Mental health and sexuality: ‘My life was transformed through alternative therapy’

After initially struggling to come to terms with his sexual identity, 55-year-old Rory Trushell has suffered from severe anxiety and depression for most of his life. He says he’s finally on the road to recovery after giving alternative therapy a try.

Rory Trushell from Fleetwood, Lancashire, first experienced signs of depression at 11 years old, around the same time he started questioning his sexual identity.

Growing up in the small fishing village in the 1970s, diversity and mental health were not widely discussed topics and Rory didn’t feel free to express how he felt.

“As a child, I was aware that I was different to other children. I was timid and remember being in a constant state of fear and angst which led to me becoming very attached to my mum, as she made me feel safe,” said Rory.

I was predisposed to anxiety and, at the same time, figuring out my sexuality in an era when these things were far more taboo than they are today.

Over the next few decades, Rory continued to struggle with anxiety and depression seeing numerous psychologists and using medication: “I was on and off medication and saw a multitude of different doctors to try to fix my illnesses, but nothing worked.

Related: 72% of LGBTQ+ people have experienced mental health issues as a result of work.

“Having the odd drink made me feel better and in my early 20s, I started to drink more in an attempt to self-manage the depression and anxiety, which in due course turned into alcoholism. A bad relationship during the worst of my alcoholic period simply perpetuated the problem,” Rory explains.

Amazingly, while Rory’s personal life was in disarray, he had a thriving hairdressing business. “When you’re working one-on-one with people, you can’t be down,” he said.

But despite being grounded at work, the depression and anxiety was all-encompassing and simply too much to handle.

Then one day, about a year ago, two friends each approached Rory separately with a newspaper article about a man whose life was transformed through transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS) – which uses pulsing magnetic fields to activate or suppress the brain centres associated with a number of medical and psychiatric disorders.

Rory read the story and, despite some initial reservations, saw that TMS was accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). After contacting the Smart TMS clinic in London, he began treatment for depression and anxiety in August last year.

“The first change I noticed after beginning treatment was that I could make decisions more easily, whereas I previously struggled to think and rationalise. After the first course of treatment, I was feeling so good that I decided to come off my medication cold turkey which was a terrible mistake. This caused a relapse, which meant I required more treatment, but in due course, I finished the treatment though Smart TMS and now I feel better than ever,” he says.

Rory is still recovering a bit more every day and is constantly learning how to accept certain things. He still takes a small dose of medication which works well with the TMS.

For the first time in years, I feel as if life is actually worth living and that I have a voice and a future.

He says that TMS is really helping his mental illness. “Other people are also noticing a difference in me and saying I’m the best I’ve been in years.

“While I appreciate I still have some improving to do, it’s wonderful to feel this alive, and I want everyone to know that this treatment has truly worked for me,” Rory concluded.

Thanks to Smart TMS and, in particular, to Rory for sharing his story with us.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, there are a number of services available that can provide you with support and guidance.

  • Samaritans: available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Website | 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI)
  • MIND, the mental health charity: Website | 0300 123 3393
  • Rethink Mental Illness: Website | 0300 5000 927

Written by QWEERIST editor

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