My perception of the rollercoaster of moods is that it came about suddenly. I don’t know if that is entirely true but I felt the same way with its end. It just seemed as though one day there weren’t any rides anymore. My mood varied from day to day and even within a day but it wasn’t the unexpected or unusual moods of the coaster.
I finished my last full week of treatments and was heading for the home stretch. The next two weeks was a weaning period and the treatments dropped to twice a week. At this point I had many conflicting experiences with TMS, but I refrained from final judgement until it was over. I was determined to finish the course and was still hopeful I’d see improvements in anxiety.
I did feel some improvements; maybe I needed more than the structured course? However, I didn’t feel any anxiety benefit, a continued source of disappointment. Also, I kind of missed going every day. I had fallen into a routine and the staff were familiar and welcoming. It was like going to work and seeing your work friends.
During these last weeks of treatments I began to feel more level. Gone were the days of the rollercoaster ride of moods. I’m still not sure how to describe how I felt and continue to feel. It’s not normal or even “back to my old self” and it’s not depression free. The only way to describe it is as improved, and more level.
I truly did want more sessions. Since everyone is different and reacts differently to treatments of any kind I think perhaps I would benefit from an extended treatment duration. The protocol is strict so it’s not going to happen but patients are monitored afterwards and if necessary “maintenance” treatments are sometimes offered.
My last TMS treatment was a bit of an anomaly. With all the progress I’d made I was expecting a quick visit. A few new things were going on in my life and my anxiety was a little higher but going to my treatments was now familiar territory. I arrived in the building and immediately felt off. Something wasn’t right. I’ve had off days before so I just went into the session knowing I’d get through. Once in the chair I became restless, which wasn’t the usual anymore. Restlessness soon turned into anxious thoughts and a desire to leave. Soon enough I was in a mild panic, with subtle physical symptoms of sweating, palpitations and nausea. I thought I was past this but here it was happening during my last treatment. I wanted to end it but I knew I’d have to answer to my therapist and my partner, so I pushed though employing all my coping mechanisms. I made it and oddly enough my last session ended not too differently from my first. I chalk it up to a few extra stressors that week. This is how life is with anxiety and panic disorder. Every day is different and presents it’s own set of struggles.
I definitely feel better than when I started my TMS adventure in May. I can find enjoyment in some of the things I used to. Enjoyment of music returned and for me thats a biggie. I can smile a little more and am even more motivated to participate in my CBT homework. Hell, I even went out to a club for the first time in over a year. Yeah, it was work anxiety wise, but at the end of the night I did enjoy it and I felt a sense of accomplishment, and a certain contentment at having enjoyed something once again.
Enjoy; I enjoyed; those are words and phrases I’ve not uttered in a while and thats how I know with certainty my overall mood has risen. Sure I still have bad days, but I also have decent days, ok days, and sprinkled though some of the decent days are some good moments. I’m hopeful that these good moments will expand into good days.
Are my improvements attributed to TMS alone? I can’t honestly answer that question because there are too many variables, depression has a lot of components, and I have overlapping conditions.
Anxiety keeps me down but the mood improvements I’ve had over the last two months I believe are beginning to help me deal with it better, do my therapy homework, and strive for improvements and a return to normalcy. I continue to battle my anxious, pessimistic mind by trying to be positive and I strive to take one moment at a time, walking with the demonsbymyside.