“Dr. Shakir: As a colleague MD I wish to congratulate you for recommending TMS to our son. He is absolutely a different person. He lived with us for 4 years until last Spring when we sold our house and moved to a retirement community. He lives with two fellows, is on disability for Parkinsons (which the TMS also helped), and is no longer depressed nor on alcohol (as far as we know). We see him regularly and my wife especially remarks about his total personality change for the better. Thank you for urging the treatment.”
– H.D., MD
“I met my wife, Kate in 1965 when I was 20 and in college. We courted and fell in love and were married in 1967, a little over 45 years ago. Before we were married, I knew that Kate suffered from depression – she told me and I could see it in her comportment. I thought that what she needed was an environment with security, support, and love – I thought that I could provide those things for her. I thought I could help her become well and overcome her depression.
I was wrong. Her depression continued. We sought many different types of help from psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage counselors, pastors, friends and family. None were able to cure her. She remained depressed most of the time, and would occasionally “fall off the wagon” into a deep, deep depression that would typically last for over a month.
We were referred to Dr Saad Shakir, a very well respected psychiatrist in our area. Kate became Dr Shakir’s patient in 2005 and he immediately got to work concocting a drug cocktail to treat Kate’s illness. He also insisted that we continue with talk therapy, and we found a therapist, Deborah Minowitz MFT, with whom we are very comfortable and happy.
It was a compromise between the benefits of the drugs and their side effects which were substantial. But Kate was always right on the edge of her abyss. As it became clear that things were not going to get a lot better, Dr Shakir began to talk to us about a new treatment for depression: TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation that had been approved by the FDA in 2008.
A normal course of TMS treatment involves about thirty 45 minute sessions on the TMS machine spread over 6 to 8 weeks. We got to session 20 or so and Kate did not feel that anything had changed or become better. But I had noticed a difference at about session 15 – Kate was becoming more “present”, she seemed less drugged, more animated, and she was able to concentrate a bit better. But it took 30 sessions for Kate to feel that she was changed and better.
On August 4, 2011 Kate had her last TMS session. She was so much better…she was still on her medications, but she was no longer depressed all the time and on the edge of her abyss. It’s been almost two years now, as I write this, since Kate’s last TMS session. Kate no longer suffers from depression and anxiety, she is happy and joyful and present. Our lives have changed as a result of the TMS treatments. And in our 46th year of marriage, we are learning to love each other even more.”
– Michael W. (See here for Michael’s full testimonial – A Husband’s Story)
My name is Phil Bunnelle. In my professional career, I worked as a mechanical engineer, designing agricultural machinery and mining equipment among other things, mostly in California. I enjoyed physical activities such as hiking, biking, and swimming, as well as doing graphics and other creative work on the computer.
Following service in the Navy, I slipped into depression at age 22, while attending college. Prescribed Bensedrine and Dexedrine, I was catapulted into a high that lasted 6 months, after which I crashed. Over the next several years I saw different therapists, none of whom seemed to help. Eventually I found a psychiatrist who was effective and saw him three times a week for a number of years.
Better able to cope, but still suffering from depression, I then tried all different kinds of therapy, ranging from support groups and marathons to Primal Scream.
Depression seriously impacted my social life, resulting in my not marrying until I was over 50 and missing all the joys of having children and associated family life.
Over the years, I tried various antidepressants, including Parnate, none of which really helped. When Prozac came out, I decided to give that a try, with Dr. Shakir monitoring the results. It helped alot, but eventually became ineffective. Over the next 20 years Dr. Shakir prescribed various antidepressants, as some wore out or produced undesirable side effects.
Generally though, I was reasonably happy and stable until my wife died a little over a year ago, after which I crashed. I eventually recovered from that but went down again in December, around the first anniversary of her passing. Shortly after that Dr. Shakir began offering TMS treatments and indicated that I would be a good candidate. Having tried nearly everything else, I decided to give it a shot.
I almost immediately responded favorably, although there is some question how much was merely due to the passage of time and the antidepressants I was taking, and how much resulted from the TMS. Since the completion of treatment, I’ve been through one dip caused by external factors, but recovered almost immediately. My emotional state is currently about on a par with the upper levels of the recent past. Hopefully, it will remain at that level. I’m continuing to take antidepressant medication.
People have been commenting that I seem to be smiling more. – Phil B.
“For 17 years, I thought I was meant to be depressed.
I tried Celexa, which kinda worked but with side effects. Zoloft, worked better but with worse sexual side effects. Wellbutrin, hardly worked.
I was misdiagnosed bipolar and had been put on 600 mg (!) Seroquel, zyprexa, lamictal, depakote, latuda, clonazepam.
In my worst moment at 32 I found Dr. Shakir. We did 5 weeks of deep TMS, I started a full Dr. William Walsh dietary supplementation from another source, and he put me on Wellbutrin, Buspar, Kolonopin, Deplin, Remeron [and 1 other that I forget–its in your system…]
I was at a loss and had to go home to my parents for two months, where I tried committing suicide 3 times and couldnt function socially or financially or sleep of my own volition. I was one of many Effexor victims–it had killed my libido (and did for 7 months total) and I was at a total loss–dystonia, dysphoria. Finally, 1.5 years into the worst (of 3) depressive episodes, Dr. Shakir said, let’s test you to see what your body will respond to best. We did the Pharma test and found that I had 4 drugs in the green. I started to ween onto my eventual 40 mg Viibryd and ween off the other 4 drugs in 1.5 months. Within that amount of time, my mind started shifting–the clouds began to disappear. In 3 months, my libido had roared back and my career was flourishing.
Now, i am an incredibly astute and successful personal trainer, I am about to be a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, my girlfriend who stuck by me through the whole episode says “I am SOOOOO glad that you made it back to us–better than ever and happier than I have ever seen you.” My relationships are overwhelmingly solid and growing in number and connection daily. I am working to be the best: personal trainer, BJJ artist, kit drummer on stage, opera singer, boyfriend, friend, brother, son anyone has ever seen.
I found myself! Thank you for your help and miracle test, Dr. Shakir!” – Patient T
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TMS+YOU is an online community and national patient advocacy site for TMS Therapy. Those considering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation can connect with patients who have had the treatment to answer questions, share insights, and get the latest information.