After returning from Iraq, Sgt. Jon Warren struggled with PTSD and sought various forms of treatment to improve his mental health to no avail. Then he found MeRT.
When I came in, I was a mess. I was terrified of not getting better, of trying yet another very hopeful procedure that was going to let me down. So I sat down and had my EEG and I remember waiting for the doctor to interpret it and thinking what if this thing comes back normal, then what, and where do I go from here. That was scary. But as soon as he pulled it up, he said, “Woah, it looks like your frontal cortex is sleeping right now,” and he started describing to me a lot of my symptoms that they could tell, just by the loss of synchronicity that was in my brain, and the neurons that weren’t working in my favor, that they could tell that I was impulsive, that I would have a substance abuse issue, that I wasn’t sleeping, that I was depressed, that it was difficult for me to concentrate, and the list goes on. But they were just very accurate in describing situations that would play out in my life.
What they were going to use was magnetic stimulation to basically tune my brain back up, to get my frequencies right in my head and to allow my brain to communicate with itself, and all I had to do was to get some sunlight in the morning and I get to bed at night. I slept great the very first night, I slept for about 10 hours. I was really excited about that and I didn’t notice that much for about two weeks. I sat down to have a drink with a buddy and we usually went to drink a handle of rum together. After the first cocktail, he went to pour another one and I just told him I’m okay right now, which was shocking even to me, because that wasn’t my norm. I was usually very anxious and needed to calm down somehow. But in this particular instance, I felt really good. I wanted to test that, that relief of anxiety and that peace that I felt because I was sitting across from my best friend and thought, maybe this was a fluke.
But the next day I went to the clinic and instead of leaving after my 30-minute treatment, I decided to stick around for another 30 minutes, and in doing so, I realized that I was able to be in connection with people. I sat down and I was calm and present and centered for the first time. I was actually able to hear people speaking and my mind wasn’t racing. I was able to keep track of the conversation that was happening and give feedback and contribute to the conversation. I actually enjoyed it, I felt connected and it was very addicting to me and I wanted more of that feeling. So I just started hanging around more and more and it was freeing. I just felt like I have got to come out more and more of my shell and stop isolating and I was getting back to who I was before, which was an outgoing social, friendly, life-of-the-party kind of guy.” See a video of Jon’s talk here.
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