Disclaimer–Let me remind you, I am NOT a doctor–I don’t even play one on television. I am simply passing along some information that may be helpful to you in your search for relief from the debilitating symptoms of anxiety and depression. Please be sure to check with your physician and discuss any suggestions/options in this post. Also, I am not affiliated in any way with the companies discussed in this post. I do not receive compensation financially or otherwise. I just hope this information may be helpful to some of you.
A Little Background
A while ago, I wrote a post baring my soul about my life’s journey with sometimes debilitating anxiety and depression. It was really hard to do and I was very nervous about what people would think. I was so surprised that the feedback was so supportive and it was very appreciated. I shared my experiences with this illness, things I’ve tried, and what works for me in an effort to help anyone who is unfortunate enough to have to deal with this. It’s extremely difficult to live with and can literally change who you are! You can read that post here.
I’m writing today to share something that I think is really exciting and that has to do with finding the right medication. This is not to say that medication is for everyone, I know there are lots of people who would prefer not to take medicine or that have great results with other types of therapy. I just know that in my case I tried everything from therapy to hypnosis, diet change– anything that came out that could cause my symptoms or alleviate them (as you will read in my original post here) and the ONLY thing that helped me was medication. I literally spent thousands of dollars searching for help. That said, I have adopted the position that “if taking medication daily gives me quality of life–like going to church, school functions for the kids, grocery shopping, visiting friends and family and all those other wonderful things that the average person does without a second thought– it’s no different than a diabetic taking insulin to survive”! Once I wrapped my head around that, I felt much better about medication. And, once I started taking medication and had relief from the horrid symptoms, my faith that I had made a good decision increased one hundred-fold!
What I’ve Learned About
Anyway, I recently went to work for a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner-how funny is that! The job literally fell into my lap, I wasn’t even looking. Anyway, as a P.N.P she has been trained in the management of medications in conjunction with psychiatric counseling provided by another doctor for a wide array of mental illnesses (yet another term that I had to wrap my head around). I’ve been there for a little over 3 months and, in that time, have learned about something that I feel could be life-changing for people who have had difficulty finding the right medication or combination of medications to help with their anxiety and depression as well as other mental illnesses.
There is an actual genetic test that can show what types of medications will work best for a patients particular genetic make-up as well as what ones to avoid. The test that she uses is called GeneSight and is based on pharmacogenomics– or how your genes affect your response to a number of types of medications. It can literally help find a medication that will work for you without going through trying a slew of different medications until you hit the right one! Get this, its a simple swab of the inside of your cheek–that’s it! I personally know of people who have gone years trying to find what worked for them–suffering with symptoms and side effects that entire time. This can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to find a medication that can help you.
AH-MAZING, RIGHT? I think so. Who wouldn’t want to feel better without wasting time and money on medications that don’t work for your genetic makeup!
As I stated, I am not a doctor and my knowledge of medications is pretty much limited to what I have taken and what has worked for me. I would never suggest anything medication-wise to you. I leave that to the experts. This is a test that can assist your physician in determining what might work best for you and is available to anyone.
I suggest checking it out yourself and discussing it with your physician. Visit the website and read about it at www.genesight.com or call 866-757-9204. Please know that I am in no way affiliated with this company and am only passing on this information in an effort to help people who have had difficulty with finding the right medication-ask you physician about this test. If they aren’t familiar with it, provide them with the information on their website. I do know that it is covered by some insurance companies, although I don’t know which ones, but you can check with your insurance company about coverage! I hope this helps those of you who have struggled with medications that haven’t helped.
I also want to remind you how much of a difference NLP (neuro linguistic programming) made in how I handled and responded to my anxiety and depression prior to medication. It didn’t make it go away, but it did help me to handle things much better, with much less fear. It’s a form of behavior modification and can make a huge difference. Even after medication, there are some learned coping behaviors that are hard to let go of and this was instrumental in changing how I perceived and reacted to anxiousness, panic attacks and depression. I would highly recommend it for this as well as any number of struggles that you have and want to change or need help with.
Chronic Anxiety and Depression seems to be more and more prominent these days–as opposed to what I call situational anxiety and depression which, although just as real, can usually be associated with loss or trauma as opposed to what I have which is pretty much genetic and associated with simply being alive and breathing (humor is really important LOL). Maybe people just aren’t afraid to admit they suffer with it, I’m not sure. I do know that things have changed significantly in the past 40 years and there is way less stigma attached to admitting that one suffers it. I often wonder if anxiety and depression have always been this prevalent and people just didn’t admit it for fear of being institutionalized, or if it has become more prevalent with the introduction of processed foods, pollutants, chemicals, and other things that the “modern” world has been exposed to. I also believe (and this is just my opinion) that a lot of people, in an effort to deal with symptoms, self-medicated with alcohol and/or illegal drugs. That’s incredibly sad and speaks to how important it is to removed the stigma of mental illness so these people are not afraid to face the issues and deal with them.
Well, that’s all I got! I hope that this information can be helpful to you or someone you care about. If you have any questions I would be more than happy to help if I can. Leave a comment below or email me :