Last year I embarked on a new chapter in my career, opening Rewire TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Clinics.
When I first learned about TMS, I must admit, I was sceptical. The idea of using magnetic pulses to treat Treatment Resistant Depression seemed unconventional, even improbable. However, my curiosity pushed me to delve deeper into the research and evidence supporting its efficacy.
Study after study unveiled the profound impact of TMS on individuals who had long battled the burdensome weight of Treatment-Resistant Depression. Every congress I went to highlighted exciting new TMS protocols and advances. It became clear that here in South Africa, our patients were at a disadvantage not to be offered this treatment.
I did not anticipate that this initial curiosity would evolve into a passionate journey, leading me to advocate for more inclusive access to individualised treatment options. I am not naturally a business person or politically inclined, so this is all new to me.
I would have balked at all these new roles if it was not for my witnessing countless transformations. Patients who had previously experienced little to no improvement with traditional treatments found renewed hope and relief through TMS. Their stories of regaining joy, reconnecting with loved ones, and rediscovering their true selves serve as a constant reminder of the profound impact this treatment can have.
Despite witnessing these incredible outcomes, frustration lingers when it comes to the cost of TMS and the lack of support from South African funders. The equipment required for TMS is undoubtedly expensive, making the treatment inaccessible for many who desperately need it. It is disheartening to see patients who could benefit greatly from TMS face financial barriers due to limited funding options. I firmly believe that TMS should be accessible to all individuals suffering from Treatment Resistant Depression, regardless of their financial circumstances. I have witnessed firsthand the life-altering impact of this treatment, and it pains me to see its potential hindered by financial constraints.
TMS may not be suitable for everyone. But since introducing it to my practice, I can now offer another tool in the toolbox.