My TMS experiences: There is hope after a first failed attempt! Ask your doc to include 10 min on each side of the Bilateral supplemental motor area in addition to the standard protocol (usually only the right and/or left side of the brain).
TMS is an outpatient treatment. It is not painful. If you are desperate because meds have not worked for you, it is worth giving it a try.
* note- I have included 2 links below. The first is an article about TMS and treatment especially for DP. The second is a news clip explaining TMS.
For those of you thinking about trying rTMS therapy for DP, the typical protocol for regular anxiety and depression is 36 sessions for approximately 30 minutes per session. The right side of the brain is usually treated and sometimes a couple of minutes on the left.
This is what has/has not worked for me with rTMS for DP:
First time around: 6 months ago, I had 36 sessions of TMS therapy over a 6-week period. I had the right side treated for 25 minutes and 10 on the left. The right side of the brain is the target area for depression while the left side if for anxiety. I felt NO improvement.
My Second time around (currently in progress): As of today, I have completed 30 of my 36 sessions. I have experienced a significant amount of improvement due to a change in my protocol. Around 3 weeks into my treatment with no
improvement, my doctor changed my protocol to include a total of 20-minute pulses at the very top of my head. If you think about where the hair line typically parts in the middle, I received 10 minutes of pulses directly to the left and 10 directly to the right of the "hair part". Although I do not know the setting the machine was on for this particular area; since the right and left side of the brain is treated with different pulse settings, what I can tell you is this change made all the difference. Most TMS clinics should know the proper settings. My DP AND depression have reduced significantly. If I can put a number on it, I would say it improved by 85%. In addition to this new treatment area, I have continued with 20 minutes on the right side and 10 on my left.
I am incredibly lucky my insurance (United Healthcare) has agreed to cover a total of 1 hour or 36 treatments. Many other insurance companies cover it, but sometimes you have to be persistent. My clinic dealt with my insurance company.
The past two years has been pure hell for me. I can't believe I made it this far. Although I have been suffering with this horrible condition or 18 years, this recent period of time has been the worst.
NAMI- a non profit that may be helpful in finding resources.
Even though 18 years has been an incredibly long time, and it may sound scary to many of you, remember you can still live a happy life with this condition when it is managed properly. By this, I mean there have been significant stretches of time when I forgot that I had DP because my medication, 40 mg of Celexa, worked so well for me.
While on celexa, I got married, had 2 beautiful kids and was living a happy life until the celexa stopped working because my body became resistant. Over the past 2 years, I tried dozens of medications with no success (other than Adderall which helped because it is an ADHD drug that works by focusing the brain. Over this 2-year period, I was suicidal and in a very very dark place. It's not that I did not want to live; I just didn't want to live like this.
My bottom line: If your insurance does not cover TMS, I suggest trying the protocol I described for at least part of the time duration to see if you have any improvement. If you are able to pay out of pocket, I believe it is worth a try. I hope this info helps you.
NAMI- a non profit that may be helpful finding resources