“It has been incredibly easy to incorporate this into my practice.”

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My name is Nan Nelson, I am a psychiatrist. I would say I’ve treated birth through death. I started out doing adult psychiatry then I did child psychiatry. Then I did perinatal health. And so I actually by treating the mothers was treating the babies in utero, which has some thoughts that have to go into that. And then I did geriatrics and I did consults where I was actually asked to go to the bedside of someone who was dying and who was either delirious or who was hallucinating. So I would say I have span the gamut from birth to death, and have dealt with the families and the individuals with their mental illness.

I became interested in GeneSight. I had seen an article in one of the news magazines that we get, and I looked and I thought, there’s no way you could know all that from a swab on the inside of your mouth, that’s ridiculous. And then I went and I met with a representative. And he said, “Here, try one.” And so I did it on one of my toughest patients that I had no idea what to do. And I came back and made a change. And I was like, whoa, how do I do more of these? And that person started functioning, and they were no longer psychotic, and they were actually getting along with other family members. And they were talking about going to work. And I was like, more, give me more.

It has been incredibly easy to incorporate this into my practice. Even if I don’t have help, I literally just pull up the website. I have them put in their name, address, phone number. I click some buttons. I make a copy of their insurance. I have them sign a piece of paper. I put it all in the packet, and I send it off and I know that within a week I’ll have it back. Now, it’s often done much more before a week, but because of my scheduling, it’s unlikely that I’m going to be able to see them back in less than a week.

I use GeneSight for people who are particularly complex. The other day, I had a man who was in his mid 60s who was having his first onset psychosis. And they were saying it was schizophrenia, and schizophrenia doesn’t start at age 65, especially in men. And he was on five anti-psychotics. And I only had to hear like the first five lines, and I wanted to do a GeneSight to figure out what did he really need. Because even with five anti-psychotics, he was still hallucinating. And they were command hallucinations to tell him to kill himself. And my first thought was, A, these five aren’t doing it, and B, I’m not sure what else to try next, and C, I don’t have the time and luxury to play trial and error to figure out what this guy needs. I really need to know what his body’s going to tolerate to get him well.

The thing that has convinced me that GeneSight works is the results in the patients. They come in and they’re smiling. I’ve engaged them in the process. I’m not something doing something to them. They’re joining me in the process of figuring out what they need. And they fly, they soar, they grow, they heal. And I’m more than willing to say to them, pills don’t give skills. You need to learn how to handle your anger. But now that we have you off the roller coaster, now you can learn those things. And I can actually see them grow. And they’ll come back and say to me, “You saved my life.” And I’m saying, “Well, thank you, but it really wasn’t me. It was me using this information, figuring out what your body needed, not what a thousand other people needed.” I personally benefit because A, I feel like I can really do what this person needs. And I’m no longer the dictator. I’m really taking into account what they want and need.