Find more info about AFTER DEPRESSION at the book’s Amazon page or by going to the AFTER DEPRESSION website.

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Depression, News

Lawsuit: rTMS Treatment Is Not ‘Experimental’

Insurance company won’t cover rTMS treatment for your entrenched depression (via Brainsway or Nuerostar devices)? Here’s a lawsuit that could change that:

“Psych-Appeal, Inc., in conjunction with Zuckerman Spaeder LLP and LeClairRyan, P.C., has filed a class-action lawsuit against Aetna on behalf of mental health patients suffering from depression. The federal lawsuit alleges that Aetna has categorically refused to cover a safe and effective treatment called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).”

Read the full press release from the law firm.

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Depression, Mental Illness, News

Robin Williams’ Suicide: Blaming the Victim, Shaming the Ill

I know next to nothing of Mr. Williams’ health history and have followed news of his death only in passing. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just, like the Williams we’re all suddenly becoming better acquainted with, I have my own struggles demanding my attention.

Truly, I’ve always felt the allure of Williams as a performer and human being. As a young comedian crashing into¬†the nation’s psyche via the Mork and Mindy show, his high-energy antics communicated¬†to my young mind¬†the stimulating possibilities of life itself. In later performances, he exuded an almost¬†palpable sense of compassion and tenderness betraying the perfect frailty of human existence.

While bad acting can so often feel like the clumsy fabrication of a life from dead matter (thinking Nick Cage here in his more Frankenstein monster moments), the good stuff springs from the deepest parts of a person and seems to tap into a shared emotive energy that binds all people. We recognize ourselves when gifted with such performances.

What came from Williams, I choose to believe, came from inside of him. It was earned (it would seem) in the forge of his own suffering, a suffering that concluded this week with his final decision: the decision to silence the pain by extinguishing his own life.

That decision has been kicked around in public for days now by a good number of commentators and supposed friends. And, in almost every case, these people just need to shut the fuck up.

Continue reading

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Culture, Depression, News

‘Today Show’ Takes On sTMS

today showThis project was supposed to be done by now. Depression Time was intended to chronicle my final assault on my illness, either built up into book form or abandoned completely after a successful recovery. A last dance. A final goddamned go-round.

This was definitely not supposed to be just another mile marker on my (seemingly now¬†interminable) journey into obsolescence. And yet here I am: still sick, still struggling to get good health care, and thrashing about desperately for a job and career, for this thing called “wellness.”

In fact, I’ve been so sucked into my admittedly¬†marginalized social corner that I had forgotten all about the DT blog. Then¬†Wordpress rang, alerting me to a surge in traffic on the site. Obviously some news outlet somewhere was writing about synchronized transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS), I thought, as the treatment I received in a double-blind clinical¬†trial more than a year ago is known. Continue reading

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Depression, News

The Egg & I: My Austin Chronicle Feature Story

egg & i

I’m on my back in a dimly lit room on the seventh floor of a Dallas research hospital. A device roughly two feet tall resembling an oversized egg is wheeled up behind me, its single blue clawlike appendage nestled possessively over the top of my head. “How’s that?” the doctor asks.

A thumb drive containing my information is inserted, and a man’s tinny voice buzzes from within the plastic shell announcing that a session is available. “Lie still with your eyes closed. Treatment begins in five, four, three, two, one. Treatment begins now.”

Rattalattarattalattasqueeeeak! Rattalattarattalattasqueeeeak!Rattalattarattalattasqueeeeak!

Welcome to the future of psychiatric care: low lights, an old massage table, and three spinning magnets. Continue reading

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