TNS (Final Post)

It was initially a two-month clinical trial with the option of an additional six. The first two months brought nothing but disappointment. Opting for the additional six didn't fare any better. I bailed out after five months which totals seven. There was no sense in going any further. It was clearly another failure for me while others in my group had various degrees of relief.

My last appointment with the facilitator seemed quicker this time. He saw once again that I had brought all the equipment back but it wasn't verbally noted by either of us. During the routine of questions and forms he repeated that I was allotted one more month and he hoped I would use it. After the formalities were done, he asked if I intended to continue. I replied, I think I'm done.

I was somber and lethargic. He did state a couple of positive things that had come from their study of me. All of the subjects including and especially me did not get any worse. Also, all treatments in no matter what form don't always work for everyone. If every single subject had benefitted, it might appear skewed. In other words, my treatment failure kept the trial grounded and less suspicious. Apparently the FDA is skeptical of tests and trials that are 100% positive. So, in a way I was the balance that kept it real.

We shook hands thanking each other and promising to keep in touch. I felt nothing but complete numbness as I made my way back to my vehicle and became traffic once again.


  1. Hi 4-Lorn,
    I'm sorry that the trial didn't make any change for you. Seven months sounds like more than enough time to know that it wasn't going to make any difference. I can only imagine what it feels like to have yet another treatment fail, my thoughts are with you man.

  2. Hey 4-Lorn,
    Sorry this didn't work for you. I too know what it feels like to keep trying things and having them not work. I learned about this study for the first time today and am interested in trying to recreate it on my own. I have some experience with TENS units and have some local doctors who would probably help me out. I'm wondering if you'd be willing to provide some details to help me. Things like the model of TENS unit, settings for the unit, electrode location etc. Would you be willing to do this?

  3. Hello cjohnson,
    I don't recommend doing it on your own. TENS units actually have warnings on them stating NOT to adhere the electrodes anywhere above the neck. Since I was closely monitored by doctors, this was the exception. With that said, I honestly didn't pay attention to the brand or model of the unit. If I saw a photo of the unit I'd be able to identify it. The settings were preset by the doctors so I can't help you there. I CAN tell you there were two types of electrodes used. Individual ones and one that was a single patch with the two electrodes positioned inside. The individual ones are placed above each eyebrow an inch apart in between. The other was simply placed over the eyebrows. I actually preferred the individual ones so I could adjust them slightly. Both types required surgical tape across them to keep them in place. The sticky substance didn't hold well.

    That's all I can really tell you. Again, I don't recommend you doing this yourself. The whole concept behind this is in its infancy so there are many unknowns. Please be careful and seek out all the information you can so things aren't made worse.

    My best to you on your search for relief and thank you for reading and commenting.

  4. I'm sure you're right... not the best idea to try it on my own. But I will run this by my local doc who is willing to work with me, maybe he'll be up for it. In any case, I have used TENS units on my face many times. Dentists and physical therapists do it all the time for TMJ patients, so I am somewhat comfortable with the basic technology.

    I also looked up the TNS epilepsy paper and found the TENS unit and settings they used. I don't know if they use the same settings for depression... I believe they don't really know the best settings yet. Something else to discuss with my local doc.

    Thanks again for your help. I'm sorry you've suffered so long, I know what it's like. I don't know your full treatment history, but I have some unorthodox treatment ideas if you're interested in learning about them. They didn't 'cure' me, but did show signs of helping me, and I met people who were cured by them. I'd be glad to discuss further over email if you are interested.

  5. cj,
    Thanks for the response. I would be interested in hearing about the alternative treatments you've mentioned. Feel free to email me at Thanks.