TMS Patient Testimonials
"I am 22 years old; student at UC Berkeley studying genetics & music. I suffered from depression for at least 5 years off and on. I also suffered from severe anxiety for many years. My medication regimen was very complex, and also was proving to be ineffective. We looked at other options and found TMS.
For me, I didn't start noticing changes in my day-to-day life until around the 15th-18th visit (ie. the third week of treatment). I started to feel physically lighter and more energetic, which made studying for and attending classes much easier. Previously, I would go attend 4 hours of class, go home and have to rest for at least 2-3 hours before I could do anything else like cooking, cleaning, or homework. The increase in energy was the most significant change that I first noticed.
My life has changed so much! Before TMS, I was unable to leave my house to go do basic things such as attend school, go meet friends or run errands on a regular basis. I felt trapped inside my home. After TMS, I had more energy and felt more like I used to before the severe depression. In my case, my anxiety also decreased significantly in response to the depression treatment.
I've been doing really well since I finished my TMS treatment. Thank you so much! It really changed my life for the better. :)"
- Patient B-0112, age 22
"I am an actor and video producer. I act in theater and films and as a standardized patient in medical schools. I also film documentaries on paranormal investigations.
I’ve suffered from depression on and off possibly since the first grade, but for sure since I was a teenager. I had bad experiences with antidepressants and needed something more than talk therapy. I read about TMS and chose it because of the promising results with other patients and because there are few side effects.
I found TMS therapy very helpful. The actual treatment was like nothing I had ever tried before. It felt like a little woodpecker was pecking on my head, but it was totally tolerable. The medical technicians were very attentive and friendly. I started noticing changes towards the last few weeks of my treatment. I started to feel more energized.
I’m noticing I have more energy to do things and I can focus better on tasks. I have more energy to take care of myself, my pets, and my home. Everyday tasks are easier to do. I can also get over stressful events faster. There are still little improvements even three months after I ended treatment. For example, I noticed I have interest in cooking again which I haven’t been interested in for the last three years. I still get bad moments here and there when life throws me a curve ball, but I don’t dwell on the negative as long as I used to.
Everyone at BayTMS in Berkeley is wonderful. Dr. Cohen is very caring and supportive. I really appreciate how he helped me when I had problems with my insurance. The staff is friendly and professional. I had a lot of fun conversations with everyone and I looked forward to my treatments.
- Patient M-0276, age 47
"I am a 64 year old partially retired clinical social worker who is fortunate to have a very supportive family including an amazing life partner, seven children and their partners and three beloved grandchildren. I enjoy reading, writing, walking, gardening, and playing Words with Friends.
I have had several episodes of depression during my life in response to the usual life stressors: divorce, parental illness and death, work stress. I have made three suicide attempts and am deeply ashamed when I think of how these have (and could have if I succeeded) affected my family. I have been on anti-depressant medication for the past 30 years.
There is no getting around how disruptive to a daily routine committing to daily treatments is. That said, the staff at BayTMS made every effort to make it as convenient as possible for me and I was generally able to maintain my work scheduled and family commitments. Even if it had been more difficult to manage though, I still would have done it as I feel that it helped me come out of the fog of my depression and begin to want to live again."
I'm a homemaker and mother of three teenage boys. I have been involved in a very complicated divorce for the last three years. At the moment, all of my interests and hobbies revolve around my boys and my good friends.
I had been previously diagnosed with PTSD after the September 11th terrorists attacks, but I experienced my first episode of depression after my father passed away in 2006. My depression worsened as my marriage became more emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive.
After years of trying antidepressants with disappointing results, completely losing myself, and separating from my abuser, I had to find another way.
I started to notice a change in my depression about three weeks into TMS treatments. Simply put, it felt like a cloud was lifted from over me--like I had woken up from a bad dream.
Since receiving TMS therapy, I am no longer on any antidepressants, anxiolytics, or sleep medications. I don't even use alcohol to calm myself down. I am still in the middle of a very messy divorce, but I no longer feel hopeless. When I feel low, I make an effort to reach out to the supportive people in my life and I am able to bounce back much quicker!
-Patient M-0090, age 49
"I'm a retired design drafter and care-taker. I graduated from the Cal Poly School of Architecture. My interests include drawing, painting, and photography.
