Testimonials: Martha

“I have a new sense of energy and am now able to enjoy my hobbies again.”

Martha believes she suffered her first episode with depression 40 years ago when she was just 16. As a teenager Martha remembers always feeling really down, and she never wanted to see or talk to anyone. She was officially diagnosed with depression approximately 15 years later when she spiraled into a deep depression after the death of her father-in-law.  Her depression became so severe her husband eventually took her to the hospital where she stayed for six weeks.

While at the hospital, doctors began treating Martha’s depression with half a dozen anti-depressant medications and group therapy. Although she began to feel better, side effects from the medications caused her to sleep all the time.  These medications did not fully alleviate her depression.

Six months later she was back in the hospital. Martha’s depression “hurt all over.”  She lost interest in everything, could not complete simple household chores and struggled just to get from her bed to a chair in her living room each day.

Martha was not eligible for ECT treatments and doctors continued to try to treat her unrelenting depression.  However, nothing provided relief.   As a result, Martha was hospitalized at least once a year every year from 1979 to 2005.

After the FDA approval of VNS Therapy, Martha’s psychiatrist began discussing this treatment option with her, particularly since it was approved for exactly what Martha had been experiencing -  treatment-resistant depression (TRD). 

In April of 2006, Martha began receiving VNS Therapy. Since then, she and her psychiatrist have been able to carefully reduce the amount of medications she takes for depression, and she has not been hospitalized a single time.

Martha is starting to enjoy life again.  She feels alert and energized now. She has even started quilting and painting again, two hobbies her depression prevented her from enjoying for more than 25 years. Martha says her friends have definitely noticed that she is “back,” and she hopes others experiencing TRD are also able to experience VNS Therapy. 

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The VNS Therapy System is indicated for use as an adjunctive therapy in reducing the frequency of seizures in adults and adolescents over 12 years of age with partial onset seizures, which are refractory to antiepileptic medications.

VNS Therapy (or the VNS Therapy System) is indicated for the adjunctive long-term treatment of chronic or recurrent depression for patients over the age of 18 who are experiencing a major depressive episode and have not had an adequate response to four or more adequate antidepressant treatments.