If you’ve read my novel “High Ground” or seen Michael McKeon’s character Chuck McGill in the AMC network series, “Better Call Saul,” you know some people believe they are affected by electromagnetic radiation like TV or radio waves, cell phone transmissions and other devices generally thought to be safe to use. These folks are called electromagnetic hypersensitives and while the condition appears to be rare, something seems to be genuinely bothering them. So much so that many have left their jobs, homes and families to move to the National Radio Quiet Zone, approximately 13,00 square miles of land near the Virginia and West Virginia border.
These things can’t really be affecting people, can they? The jury is truly still out, but today I learned of a study of EMR applications to treat mental illness that has been going on for ten years. Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is being developed to treat certain mental health ailments. Initially approved by the FDA in 2008, TMS therapy utilizes electromagnetic fields to stimulate the nerves in a patient’s brain.
Not to worry, you can go right back to work after and the only symptom you’re likely to feel is a tapping sensation on your forehead (I wondered what that was). So, if I understand this, we can’t be adversely affected by EMR, but we might be able to use it to treat certain types of mental illness?
Well, the locals in my novel thought the lonely old woman in the mansion on the hill was crazy, too. Turns out she was crazed, but not crazy.