I was ten or twelve years old when I wrote a note expressing my urge to kill myself. My father had me laugh it off. As I got older, depression and anxiety crippled my life to a lesser and greater extent.
I decided to look into TMS Therapy when a public fiduciary told me that her niece had ultimately succeeded with an acute series of TMS. I brought it up to my therapist and he referred me to BayTMS.
After five weeks into treatment, I had reached remission. My treatment protocol was eventually adjusted to include right-sided treatment to address my anxiety.
Since receiving TMS Therapy, I am much more comfortable inside."
-Patient M-0105, age 73
"I am a 71 year old retired female social worker. I have a family of four including my husband and our two grown sons, one of which suffers from Cerebral Palsy. I have a wide social group of mostly female friends. I love dogs, horses, and nature.
Depression has affected me in all phases of my life. The first episode of depression that I recall was in third grade when a friend moved away. She was an important source of comfort to me being that I had an alcoholic family.
More recently, around the same time that I retired, I lost my ability to drive due to diabetic retinopathy and felt so depressed about what this meant in terms of my independence that I couldn’t do anything. The feeling was crushing.
Someone told me about TMS and I signed up right away. I started to feel change about 1 ½ weeks in. I began to sense an inner peace that I hadn’t felt in years. I felt my true self being given back to me. I was beginning to feel joy again and started making plans to pursue old pleasures such as decorating, painting portraits of my dogs, and spending time with horses.
As a person with many disabilities, I have found that I can manage these health issues and other life crucibles without the raging despair that used to hijack my life. This is so large! I have access to pure joy and enduring peace in my life."
- Patient 032, age 72
"I have been a Child Welfare Worker with CPS for 10 years. As a young person I was very optimistic and I wanted to learn about how to overcome my mental pain as well as help others like me improve their quality of life.
I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. I recall being a very sensitive and emotional person, even as a child. Some time after obtaining my Masters in Counseling Psychology and working in my profession for many years I began to lose hope about my severe major depression and suicidal ideation that haunted my brain. I had tried everything within my knowledge to treat my depression and feel better. I tried many anti-depressant medications, dosages, augmentations, and even ECT.
I had the maximum number of TMS treatments with seemingly no results. Many weeks after the treatment ended I started to notice that I had not been crying nightly and drugging myself to sleep. I was watching television again and not preoccupied with suicidal thoughts and/or death wishes.
Since TMS, I still struggle with depression, I still take medication, and I go to therapy bi-weekly. However, it is such a relief to not have to fight with myself every waking hour about not creating the perfect plan of suicide or not acting on my urge to die. These days I have freedom from those thoughts. That gives me a bit of peace. I would recommend TMS treatment."
- Patient 0304, age 39
"I’m 20 years old. I’m a bubbly and compassionate person. I like to volunteer, go hiking, and hang out with friends and family. I’m also interested in psychology because I’m curious about how the brain works.
I have suffered from depression for four years.
I decided to receive TMS therapy when I reached my breaking point. I was in a state where I wasn’t able to be rational with myself, I couldn’t make decisions, and my quality of life had begun to decrease.
My experience with TMS was phenomenal. I loved how much the doctors and the technicians cared so deeply about me. I enjoyed how they would make conversation with me and engage me in activity. I noticed changes in the first week of TMS therapy. I noticed that I became more sociable and I had more energy than I did before. My daily activities changed drastically, I was going out more with family and was more sociable.
TMS therapy has changed my life tremendously. Today I am able to be comfortable with just me and the person I have become. I can now continue my studies in my pursuit of becoming a psychologist. Most importantly, I am happy. I am free from the chains of depression."
- Patient 0025, age 20
"I sought out TMS therapy at the suggestion of my psychiatrist after showing resistance to several antidepressants for a prolonged period. I am a 20 year old student at UC Berkeley – at the time of my treatment, I was on an academic break due to overwhelming stress and pressure from school, anxiety, and depression. I have been in therapy throughout the three years I have suffered from depression, but the pressures of a college workload overwhelmed my motivation and time management skills. The treatment being non-invasive was a big plus, and the timing worked out well in that I could undergo the process entirely during my summer break.
