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Ruth’s Story- Finding Hope After 20 Years of Depression

May 21, 2020

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My name is Ruth, and my husband’s name is Darrin. I am a woman of faith, a mother, and many other things. It’s taken me a great deal of time to realize that, no matter what I believe or stand for, depression doesn’t listen to logic.

My name is Ruth, and my husband’s name is Darrin. I am a woman of faith, a mother, and many other things. It’s taken me a great deal of time to realize that, no matter what I believe or stand for, depression doesn’t listen to logic. I’ve had major depression for over twenty years, been suicidal for many years, and have even been hospitalized for my depression three times. My husband, Darrin, is a mental health therapist, and he has stood by me in my fight for mental wellness. This is our story.

As a mental health therapist, Darrin had heard of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) before coming to Serenity. He’s watched me try dozens of different medications, seen me hospitalized and remained by my side through my suicide attempts. He’s seen how much of a struggle— how much of a war even, that I was engaged in against my mental illness. It affected every aspect of my life, and in conjunction, his and my children’s lives as well. After seeing so many failed treatments in my life and the suffering of his clients, Darrin found Serenity Mental Health Centers, and he talked to me about the possibility of TMS.

Before coming to Serenity, my depression had taken a turn for the worse, to the extent that I was experiencing devastating psychosis, feeling incredibly hopeless, and once again feeling suicidal. As is often the case, I felt ashamed of what I was going through but eventually spoke to Darrin about how overwhelmingly dark I felt. Both Darrin and I thought I was going to need to be hospitalized again, but opted to visit a TMS clinic first. As we spoke about this option, I remember Darrin telling me, “I wish that we could find a way to do ketamine,” and as we talked about ketamine and TMS, we turned to Serenity.

When we entered the clinic, we met with Dr. Nyberg and found that TMS was indeed an option that I could try that was different from anything I’d tried previously. Even amid my pain and the overwhelming feeling of despair, it was a chance, and we decided we should at least try. Dr. Nyberg explained the differences between  ketamine therapy and TMS therapy, and how TMS is more of a long term solution while ketamine is more of a short term solution with quick results, especially recommended to help in a moment of crisis.

After our discussion with the doctor, we decided I would go through both treatments. I can remember feeling so desperate for any solution to the smothering feeling of inadequacy and darkness. Then I had my first treatment of ketamine, and within hours, I could feel an incredible difference.

I was amazed and astonished. I went from feeling like a miserable weeping mess with no control and no hope, to almost immediately regaining the power to think clearly again. The difference was just night and day for me. I was able to think calmly and rationally, and my desire to kill myself was gone.

As of April 27th, I have gone through a full course of six treatments of ketamine, and I’ve had twenty TMS treatments. Darrin and I agree there is constant improvement. I am once again able to see the positive in life. I am no longer focused on the negativity in the world. I’m able to think coherently, consistently, and my depression symptoms are gone. Together, we feel hope again, not just for the present, but for a brighter future in the long term because of TMS. It’s incredible just to feel hope again after so having little of it for so long.

My life has changed for the better more than I can describe. When I first came to Serenity, I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t find joy in anything, even comedy shows didn’t make me laugh. The entire world felt dark, hopeless, and like too much to bear.

My depression affected more than just me. I know that my family has suffered along with me, and it hasn’t just been my burden to bear. I was raising children during one of my darkest periods of suicidality, and I know that the pain and darkness I felt was, in many ways, felt by them too. If I could turn back time and find this back then, what an incredible blessing that would be for our family. It’s an unbelievable blessing even now. 

I am now so incredibly happy. It’s been a complete transformation. I feel like myself again for the first time in so many years. Life is about being happy, and I’m so glad I can see the positivity in the world again.

The message we’d love to share with anyone who feels there is no hope, when the world seems so dark, and you’ve tried and fought for so long is why not try it? Why not have a little bit of hope, and just see?

This treatment has changed our lives, and it works for so many people. It may work for you too. If you are feeling weighed down with feelings of hopelessness, insignificance, and inadequacy, it may help you. We urge you not to wait. For us, it’s a brand new start- after twenty years of immense suffering. Take a chance to take back your life.