Depression is Like a Cancer of the Soul – A Conversation with Author Martha Rhodes
Please note: this episode (audio content and the following post) discusses depression and suicide.
In 2009, Martha E. Rhodes sought what she thought would be the easy way out---36 Xanax and three shots of vodka later---she attempted to take her own life. “Suicide was the easiest decision I even made,” she told me in our candid conversation about suicide, depression and her struggle to find an alternative to the six doctor-prescribed antidepressants that failed to relieve the symptoms or her treatment-resistant depression.
Despite having a seemingly ideal life, including her corner-office career in advertising, it wasn’t enough to overcome the darkness in her soul that was her severe depression. In her book, 3000 Pulses Later: A Memoir of Surviving Depression Without Medication, she describes Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), the FDA-approved treatment that literally saved her life.
Ten years later she has become a passionate advocate for patients suffering from the debilitating and dangerous symptoms of drug-resistant depression who seek more information about TMS, and support in obtaining insurance coverage for this potentially life changing therapy.
In this episode we discuss--
- Her incredible candor in discussing her attempted suicide and the factors that drove her to it
- Why she says, “choosing suicide was the easiest decision I ever had to make”
- Her earliest memories of mental illness and why she calls depression an illness of the brain
- What it took to succeed in her corner-office career while managing severe depression
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, what it is and what it is NOT
- Her fight to obtain insurance coverage for her TMS therapy
- The importance of self care in managing mental illness
- Why she has made patient advocacy for TMS her life’s purpose
And so much more.
“I hope to create more awareness that depression is a chronic medical illness--especially treatment-resistant depression,” she says. “I want to encourage patients to find the therapy that works for them because there are new alternatives to traditional treatments."
To find out more about Martha or her book, her journey and her work on behalf of others with treatment-resistant depression, go to: