New treatment for depression gaining popularity

Published: Nov. 10, 2014 at 8:57 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2014 at 9:34 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's a sickness you can't always see from the outside, and many people suffer in silence with depression.

One in 10 U.S. adults suffer from depression, and for 35 years, Columbus accountant Mary Terry says she has dealt with depression, with no interests in hobbies, families and even the job she loved.

"All I could see is darkness," Terry said. "I would sleep all weekend. I would stay in bed and not go anywhere or do anything."

Terry said things took a turn for the worse when her husband passed away after battling a lengthy illness.

"It was just overwhelming grief. At point I realized I was making a plan to kill myself," Terry said.

Terry says she tried multiple types of antidepressants, but like so many others, the medications didn't work for her.

"It's more than being just sad," Terry said. "It's more of a despondent feeling. The feeling that it was never going to be any better than this was it."

But it wasn't the end. Terry called her insurance company and asked for a referral to psychiatrist Dr. Kevin McPherson.

"Treatment for depression in general has consisted of medications and talk therapy, and psychotherapy, where you go and sit on a chair and talk to someone for an hour a week," McPherson said.

McPherson is supplementing traditional treatment with Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS.

"It creates a strong but small magnetic field, focuses it on a spot of the brain, right here on the left side, that's been shown to be less active in depression," McPherson said.

McPherson says the magnetic field makes the neurons in the brain sort of wake up and "essentially re-starts the brain circuitry that we think is responsible for depression."

Terry is currently undergoing the six-week program. She says things are finally looking up.

"I definitely have a more positive outlook and my future is something to embrace and be excited about," Terry said.

TMS was FDA-approved in 2007. Some insurance carriers do cover the procedure under certain conditions. For more information on TMS, check out the National Institute of Health website by clicking here.

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