Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 818669

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Can anyone share experiences w/ VNS? I may get it

Posted by PhoenixGirl on March 18, 2008, at 15:58:44

I've had depression since I was 12, and I'm 30 now. I have tried nearly every antidepressant that exists and had 30 rounds of ECT, but my depression remains persistent. Currently I'm on Cymbalta and Klonopin, and I experience side effects like weight gain, tiredness, and sexual dysfunction. I'm about to go to a psychiatric practice that uses VNS, and I may get it.

 

How about trying rTMS first ?) PhoenixGirl

Posted by twinleaf on March 18, 2008, at 17:08:15

In reply to Can anyone share experiences w/ VNS? I may get it, posted by PhoenixGirl on March 18, 2008, at 15:58:44

Are you anywhere near Chicago or Atlanta? It's non-invasive, and about half of the people who try it get very good results. Everyone who responds to it needs to go on a follow-up maintenance program, so you need to be reasonably near the doctors who are treating you.(Dr.Best in Chicago and Dr.Hutto in Atlanta)

I haven't tried as many drugs as you, nor have I had had MDD as long as you have, but I have tried all the different classes of drugs, and never found anything nearly as helpful as the TMS. I had an initial three week course of 21 treatments, and now return every few months for 4 treatments (two a day). I am completely in remission once again after 1-2 treatments, but have two more for insurance. If it is approved, I would use it as a prevemtive measure on a regular basis. It does good things to your brain: increases the blood flow in the left side of the cortex, lowers the circulating levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. increases levels of BDNF, and restores normal architecture to the CA3 cells of the hippocampus. It's not a permanent fix, but, if it works for you, it's almost a perfect treatment- you aren't depressed, and you feel like your old healthy self- not dull, anhedonic, overweight or asexual. This is true of VNS, too, but it is a little more invasive and tricky.

TMS is presently being studied in Iraq as a frontline treatment for war-related PTSD. Because it can damp down the stress hormones so well, they are trying it to see if they can prevent PTSD from developing in combat veterans.

 

I forgot to say...... twinleaf

Posted by twinleaf on March 18, 2008, at 17:28:37

In reply to How about trying rTMS first ?) PhoenixGirl, posted by twinleaf on March 18, 2008, at 17:08:15

that I first had TMS in January of 2004, and have been back to Atlanta 10 times for maintenance. It's never failed me!!

 

Re: I forgot to say...... twinleaf

Posted by Phillipa on March 18, 2008, at 19:55:06

In reply to I forgot to say...... twinleaf, posted by twinleaf on March 18, 2008, at 17:28:37

Seriously? That's fantastic probably don't take medicaire right? Don't you still have to take meds after and between treatments? Phillipa

 

Re: I forgot to say...... Phillipa

Posted by twinleaf on March 18, 2008, at 20:25:24

In reply to Re: I forgot to say...... twinleaf, posted by Phillipa on March 18, 2008, at 19:55:06

No. It hasn't been approved by the FDA as yet, so everyone has to find a way to pay for it. At least it's cheaper than ECT- $150 per treatment as of 2008. And there are never any problems with memory.

Most people do take medication in addition. If therapeutic doses of drugs are combined with TMS, the remission rate with Dr. Hutto is about 70%. The 50% improvement rate is for TMS alone.

When I first started having TMS in 2004, I was taking Lexapro and Wellbutrin in pretty high doses. Gradually, I weaned off of them while continuing to go back to Atlanta for maintenance TMS. Now, I'm pretty much depression-free, provided I go back for maintenance about every four to six months. I do take a low dose of Lithium- 300 mg.

I should mention that I would never in the world have known about TMS without Babble. I learned all about it on the 2003
Medication board.

 

Re: I forgot to say...... twinleaf

Posted by Phillipa on March 18, 2008, at 21:54:27

In reply to Re: I forgot to say...... Phillipa, posted by twinleaf on March 18, 2008, at 20:25:24

Do you have to have meds that work for TMS to work and will there be time for me as 62 in two days. Yes I too have learned a lot on babble and happen to love the people and it gives me a feeling of some worth on Disability. Is it also good for anxiety that leads to depression? Thanks so much Twinleaf.

