TMS Journal 1:91

Yeah. Ninety-one sessions of TMS. So it’s probably time for an update.

Keeping me at one session per week wasn’t working. I continued to decline. So I asked to bracket the problem by boosting to three sessions per week. I figured it’s better to over-shoot the target and halt the decline than fall short and continue slipping. Things started to stabilise, slowly. I didn’t improve back to where I was, but there was a gradual slope of improvement. Then TMS Australia dropped the ball.

I got a call saying that my session for that day had to be cancelled. Why? Because funding approval hadn’t come through for further sessions. All future sessions were on hold until funding was approved. When nothing changed after a week, I started to do some digging.

I called DVA (who had to approve funding) to find out what the hold up was. They informed me that further treatment had been approved, and they were just waiting for everything to be formalised. Out of cynical curiosity, I asked for the date they received the request. It was the same day I received the call postponing future sessions. This means that TMS Australia (probably) didn’t send the request until after funding ran out. But it gets worse.

I started to track down the timeline of events that preceded the cancellations. My local TMS clinic sent a request for further sessions in October. One of TMS Australia’s in-house psychiatrists recommended further treatment in November. It wasn’t until mid December that TMS Australia sent the formal request to DVA.

They sat on the problem for two months before dealing with it.Then they blamed DVA.

If you could expect anyone to be aware of the danger in abruptly halting mental-health intervention for two weeks, it would be a mental-healthcare provider. Unless that provider is TMS Australia.

My appointments are still being modified by their head office without notifying the local clinic or myself. But that irritation pales in comparison to the negligence I’ve just described.

But what about the treatment? I think it’s losing its effect on me. This is disappointing, but not surprising. To date, most interventions have had no effect or insufficient effect on me. And frankly, I’m getting fed up with it. If it was having a good effect, I probably wouldn’t care about the inconvenience of a three-hour round trip (an hour to get there, an hour for treatment, an hour to get home).

At my next psychiatric review I’ll be asking about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

~ The Critical Self

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