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.
Erratic thinking, rumination, anxiety: Most of these I can catch with a watchful mind these days. (Until I can’t, but usually… ) However, there is one thing that will twist my gears hard, and that’s a night without sleep. Worse, two or three.
To beat back the Great Bleakness that is clinical depression takes a lot of falling sick. For the depressive, there is often no choice about sinking into despair—darkness so overpowering that it would shock the uninitiated. For us, it can be a daily occurrence. But to fall sick mindfully, to observe our experience of depression—that skulking trickster, part physical malady and part creative storyteller—allows us to learn its language. And in that is power.
Here’s a chicken-and-egg for you: Which came first, the lazy prefrontal cortex signaling classical signs of depression or the low-energy body that must be dragged about from room to room without a seeming will to even exist? If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent many an hour kicking the tires of this brain tickler.
For many years I assumed I was one of those unfortunates born with a vitamin Prozac deficiency. It was a conclusion backed up by, if not originating with, the lab coats who I ran to for answers. But what if my mood is actually based in my body? (As if the brain weren’t of the body, but that’s for another day.) What if my brain merely interprets an illness originating in the gut, for instance, as depression and is making up stories to back up its conclusion?
What if my food is making me “crazy”?
This 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
“The problem with researching the origins of stuff is all that space. Between ‘what was’ and the wishing of now: a sulking tunnel clear back to the trees (without a light switch in sight) and unexpected damp. It’s all those sightless years drenched in abandoned and almost-remembered moments. They pile against us like coral arms blooming in the air, bolstering our few, but dearly cherished and surely misremembered, certitudes. They pin us like butterflies on the spears of our gratitude.”
– Barney & Friends, “The Treasure of Rainbow Beard,” original air date April 14, 1992