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Local psychiatrists use pulsed electromagnetic waves to treat depression

By Rick Steelhammer, Gazette-Mail | Mar 10, 2017

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During her 15-year battle with depression, Monte Hoffman of Parkersburg was determined not to surrender to the mood disorder that left her with persistent feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in things that once mattered deeply.

“I spent a lot of time not wanting to get out of bed,” she said. “I wasn’t able to work. I tried talk therapy and I don’t know how many antidepressants, but nothing made me feel that much better.”

Hoffman, who sometimes had suicidal thoughts and was hospitalized on a number of occasions, also tried electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, in which small electric currents are passed through the brains of anesthetized patients to deliberately cause brief seizures, which can produce therapeutic changes in brain chemistry.

While the procedure seemed to temporarily help, “one side effect is that it can cause memory loss, which happened to me,” she said.

Hoffman said the benefits of continuing ECT were not worth the risk of experiencing additional memory loss.

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