I began noticing small changes about three weeks into treatment. Routine activities like making it to appointments and getting out of bed were slightly easier, and continued to get easier. Having TMS everyday established a rhythm to my week, and I was able to go to sleep and wake up on a more consistent basis. Around the fifth week, I noticed a significant increase in my overall mood – I still had concerns, worries, and self-criticisms, but they were easier to let go of and I felt lighter in general. It was also slightly easier to focus on tasks like reading, studying, and chores. I grew more motivated in my daily activities, even looking forward to the plans of the next day or upcoming week.
I have only been out of TMS therapy for a couple of days, but over the summer I have noticed an increase in motivation, focus, and mood in general. This has allowed me to put work into studying and exploring new topics, something that has been lacking in the past years. I hope that I stay on track and maintain my level of motivation and energy."
- Patient 0038, age 20
"I've suffered from depression for the entirety of my adolescence and adult life. I had tried several medications and had been in therapy for years, which helped to a certain extent, but I was still not healthy. About halfway through my [TMS] treatment, I noticed my symptoms disappearing. This treatment completely changed (saved) my life. It is a gradual process that takes place over the entire treatment, but the change is almost unbelievable. I am in complete remission now, about 5 months since finishing treatment. For the first time in my adult life, I actually feel that I want to be alive and continue living. I finally feel like I enjoy my life and consciousness. Every experience feels like it is new, and I'm so grateful that I had the chance to try TMS. I'm happier now than I can ever remember being. Also, the staff is wonderful."
- Patient 288, age 20
"The treatment of rTMS started and a few days after I started to feel some changes in my mood. I could not believe it! But it went a lot better after one week only - I could feel I went "normal". I had not felt like that in years. No anti-depressant had ever worked on me and I was suffering from severe depression since I was 35."
- Patient 267, age 62
"I would recommend Bay TMS to anybody. I can not say enough about the people that work there. Everyone cares about you getting better. It is rare to find psychiatrists that show the same level of care and empathy for your situation. The staff that administers your treatments could not be or more caring and professional. There is a truly a team behind you at Bay TMS. I can not speak more highly of them.
- Patient 235
"Of the three major depressive slumps I've experienced in my adult life, the ascent out of this one was remarkably fast (6 weeks vs. 6-12 months for the other two). The analogy which makes most sense to me is the idea likening a deep depression to hunkering down in a tornado shelter waiting for the disaster to pass. TMS gave me strength and courage to come up out of that shelter. Granted, I emerged into a messy landscape of financial and job problems (and that is stressful) but I am facing them head-on and with a sense that I can fix things, no matter how difficult that may be. Every once in a while I may feel the temptation to despair (return to the tornado shelter) but I guess I feel like TMS put a padlock on that hatch so I have no choice but to keep working on rebuilding."
- Patient 198
"I am tenacious! In 2004 I first noticed my depression. I went on medications and tried to carry on with my life. I was able to continue to work for awhile, but I lost a lot of friends and my social life was disappearing. I was searching for anything that could replace my medications and all of a sudden in 2009, a former doctor sent me a letter saying he thought I would be a perfect candidate for TMS - and I was! The very first treatment, I felt normal, no big changes. As time went on, I began to improve and I felt freedom. By the end of my treatment I was in remission and I have maintained that to this day - in 2013. There are a lot of things that are no longer a worry for me - I enjoy what is most meaningful in life and I am stronger than ever."
- Patient 7
"I am an attorney, an educator, and a youth advocate. I have suffered with depression since I was a teenager. As time went on, I was avoiding people and relationships, I became a recluse, and I was unable to sustain most employment. I decided to try TMS Therapy because nothing else seemed to effectively address my depression and suicidality. When I started TMS, I began noticing more energy and a willingness to leave my home. Now, I have more energy, fewer deeply depressed days, and increased interaction with others."
- Patient 47
"I just wanted to send a big thank-you!! My daughter came to see you for TMS treatment in 2012 - Major Depression. Multiple drug treatments. At first it did not seem like it helped, but she has been drug free for almost one year and will be graduating from college soon. We did not think she would be able to manage college when we found you!"
- A Happy Mom
"I am a 48 year old man, with interests in art, photography, literature, and history. I experienced my first episode of depression in my early twenties, and it made life very difficult. I first heard about TMS when my Kaiser doctor suggested it and described it as working like antidepressants, without side effects. When I started TMS, I first noticed less anxiety and my sense of humor returning, particularly in the last two weeks of treatment. Now I feel better and can engage with people more effectively."