TMS… Rollercoaster

My TMS treatments continued daily and each day presented its own unique set of struggles, moods, feelings, and emotions. Anxiety reigned supreme virtually 24/7, however; the anxiety about actually going to my daily treatments lessoned as the days passed. Sitting in the chair and undergoing the treatments themselves was still was ridden with anxiety, albeit I did not have an additional panic attack until the very last day, which I will explain later.

My routine became waking up, taking my meds, calming and controlling my anxiety levels (which are always high in mornings) and going to my daily treatments.

Beginning around week three I began to notice some subtle changes and moments of mood improvements. They were usually short and occurred within an hour or so of the sessions. Sometimes it was just the enjoyment of music in the car, other times it was a full sing along. One day I just kept driving and singing along to my favorite tunes for about 30 minutes. Other times it was a less intense feeling and a burst of energy.
In contrast, a few days later I would be in extreme fatigue that would last days at a time. This mystery fatigue continued on and off for about 3 weeks in the mid range of the treatments. There were days where I slept up to 12 hours a day between nighttime and daytime naps. Some days the fatigue was accompanied with a feeling of being down and other days my mood was ok but physically I was weighed down.

By about the end of the third week and into the fifth week I started experiencing inconsistent moods. You could even call them mood swings. Some of my behavior was out of character. I had moments of agitation, irritability, and in one instance, outright anger. This is where the rollercoaster analogy comes in. Up, down, and all around my moods seemed to go, sometimes in the same day. I would feel ok, then out of nowhere i’d snap at someone for a trivial reason. My patience was extremely thin. Though these moods were bothering me they weren’t overly intense or in any way debilitating. They were just different, not what I was expecting, and not what I normally experienced in depression.

I asked more than one of the doctors on staff if these moods were indicative of the treatments and could they represent a persons progression through various components of depression. I’m not sure I ever got a concrete answer but I did get plenty of reassurance that it wasn’t that out of the ordinary and it certainly wasn’t dangerous. Everyone reacts a little differently to the treatments and to the symptoms of depression as a whole. Since every mood I described can be a component of depression it was conceivable that I was experiencing these moods while my overall mood improved; which it was, slightly and slowly.

This period wasn’t easy because sometimes I couldn’t put my finger on exactly how I was feeling at any given moment. I also saw no improvements in my level of anxiety. Many days it was exacerbated by the onslaught of new, different, or just unexpected feelings and moods.

I went into this treatment knowing it was for depression but with the hopes that it would have a positive influence in reducing my level of anxiety. I started getting disappointed that my treatments were nearing their end without any anxiety improvement. The doctors assured me that even once the treatments are over patients report improvement weeks afterwards. Since I was noticing a overall improvement in mood I continued to hope for anxiety benefits and continued to ride the rollercoaster.

Next post…. End of TMS

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