I have been dealing with depression since my early 20’s . This past year again nothing was helping and I was becoming more depressed, despondent and desperate for help. My current psychiatrist suggested I consider Ketamine (or Spravato recently approved by the FDA) for the treatment of major depressive disorder not responsive to other treatments.
My initial phone call to Dr. Gajwani office was an amazingly positive experience. Everyone on his staff was empathic and kind. Hearing the desperation in my voice they scheduled me late that day to meet with Dr. Gajwani
That first meeting began to give me hope. Dr. Gajwani took his time in listening, getting my history and discussing what results I had experienced over the years with various treatments. He explained Ketamine, how it works differently from other current treatments for major depression. Because Spravato was so recently approved we discussed openly that it could take weeks for insurance to approve any Spravato treatment. We agreed that I would begin treatment with Ketamine infusions and when possible move to the Spravato. Dr. Gajwani assured me that he would work with me and that together we would arrive at a successful treatment. Dr. Gajwani’s staff was helpful, diligent, and patient in getting the paperwork necessary to be submitted for insurance and handled everything.
In the meantime, I began Ketamine treatments. I cannot say enough positive things about how everyone went out his and her way to make me comfortable with the treatments and was supportive of the experience. Kwan, who administered the IV’s each week was efficient and at the same time very caring and kind. Dr. Gajwani and his assistant were there monitoring my comfort and even being sure my husband, who accompanied me, was comfortable.
It took a few treatments to establish the best dose and fully begin feeling the effects of the Ketamine but there was a positive effect from the beginning. After getting insurance approval we moved to the Spravato, the nasal spray, once the best dosage was determined, the improvement has been unmistakable. I feel like a different person, the depression has lifted, I no longer feel despondent and I am able to deal with the daily challenges that before were incapacitating.
Dr. Gajwani works with me to determine the best course of treatment, taking my personal situation into consideration. He does not have a one treatment fits everyone attitude. He has collaborated with me to determine the treatment, the timeframe of treatment, and makes adjustments according to my needs and results.
I am feeling confident for the first time in years that I have found a physician that has true empathy, listens each time to what I am saying and works with me. The Ketamine and Spravto have been life changing and I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Gajwani to maintain my positive state.
So, about four months before I knew anything about TMS, I relapsed into a very deep depression after going through a grueling process for a job I wanted badly and a grueling medical review by Social Security determining if I was still eligible to receive disability benefits. I was really suffering. I was not just suffering with depression, I was struggling with a suffocating darkness that had weakened me to the point where I lost hope and even considered suicide. I was so tired, overwhelmed, and stressed out until it seemed like my smile had been permanently etched into a frown.
Normally, I’m able to go through depression episodes and bounce back but this time was different. I started spiraling downward and did not stop. My medications did not work. My therapy helped things for as long as I was sitting in front of my therapist. But, things started spiraling again as soon as I was alone. So, when I made it home after my appointment in October/2016, I got in the bed and did not get out of bed until three months later in February/2017. Well, not literally because I had to get up for doctor’s appointments and other occasional things that would come up. At which time, I hid the darkness weighing me down.
Somehow, I dragged my hopeless body out of bed on Valentine’s Day/2017 to make two appointments that were scheduled with my therapist and psychiatrist at The Solace Center at Riverstone, Missouri City, TX. I saw my therapist, first where we talked about HOPE. It was a tough sale at first because I had already stopped believing things were going to get better. But, I should have known my therapist was not going to give up on me without a fight because that is how she is. She gets into the ring with you and roles up her sleeves to help you fight or fight for you until you have enough strength to fight for yourself. She said five words that resonated with me, “You Got to Have HOPE.” I processed those words for a minute with a few tears in my eyes and said, “HOPE, huh? Okay.” I decided to give HOPE a chance. I decided to believe in HOPE again.
By this time, it was time for my next appointment. So, I went into see my psychiatrist, Dr. Prashant Gajwani’s, office and had a seat. We began to talk. I told him that I was not doing well, that my medications were not working, and that I needed to try something different. Dr. Gajwani listened then he asked me if I had heard of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). I said, “no, I never heard of that before.” He explained to me about TMS and its benefits/side effects-TMS is a non-invasive FDA approved medical procedure for the treatment of depression in adults. He went on to explain that TMS Therapy is an in-office treatment that takes about 37 minutes, is performed while the patient sits in a chair, and is administered five days a week, for up to six weeks. To make a long story short, I was given additional information on TMS to read. I did some online research from trusted sites until I felt like I knew enough about TMS then I decided to go for it! My insurance (Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield) covered the procedure 100%.
My treatment was easy and was a very pleasant experience. Showing up every day after driving over thirty plus miles one way to The Solace Center and having my TMS technician greet me every single day with her bright smile and warm spirit was very comforting. Dr. Gajwani, who is considered a national leader in the treatment of mood disorders personally checked on me every week. This reassured me that I was in excellent hands. There was a social component to my treatment also. Remember, I had been isolating for four months so it was nice to have somewhere to go and something to do every day.
I noticed in my first week of treatment that I had a slight headache but it went away by my second week of treatment. I gradually started feeling a difference in my mood during my second week of treatment and it continued to improve as the weeks went by. I noticed in my third week of treatment that I had increased energy when I got up in the morning to face the day. It was not a burst of energy but more of a subtle natural energy. I am not sure which week I got my smile back. I just noticed one day that I was smiling. I stopped keeping up with the weeks and just started enjoying my new awakening to a better quality of life. This treatment without a doubt helps those who stay committed to the six-week program. I did it, completed TMS and I am so grateful to my team at The Solace Center for their wonderful care and treatment. After all, TMS is How Nikita Got Her Smile Back!
The name has been changed for confidentiality purposes
Dr. Gajwani is not only an excellent psychiatrist, but he is also a wonderful human being. He brings a holistic approach to treatment –which is not only comprised of medicine and therapy, but also humanity and compassion. He truly cares about his patients.
We met Dr. Gajwani during a very painful time for our family. We had a family member who was very sick, her condition was declining year after year, and things seemed quite hopeless. Having Dr. Gajwani on our side has given us reason to hope again.
My wife is a patient of Dr. Gajwani for many years now. He is always immediately available to us when we need help
As a bipolar patient, I feel confident when I see Dr. Gajwani during my ups and downs; he has been given me not only hope but also energy to overcome these difficult times since many years.
Doctors like you make such a difference, thank you so much for the wonderful care you give.