Hope, At Last

Gretchen Evans, a Franklin wife and mother, has fought clinical depression for 23 years, almost half of her life. Despite therapy, medications, and even hospitalization, she was always outmatched in her battle with clinical depression – until now.

Gretchen’s breakthrough – what she calls her “Aha!” moment – came in early May 2012 after 18 treatments with NeuroStar TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Therapy® at ThriveLogic (Nashville TMS).

“I felt totally different,” she says. “I had energy, clarity and did not feel overwhelmed. I was happy and full of hope.”

Dr. Scott West, Gretchen’s psychiatrist for the past several years, suggested that she try TMS Therapy; he was the first doctor in Tennessee to offer the innovative therapy. The results for patients – such as Gretchen — have exceeded expectations. While all patients receiving NeuroStar TMS Therapy have shown benefit, 85% have shown a clinical response, and 71% have had remission of symptoms. Gretchen is one of the patients who has experienced remission of symptoms.

Gretchen was first diagnosed with clinical depression at age 29 while working as a marketing professional at a local hospital; she had suffered frightening and debilitating highs-and-lows for many years before her illness was given a name – clinical depression. Medications provided some relief, but only for a while. She needed to change medications every few years. In 1993, she required hospitalization.

10 years ago, her depression intensified; medications progressively became more ineffective. Five years ago, her condition became severe. She very rarely left her house. By early 2011, she increasingly stayed in bed. Gretchen, her husband, and two children were all suffering because of her clinical depression. At this point, Dr. West suggested that she try NeuroStar TMS Therapy.

“It was a family decision to try TMS. Clearly, my clinical depression was getting worse and its impact on my family was increasing. We had prayed about what to do,” recalls Gretchen.

Her first TMS treatment was on April 10, 2012. 20 treatments are the standard protocol. After 10 treatments, Gretchen began to notice a difference.

“When my daughter asked if some friends could spend the night, I said ‘yes’”, Gretchen explains. “This was something that I had been unable or unwilling to do for quite a while. I got up the next morning and fixed them breakfast. Then we went to the Main Street Festival in Franklin and had a great time.”

Two months after completion of her full course of treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy, Gretchen feels like she is continuing to improve. She regularly goes out with her husband and children and enjoys activities with friends.

“I am so grateful for TMS therapy. It has changed my life,” said Gretchen, who still takes antidepressant medication. “I’m excited to share my story with others who are suffering from severe clinical depression. I want them to know that there is hope for depression and help for depression.”