Anyone tried TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) for PTSD?

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
My T says the VA is now using this as a treatment and referred me to a local clinic. I did some research and it looks like it may help with ptsd - but wondering if anyone has actually tried it? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I've had TMS for depression. My understanding is that the protocol for PTSD is slightly different, though the machine does what it does. For depression, it did help me a little, but not in a lasting way, and I'm not sure why.

I can tell you that it's pretty uncomfortable, physically - you get used to it, but best I can describe it, it's like a woodpecker hammers on one part of your skull for about 13 seconds, and even with earplugs, it's loud. Not standing-next-to-a-jackhammer loud, but close. About the same rhythm too.

Then, there's 30-40 seconds of quiet before it happens again.

Like I said, though - I'm only familiar with the depression position and protocols. The painful part was how close the target area was to the trigeminal nerve...in my case, it resulted in the activation part of the sequence also causing my teeth to clamp down and paralyzing my tongue. Seizure-like, I guess. Once I got used to it, it was manageable with a bite guard and a lot of breath-counting. Triggery for me, in connection to trauma shit. But manageable.

I'll try almost anything. I don't regret doing it; I do think that if there aren't significant positive results after one full course (about six-eight weeks), it's not worth re-trying. Insurance generally covers it now, which helps a lot.

I never read up much on the thinking behind applying it to PTSD, and always suspected it was still fundamentally targeting depression, just being attached to PTSD because it can help alleviate that spectrum of symptoms. And potentially some connection between that type of stimulation's overall effect on neuroregeneration, and how that can work synergistically with all the forms of cognitive processing for trauma (EMDR included).

Curious to hear other experiences.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
..in my case, it resulted in the activation part of the sequence also causing my teeth to clamp down and paralyzing my tongue.
yikes!!! ya - that's gonna be a big trigger - and so is the pounding on the head thing.

Thank you - this gives me a lot to think about. I just read that it often is a temporary fix, which seems like a lot of work for something that might only last a couple months.

But - like you said...gotta try it all sigh.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but as far as I can tell it's not little more than snake oil. If it costs a ton of money I'd skip it.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
it's not little more than snake oil.
I do disagree - but speaking only as a treatment for depression. I think the follow-up wave of companies conducting research to get protocols approved for other diagnoses...that's where I'd agree, there's an overreach. But the science behind the mechanism of action for depression is sound, and I'd encourage anyone with mild to moderate chronic MDD to try it; it has put people into remission.

Depression, though - not PTSD.

I just read that it often is a temporary fix, which seems like a lot of work for something that might only last a couple months.
It is a lot of work.

I think there's more possibility overall in the ongoing developments with trials involving hypnotics and hallucinogenics, and I think the VA is also a first port of call for a few of those...you might ask your T what they think of that for you.

yikes!!! ya - that's gonna be a big trigger - and so is the pounding on the head thing.
They do something of a ramping up, so there's a chance to get used to it....but still, it's not the easiest thing. I can tell you that the experience with the Neurostar machines is MUCH better than it is with Brainsways. Unfortunately, the latter seems to have more machines out there. The Neurostar was the first one developed, and it's not nearly as physically uncomfortable. The experiences I described were for Brainsways. Woodpecker is the same for both.
 
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