Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
In 2015, shortly after losing his youngest brother to suicide, Utah resident Jake Henseler began to struggle with crippling depression and anxiety. The energy required to fight against depression and anxiety soon forced everything else out of his life. “I tried to finish my classes in school, but I was unable to even take care of myself,” he recalls. “I only had enough energy to sleep, so I slept constantly.”
Henseler’s situation is not unique. According to Centers for Disease Control data, nearly 38% of Utah adults reported symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder in the past two years.
After years of trying to win the battle against depression and anxiety on his own, Henseler approached his doctor for help. Instead of prescribing antidepressants, Jake’s doctor referred him to Serenity Mental Health Centers for transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (TMS) because he witnessed other patients with similar stories to Jake’s who had experienced remarkable success with the treatment.
Though unsure at first, Henseler researched TMS and felt that it was a treatment he needed to help him overcome his depression and anxiety.
According to Cleveland Clinic, TMS “elicits magnetic energy, which turns into electrical current underneath the patient’s skull, to help regulate the patient’s emotions.” It is a safe and effective treatment option for depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD and other mental illnesses.
Using non-invasive magnetic pulses, similar to an MRI, TMS helps to develop new neural pathways and stimulate areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation, rewards, obsessions/compulsions, and thought processing — helping the brain actually heal from the negative effects of mental illness.
“Picture a snowy walkway,” explains Dr. Jennifer French, a board-certified psychiatrist at Serenity Mental Health Centers. “As you traverse the walkway, you tend to step in the footprints others have left behind because it’s easier. Likewise, your brain also tends to take the easiest pathway, and even if those pathways become damaged through depression or other mental illness, your brain will continue to send signals down those pathways. TMS gives us an industrial-sized snowplow to clear the walkway and allow new, healthy pathways to develop in place of the old ones.”
Since finishing TMS treatment, Henseler’s life has drastically improved. “The strong negative emotions experienced before treatment were just gone,” he notes. “Now, when something bad happens in my life or if something upsets me, I’m able to bounce back faster than before. Rather than spending days or even weeks focusing on the bad things, I can think about it for an hour, let it go, and move on.”
With the help of TMS therapy, Henseler can do more than his depression and anxiety previously allowed. He puts more quality effort into projects that are important to him, and he spends more time on things that make him happy rather than wasting time with oversleeping or incessant worrying. He also notes that he is generally happier in his day-to-day life and that he is once again able to care for and value himself.
“I can actually give myself breaks and remind myself that everything doesn’t always have to be okay. TMS helped me remember that it’s okay to love myself,” he says.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI) reports these are common symptoms of anxiety disorders:
- Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Being irritable
- Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep.
NAMI lists the following as symptoms of depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability, frustration, or restlessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling slowed down
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause that do not ease even with treatment
- Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide.
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms for at least two weeks, it’s time to see a mental health professional.
Take control of mental illness with TMS
If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness and have not found relief through other treatment options, you don’t have to just put up with it. Like Henseler, TMS could be your answer for long-term results.
For more information on TMS therapy and other interventional psychiatry treatments offered by Serenity Mental Health Centers, visit their website or call 844-692-4100 today.