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.
“Depression advances along a million unique tracks shrouded behind a gallery of distortions,” opens ‘After Depression,’ my new book about mental illness and the burgeoning world of magnet-based brain therapies.
“It sails to mind from an unfamiliar distance, picking apart confidence and undermining relationships as it weaves its way through one’s mental and emotional body, calcifying there as a sort of malign superstructure. With time the victim comes to define their essential self by this colonizing force, this veritable subtraction of the self. And that is, perhaps, the greatest tragedy of this global epidemic.”
I’m happy to say that since publishing yesterday, ‘After Depression’ is already generating positive reviews. Many of you that know Depression Time have tracked my progress over the last couple of years. You’ve pushed me to dig deeper into recovery. Challenged me in my understanding of the behavior of my brain and body. You’ve encouraged me in more ways than you know and made this publication possible.
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.
The spirit seeps into my body unannounced. Conscious mind hardly recognizing it. There’s no overwhelming smell of pitch or sulphur, no nefarious cackle betraying its evil intention. Only after the energy, call it anxiety or agitation, has a firm hold do I see the shift has transpired.
From here the rest comes predictably, the way a tension headache comes on–just as you knew it would–hours after those first signs of cramped shoulders and swollen neck manifest before moving on to the muscles around the ears and eyes and deep into the head like a slowly turning cement screw.
Suddenly I’m discouraged, irritable, and distracted.
The progression to darker planes isn’t inevitable. Things could slow down here if I’m able to alert myself, “This is anxiety.” If I can identify and name the intruder. Changing my mind directly by sitting and meditating, or indirectly by changing my behavior by taking a quick walk or playing with the dogs, can interrupt it, knock it off the tracks. But too frequently I don’t catch it here. It marches on.
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.