Since my last comments about the FWS here I've continued to use it with greater or less frequency depending on my mood, energy level, and sleep pattern. Recently I was happy to give a good report to the FDA of my experience with the device.
I have never been aware of any adverse effects from using the FWS. On the higher #2 setting I'm certainly aware of a prickly feeling at the points of contact, but nothing that I would call painful.
Something that's happened that I didn't expect is that I have very little trouble going to sleep and staying asleep at night. It had been years since I didn't need at least something like melatonin or a glass of wine. I can't say that's 100% due to my use of the FWS, but I believe it has contributed substantially.
As for insurance companies, I'm sorry to say there is often a decided lack of logic in their decisions. My wife's plan sent her a message urging her to get shingles vaccine, but then she learned that the same plan doesn't cover it. If a psychologist calls a problem an adjustment disorder, insurance probably won't cover it, but call it PTSD and it probably will. In any event, I believe the FWS is well worth the cost.
To repeat what I've said before, my favorable comments have been voluntary and I've never received nor would I accept any form of consideration from the company for my endorsement.
So sorry that it took so long for me to reply, Anon. My main reason for using the device was major depression, which it helped greatly, improving my sleep in the process. That said, however, my sleep cycles tend to be erratic no matter what my mood may be.
I asked the company for advice on further use of the stimulator specifically for sleep, and got some suggestions. I won't repeat those here since they might not apply to everyone. I've noticed that they do seem to help.
During my initial use of the stimulator I did not have a fixed time for using it, although typically it would be around mid-day. I would turn the intensity up until the level two light would come on, then back off slightly.
In my opinion your psychiatrist may not have gotten sufficient information about the product. In any event, if he's still reluctant, you have a right to a second opinion. The psychiatrist whom I saw for medications was reluctant at first, since there've been 6- and 12-volt gadgets promising miracles for decades, but when she got the complete information on this particular product her response was two words: "I'm impressed." She tells me that she has since prescribed it for several other patients.
Skepticism comes easily to me, first because that's just my personality, and second because that's my automatic response as a scientist. In this case, however, the evidence has been more than sufficient to convince me that this product has genuine value in the treatment of many disorders that have neurological components.
Yes, I searched it out, purchased it, used it, and was very pleased with the results. I am a clinical and forensic psychologist, and regardless of how much I know and how good my own past therapy was, I am subject to periods of low-level mania (hypomania) and major depression. The last bout of major depression came in spite of the medications I already took regularly. Adding one more and adjusting my dosages only helped marginally.
This episode was truly debilitating. Hardly a day went by that suicide didn't occur to me as an option. I was at the point of considering electroconvulsive therapy, and searching out options, when I came across this. At first glance it's easy to confuse it with gadgets that have been around for decades and that, at best, are harmless toys, but as a scientist I saw immediately that the principles employed were vastly different and that it had been created through painstaking research.
Even if a psychologist's prescription had sufficed, which for some reason it would not have, it's neither legal nor ethical to prescribe for oneself. The psychiatrist who prescribes my meds was initially skeptical, but after reviewing the information provided by Fisher Wallace she stated "I'm impressed" and wrote the prescription. She has since prescribed it for several others.
Almost from the first application I felt somewhat better. Within a week the improvement was noticeable. I was more realistically optimistic, more sociable, was able to concentrate better and got back to some writing projects that I'd pushed aside. It's quite possible that it saved my life. I've since written about it on my blog site and that story was repeated in a regional Mensa publication.
I did experience some "flashing lights" phenomena, but they were mild, not bothersome. At times there was a barely-noticeable "prickly" feeling at the points of contact. I had a few slight headaches that may have been related to my use of the device, but they were not very troublesome, and in any event the crippling depression and fatigue that I had experienced was hugely worse.
I'm happy to use my real name, as I believe this product is a godsend to those who need it. By the way, I have never received, and would not accept, any kind of compensation for my endorsement.
Paul Karsten Fauteck, Psy.D. DABPS Licensed Clinical and Forensic PsychologistView Thread