressive episode, or the social anxiety that I would feel at times. If it weren’t for Dr. Gajwani, I am not sure where I would be today. They have kept me out of the hospital, have stopped any episodes of mania, depression, or anxiety, and have helped me keep the confidence to beat this disease and live a healthy, stress free, independent, and successful life.
Mother of John:
My son has been experiencing bipolar mania with a few depressive episodes for about 15 years. My husband and I could never understand what was happening to our son. We took him to see numerous doctors and visited with numerous hospitals to try and help our son. James would seem okay for months at a time or sometimes a year at a time, and then he would experience an attack that seemed to come out of nowhere. They happened quite frequently and they happened to him very quickly. Five years ago, we were introduced to Dr. Prashant Gajwani. From the onset of our first meeting, my husband and I knew we had finally met the best professionals to help James overcome his struggle. James immediately seemed very comfortable with both Dr. Gajwani. My husband and I have never seen James respond so well to treatment. We owe our son’s new found healthy and successful life to Dr. Gajwani, and to our son himself for following their advice and participating in their programs. To date, James has not had a single attack. With his stressful job, at times he did have a little anxiety and we were able to either get in touch with Dr. Gajwani or see him that very same day. If your son or daughter is struggling with a behavioral disorder, I recommend meeting with both Dr. Gajwani. Their help has been a true miracle in helping our son succeed in life and beat his condition.
The name has been changed for confidentiality purposes