SWFL psychiatrist uses magnetic stimulation to treat depression

Lynn Weaver is no stranger to depression.

Weaver was bullied as a teenager, and traumatic events throughout her life only increased the severity of her disorder.

“I’ve dealt with it since 14 … most of my life,” Weaver said. “In 1990, I lost a daughter. That made it excessively worse.”

Depression is the number one cause of disability and can lead to suicide, according to the World Health Organization.

After trying a number of treatments that didn’t help, Weaver called Dr. Bernardo Arias, of Southwest Florida, who treats depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation.

“It’s a treatment that the more you can get, the better,” Arias said.

The device beams magnetic pulses through the skull, according to CBS News. The pulses trigger small electrical charges that spark brain cells to fire.

“I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do,” Weaver said. “I mean, I’m 74 years old. I’m not a kid. I’ve got the energy to things I haven’t done in a long time.”

There has been reports of seizures as an effect of the treatment, Arias said. But it’s very rare.

Weaver hopes others dealing with depression will consider transcranial magnetic stimulation as an option.

“All I can say is that if it’s something that’s going to help you, you need to try it,” she said.

Reporter:Channing Frampton