Below is a spotlight on our recent program success story with our patient Nikki, who has bravely offered to share her journey and speak up about her experience with us at BrainStim Centers, in order to support and help others who may be struggling with challenges.
When I caught up with Nikki, she said, “For the first time in many years (and with the observation of a psychiatrist) I am finally off of medication.” An impressive shift for sure. Let’s review her experience in her own words:
BSC: How did you hear about BrainStim Centers and the TMS program?
Nikki: I am a patient of Dr. Liker. When I saw him at my first appointment for a spinal surgery, I asked him about his mental health care program and if he could help me. I had noticed when reviewing Dr. Liker before my appointment, that not only is he a neurosurgeon, he is an advocate of TMS and the owner of a TMS facility.
BSC: Tell us about your first impression of BrainStim Centers, and about the initial treatment.
Nikki: After my first consultation with Dr. Reyes and completing the assessment tests, which were fun and interesting, I had to wait for a bit for insurance approval before starting my treatments. Although, during the pandemic, it did take a little more time than usual to get approved, I have to say that I have never in my life ever had anyone or any group of people advocate for me as well. I have never had a group regularly keep me updated on the progress of approval the way you and your team did for me. I felt like you really did care about and for me. I know for a fact that you all worked like crazy to get me this treatment! I am eternally grateful to you and to the BrainStim Centers team. I will never forget what you did for me.
BSC: Tell us about your overall experience with BrainStim and the TMS treatment. What were the reasons you sought treatment?
Nikki: As a child, I had a very dysfunctional and difficult upbringing. This has resulted in having several different mental health challenges. The one common denominator within all of my challenges is major depression. After receiving several treatments, maybe somewhere around four weeks, I started noticing a difference in my overall attitude. It’s hard to explain, but if you are someone that does or has ever experienced severe depression, you know what a game changer this truly is. After about the first two weeks of my treatment, I noticed that I felt so much “lighter”. You could say that depression is like a constant storm cloud above your head that’s always there raging, following you everywhere you go and only you. I can honestly tell you that the cloud is gone completely! Before treatment I hardly ever even got out of my bed. I hardly went anywhere or did anything unless I absolutely had to. When I did, I did the absolute bare minimum. In fact, most of my life, I hardly ever wore make up, and showering, brushing my teeth?! Forget about it. When I’m depressed, nothing matters. I don’t do even the slightest things I should do just to take care of myself. Now, I get up out of bed every morning, thankful and feeling blessed for another day. If I go out, I shower and put make up on! I can honestly say without a doubt, that I have never felt so good since I was a teenager!
BSC: Did you experience any pain or side effects from the TMS treatment?
Nikki: Absolutely not! Occasionally when the dosage was increased, I did notice the strength a little bit. But other than that, I never experienced any negative side effects.
BSC: Is there anything more that you would like to add that you think might be helpful to potential patients?
Nikki: Yes, I would first like to say that if there is anyone out there that experiences any of the things I have mentioned here, that dealing with depression really stifles your life. When / if you can remove this obstacle, this allows you to be able to focus on other aspects of mental health challenges. For myself, I now can say that not being depressed all the time, I have the energy, motivation and care to now actually have the ability to dig deeper into healing my other challenges without it feeling like it is such an unattainable, monumental and overwhelming task! In fact, I’m now going to be traveling on my own soon out of state, to attend a four day womens’ retreat and continue my healing journey. I would also like to add that I do still have days where I maybe feel a little down or overwhelmed by just daily life happenings. But it’s not depression. I can tell the difference, and it’s easier for me to move throughout these challenges without literally bringing me down.
Another wonderful thing I’ve been able to do now is spend more quality time with my husband doing all of the things we love. He has been talking nonstop about the changes he has seen in me and how much he is so proud of me. He is my biggest support and cheerleader. I would also like to add that Dr. Liker and the whole team at BrainStim Centers, you, Sonia, Joella, Aleks, and Crystal, are the nicest, most wonderful group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with! Seeing all of you every day for several weeks was really the only contact I’ve had with anyone outside of my home. I feel as though I added new people to my family and I’m actually missing seeing you all every day and talking with you and sharing my life. Not only did I receive treatment for my medication resistant depression that worked, I made new lifelong connections with a group of amazing people. It doesn’t get any better than that.
I would just like to end by saying thank you to Dr. Liker and BrainStim Centers, and all of you, the staff! You have changed my life for the better forever!