Sunday, January 11, 2009


PsyFi recently added to the comments about her experience and in answering Herb's posting about a person who is suffering, posted a couple of names & numbers. I changed the names and numbers to the link where the main study is.... I did this for a couple of reasons. 1st, there is no guarantee the suffering person is in the area of PsyFi's doctors. 2nd, it's my understanding that the researchers have been getting a lot of calls - one of their comments to me about my blogging. PsyFi and I both know how rigorous their criteria are for acceptance into the program. I had originally posted a link to the study on this page, but took it off after conversations with my researchers.... i.e. they have plenty of people signing up and don't want to get anyone's hopes up or down.

On that note, just a little more detail on what I've been through..... I counted up 9 (yes NINE) different anti-depressant medicines I've been on. Sometimes in conjunction with each other. (One of them "imported" into the USA for me by a pilot friend). I've had 3 different ADD (legal speed) medicines. I've been in 3 different modalities of psychotherapy with 5 different therapists. I've had 3 different psychiatrists. And I went through and stay close to a rigorous self-help program.

I completely understand that anyone suffering from depression wants it GONE. I truly feel for the guy Herb mentioned. But I feel compelled to point out this treatment is e-x-p-e-r-i-m-e-n-t-a-l and may not work. A quick google shows there are other locations that are being considered in the brain for depression relief. My hope is that this technique is tested and refined to the point that a person who has severe intractable depression can be tested under PET or fMRI and the exact location for that unique individual can be targeted. It's almost embarrassing what we don't know about the brain.

I hope I don't come off in the wrong tone. (This isn't a "woe-is-me" or "I'm worse than you, so I get to try this").

A year from now, we'll know a lot more. To Herb's suffering friend and anyone else out there waiting for a cure - be patient. Hang in there. Try something different and vow to not give up. Between ECT, VNS, rTMS, DBS and new medicines coming down the road, you will find something that works. Don't paint yourself into a corner by thinking you've tried everything - you haven't because there are new things coming up daily.

I recently read a great book by Norman Doidge called "The brain that changes itself". You can find him at

Along those lines, I re-read the article I've linked to on the right side - interview. I found an interesting quote that has had me thinking all weekend. This is from an interview with Dr. Mayberg:
"This brings up a critical point about this new treatment. DBS is not a cure-all, despite how robust the clinical responses appear to be. The DBS starts the process by normalizing a very dysfunctional circuit. For full functional recovery, you also need get adequate rehabilitation, as provided, for instance, by CBT. This is in many ways analogous to ensuring an optimal functional recovery after hip or knee replacement surgery by requiring a course of physical therapy. I think we are going to need to actually study the synergy between DBS and CBT in these patients more formally."
What kind of rehab will my brain need? (If this works, of course). On the one hand, I'd like to believe that when they switch me on, within a few weeks I'll have my life back. It's been over 10 years since I had a great life. Like the analogy above, if you replace a hip, quite a bit of physical therapy is needed before you can run again. I've changed careers twice in the past 10 years - 1 by choice and 1 by necessity. Could I go back to my previous high-profile job immediately? Probably not. It's going to be a process. Just getting out of the house, every day, would be monumental, and I'm sure it's going to have to be taken in steps.

I can be hopeful and optimistic though and dream a little. Dream about what it would be like to wake up in the morning wanting to get out of bed and go to work. Looking forward to the weekend for a little relaxation and time to clean the house and do laundry. Who knows, maybe even want to exercise!!! (Pre-depression I had a body fat index of 10%, which is very fit. Although skinny now, it ain't all muscle!) I look forward to the challenge. (It's been a long time since I've said that!)

PsyFi, you didn't do anything wrong - I'm just paranoid and don't want to muddy the waters of the research or piss-off any researchers. The next time you visit with your Doc, you might ask him about it.

But I'm staying grounded. One day at a time. No expectations. I am a firm believer that if this doesn't work for me, I will try something else.... as many times as I have to.

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