A Navy Seal suffered a psychotic breakdown after receiving electromagnetic therapy that made him believe he was a ‘nuclear weapon’ following months of the treatment.
Johnathan Surmont had been living in San Diego when he sought treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with oncologist Dr Kevin Murphy.
Mr Surmont, 45, had struggled after tours in the Middle East and Asia and was referred to Murphy who went on to give Mr Surmount 234 treatments of an unproven type of brain therapy.
Dr Murphy had been using transcranial magnetic stimulation which changes the brains network.
The radical research had not been delved into by other medical professionals and Mr Surmont was left feeling as though. he could communicate with the sun, making him believe he was god’s second son.
Speaking out for the first time since the breakdown, Mr Surmont has now shed light on the treatment that pushed him into manic territory which turned him into a criminal.
While receiving the treatment he would also rave about eating bread and drinking wine as a disciple of Jesus, he also claimed he had a relationship with the Kennedy family and also spoke of a ‘cosmic uterus’.
Navy Seal Johnathan Surmont (pictured above) suffered a breakdown after receiving over 200 sessions of the electromagnetic therapy
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the therapy for conditions such as migraines and compulsive disorders.
Dr Murphy worked with the technology for six years and now professes he is a ‘pioneer in the space’ due to his ‘personalized’ version of the treatment, despite the fact that there is no research that his version of the therapy is effective.
Speaking to inewssource, Mr Surmount has now revealed how Dr Murphy continued to treat him when he had slid into manic behavior, but claimed he ‘still loved’ the doctor, even though he had suffered a manic breakdown due to his treatment.
Mr Surmount claimed Dr Murphy had ‘pushed him over the edge’ with the sessions.
Following over 200 sessions, he went on a crime spree. He broke into a person’s housing, stealing items from the property.
He also revealed that he broke into an empty house and started to pull up the carpets from the floor. He trespassed and also vandalised various properties while roaming the streets.
One evening he decided to bed down in a garage after he had climbed up a tree for shelter. When the garage door opened there were several people watching him, they then called the police.
He waited there wearing just a ladies night robe with no shoes. This crime spree, which saw him breaking into the properties of others, he says was kick started by the radical treatment he had received.
In 2015, Mr Surmount had been receiving Magnetic Resonance Therapy, which initially worked but had become less effective.
Mr Surmount (above) claimed Dr Murphy had ‘pushed him over the edge’ with the treatment
How does TMS work?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used to help people with conditions such as migraines, PTSD and depression.
A clinician places a magnetic coil over a patients scalp.
The location of this will differ depending on what issue is being treated.
The coil then delivers shorts burst of energy.
This then produces tiny currents in the brain.
Neurons are then activated, over-riding the way the brain would usually function.
There are no drugs, needles or probes involved in the treatment.
All the patient should hear is a repetitive clicking and a tapping sensation.
It is considered relatively low risk to patients, but side effects include headaches and dizziness.
Each session usually lasts around an hour and patients would have a course of around four to six weeks of treatment.
The sessions were called PrTMS by Dr Murphy, which stands for personalized repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.
It is claimed that Dr Murphy has used the treatment on more than 5,000 patients over the last five years.
But Dr Murphy has no research to back his treatment up, and the effectiveness of the treatment comes from his personal opinion and claimed he never conducted ‘research’ on the treatment before giving it to patients.
He had become close to Dr Murphy who had been working at the same Newport centre where he was being treated.
Traditional MRT treatment involves measuring a patients heart rate against brainwaves using an electroencephalogram.
Software then analyses a treatment plan which includes changing power settings and other variables.
TMS however targets the same part of the brain each time the electromagnets are applied to the head. Most patients in the US cannot get it on their insurance.
In 2016, he turned to Dr Murphy for help. He treated Mr Surmount for free and, Mr Surmount claimed that during that time there had been ‘a lot of tinkering with machines’ and that he was ‘learning as he goes’.
Murphy also admitted that he used ‘trial and error’ during the treatment with patients.
Mr Surmount continued to receive the treatment from Dr Murphy, but in January 2017, after 159 treatments, a change occurred in Mr Surmount’s behavior. He became irritable and had high elevated energy, and experts say that at this point, this is when treatment should cease.
Dr Murphy continued to treat him for months after this.
Mr Surmont (pictured above with his dog) had believed he was auditioning for a role in a film about his own life
By August 27, Mr Surmont had received over 200 courses of the treatment and he claims he ‘started following cues’ and ‘chasing cannibals’.
His energy was high and his medical records describe him as being ‘highly talkative’. He also showed ‘abnormal behavior such as singing loudly’.
He started to believe he was auditioning for a part in a film being made about his life.
He started to hear his mother talk to him, and in one particular strange incident he took a piece of cloth that had been covered in his son’s blood after an accident, placed it in a cup and referred to it as the Holy Grail.
Mr Surmont also revealed that he had an inner dialogue and that despite being atheist his whole life, said he had ‘found god’.
Because of this he started to play up to the cameras he thought were following him. He would break into people’s homes and cause havoc.
‘I thought I actually was a nuclear weapon,’ Surmont said. He was arrested several times because of his actions.
A month later he climbed onto a neighbor’s roof and smashed a sky light before running away.
After he was arrested he thought Dr Murphy would come and help him. He then went through two years of court hearings where he was branded ‘crazy’.
After suffering the breakdown he said if he could speak to Dr Murphy today then he would ask him ‘what the f*** were you thinking’.
‘Why would you do that? Seriously. All of the work, everything you put at risk, for what?
‘I still love Kevin Murphy. I still get what he’s trying to do, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to get it done if he doesn’t recognize the importance of people beyond being research subjects.’
Dr Murphy dismissed all claims that he caused the breakdown, and said he hadn’t seen Mr Surmount in the six months before he had the breakdown.
He added that in this time Mr Surmont hadn’t showed up for treatment but admitted that some of his medical records may not have been ‘accurate’ and that he didn’t write notes every time he observed Mr Surmont.