Case Study: 22-Year-Old Suicidal Male Experiences Remission with dTMS

Peter had been depressed since his earliest childhood memories. He vividly recalled hanging upside down from the jungle gym because he heard that it would make him fall asleep and never wake up. From a young age, he did not want to participate in life nor see it as valuable.

After two suicide attempts in five years, Peter was twice hospitalized and spent nine months in two residential treatment centers. An intense regimen of medications and psychotherapy yielded limited response, so he was referred to TMS Center of Colorado for treatment with Brainsway® deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS).

At time of evaluation, Peter was engaged with weekly psychotherapy and taking four antidepressants without effect. Numerous trials of antidepressants proved ineffective, including Effexor, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac and Cymbalta. Assessments at evaluation indicated moderately severe depression, with a Beck Depression Inventory-II® (BDI-II) score of 39 and a Patient Health Questionnaire-9® (PHQ-9) score of 17. Based on treatment history and assessments, Peter received a full course of dTMS treatment at the TMS Center of Colorado.

Peter received a total of 39 dTMS treatments over two months using a standard protocol for depression. After just one week of treatment, Peter’s BDI-II showed 35% improvement from evaluation (39 to 25), while his PHQ-9 showed nearly 25% improvement (17 to 12). At the end of two weeks of treatment, he reported increased motivation and productivity, and during his fourth week of treatment, he said, “I think it’s working, but it’s a slow thing.” By the end of treatment, he shared that he felt consistently good. His BDI-II score had decreased by 85% from evaluation (39 to 6) and his PHQ-9 score had decreased by over 80% (17 to 3), with both reflecting full remission of depression.

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