Patient Erin J talking about TMS treatment

Patient finds relief with transcranial magnetic stimulation after years of depression

When other methods to treat her depression weren’t helping, Erin decided to try something new.

Living with depression can often make the smallest tasks seem nearly impossible. As a physician assistant and hobby farm owner, Erin’s depression caused her to struggle with her career and her personal interests.

Erin, 32, has experienced depression since she was a teenager, having tried many different treatment methods over the years. From medication to talk therapy, nothing seemed to give her the results she was hoping for. The medication would also cause unwanted side effects such as nausea and sweating, making it difficult to continue taking.

After hearing of an alternative treatment — transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) — that helps treat depression when other methods have not been successful , Erin was willing to give it a try. TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses repetitive magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, helping to alleviate the symptoms of depression and other mental and emotional health conditions.

Ascension NE Wisconsin - St. Elizabeth Campus started offering this treatment in May 2021, under the physician supervision of Thomas Rowell, MD. In a February 2022 interview, Dr. Rowell stated that of the 46 patients who received TMS treatment, 84% have seen their depression symptoms subside.

As part of her treatment plan, Erin would visit Ascension St. Elizabeth every weekday for about six weeks. During TMS treatment, Erin would sit in a reclined position for 20 minutes while magnetic pulses would stimulate her brain. When she concluded her 6 week treatment, her depression symptoms had significantly improved and she finds that she is now motivated to do the things she enjoys once again.

Your mental and emotional health is an important part of your overall health and wellness. Our mental health specialists include psychiatrists, nurses, mental health technicians, social workers and recreational therapists — all with the goal to provide a comfortable, therapeutic environment for healing. Together, we deliver a care plan that addresses prevention, interventions, treatments and recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or other mental and emotional health conditions, talk with your doctor. Reaching out for support is the first step to feeling better.