So yesterday I had the mapping session. Essentially they take the coil and move it around until they find the location on the brain and strength of the pulse that makes your thumb involuntarily twitch. It was very weird, them pressing a button and my face or hand twitching on cue. The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes. I did not feel any pain and had no headache or any other side effects. Additionally, prior to going in, they had me fill out two more depression inventories (Hamilton and Beck, if I’m not mistaken) and then explained to me how it works. I’m not a science person and not a medical professional in any way, but there are a lot of explanations and studies out there if you google “transcranial magnetic stimulation.”
The second appointment, which I just left, was much more intense. It was 40 pulses over 4 seconds (I think) with then a 24 second or so break for about 40 minutes. I’m not 100% on those numbers. They moved the coil so it was stimulating a different part of my brain than the thumb movement part. The shocks were pretty intense, painful at first, and gave me a headache afterwords. While they were doing the procedure, the technician asked me to do two more depression tests where she read the questions and I answered her directly. She said that the pain would go down over over time and that they would use the inventories and tests to track my progress.
I felt strange afterwards, not just the headache, but a little more aware of my surroundings, almost felt like I was high. I don’t know if that’s the TMS or my hangover today. It’s too soon to say if this will work but I am hopeful!