 

Re: I forgot to say...... Phillipa

Posted by twinleaf on March 18, 2008, at 22:28:00

In reply to Re: I forgot to say...... twinleaf, posted by Phillipa on March 18, 2008, at 21:54:27

I think everyone, or almost everyone, who seeks out TMS is in the treatment-resistant category, and as such, are usually on a bunch of meds that aren't helping enough. There's no requirement that you be on them, but most people are .I have been having these treatments regularly for four years, as well as having therapy, and I have been able to gradually eliminate almost all of the meds (except for low-dose lithium). For the first couple of years, I really needed the meds. That began to change about two years ago. I think my brain has been gradually re-set with lower stress hormone levels- it's pretty much the same thing that Elroy is talking about, above, but he is lowering his cortisol by using benzodiazapines.

It's a very safe treatment. Dr. Hutto has people from their twenties all the way to 80. You can't have metal in your head, epilepsy or a pacemaker but that's about it for contraindications.

The very noticeable effect of TMS is on mood, but. brcause it does lower stress hormones, anxiety goes down by a moderate amount.

 

Re: Can anyone share experiences w/ VNS? I may get it PhoenixGirl

Posted by Maxime on March 19, 2008, at 17:49:14

In reply to Can anyone share experiences w/ VNS? I may get it, posted by PhoenixGirl on March 18, 2008, at 15:58:44

> I've had depression since I was 12, and I'm 30 now. I have tried nearly every antidepressant that exists and had 30 rounds of ECT, but my depression remains persistent. Currently I'm on Cymbalta and Klonopin, and I experience side effects like weight gain, tiredness, and sexual dysfunction. I'm about to go to a psychiatric practice that uses VNS, and I may get it.

Maybe just stop the klonopin ... that will help you feel less depressed.

 

Re: How about trying rTMS first ?)

Posted by RMarie on March 19, 2008, at 23:43:40

In reply to How about trying rTMS first ?) PhoenixGirl, posted by twinleaf on March 18, 2008, at 17:08:15

I have been trying to find where I can get into a trial on the TMS for the last 4 yrs. and would love to have info. where I can go and it is acutally done and not a trial. I heard it was to be approved in spring but no such luck. Have heard so many wonderful things about it & I am at the end of my rope. VNS is invasive and I know two people who had it, mixed results. One bipolar friend said it was the ultimate answer & she had prior severe symptoms. The other not as clear cut. Please let me know about the TMS as I will travel to have access to it. Thanks

 

Re: How about trying rTMS first ?) RMarie

Posted by twinleaf on March 20, 2008, at 8:36:52

In reply to Re: How about trying rTMS first ?), posted by RMarie on March 19, 2008, at 23:43:40

The two psychiatrists doing it in the US are Dr. Steven Best outside of Chicago and Dr. Mark Hutto of Atlanta. If you do a Babble search, you should find all the information you need. I think those doctors have information online themselves also.

I was sure it would finally be approved last year, and was very disappointed when it wasn't. But Dr. Hutto is very optimistic about approval sometime in the future. A number of psychiatrists who work with TMS, Dr. Hutto among them, have formed a committee to work towards that.

 

Re: How about trying rTMS first ?)

Posted by Cecilia on March 20, 2008, at 22:46:40

In reply to Re: How about trying rTMS first ?), posted by RMarie on March 19, 2008, at 23:43:40

rTMS is available at the Mindcare Centres in Vancouver and Toronto; it has been approved in Canada for years. I had it in 2004. It didn't help me at all and is VERY expensive but if you can afford it, it may be worth a try, at least you are guaranteed to get the real treatment, not a "sham" (placebo) as in a study. Most of the people who went there when I did were folks who have been turned down for studies, I was turned down for one because I had been depressed for too long. The idea of a "sham" treatment is a joke by the way, for me the treatments were extremely painful, if I had been in a study and had been getting the real treatments I definitely would have known it! (Not everyone finds it painful though). Cecilia


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