It went swimmingly. Do you see this smile? This is a genuine, happy smile. It was, indeed, a time commitment, but it really flew by quickly. It felt good to get up, get dressed, and go somewhere every day. It was powerful to take that step especially when all I originally wanted to do was stay home and hide under my covers.
Looks at a difference between these two pictures. Day 1. I was puffy, depressed, and dead in the eyes. I cried during my consultation. I was struggling with intrusive thoughts of self-harm several, several times a day. You can see it in my face.
This picture was taken during my last week of therapy. It’s a natural smile. I feel lighter. Life is just BETTER.
This is my PHQ-9 score graph. The PHQ-9 is the standardized test used to score depression. Although depression can’t be quantified exactly, it’s the best way we have right now to communicate how somebody is feeling. I started super high, as you can see. I was doing beautifully until that spike where we had the snafu between the doctor and the pharmacy and I was off my meds (and off my rocker). But even with that massive, nearly unbearable spike, it was still better than where I started. Last time I tested, I was at a 3. That’s where typical people without depression rate. It’s a life change.
So now I’ve been done with therapy for a week and I’ll be honest in saying that I have some anxiety about going back. Whenever I start to feel negative, sad, or anxious, I get this ballooning feeling of “Oh no, this is it!” and I panic. But I remind myself that I can reframe these thoughts. I practice mindfulness. I rely on true friends and my husband to tell me which thoughts are accurate and which aren’t. And if I do ever slip back to a place where things are so dark that I think of meeting the abyss head-on, I can do another round of TMS therapy.
It doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for me. I wake up in the morning and I’m not disappointed that I somehow managed to survive another night. I get up, get dressed, and get to work. It’s like every day is an excavation and I’m finding parts of myself under there. It’s humbling and I’m grateful.