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I found the GeneSight test to be a powerful tool

I feel like I’ve been very blessed, even though I’ve had a roller coaster of a life.

I’m a mom of five kids and nine grandkids. All have lived with me on and off throughout the years. I own a couple of horses and a 140-pound Great Dane.

And I’ve always been passionate about helping people – I’m an addiction specialist. I approach my work as someone who understands their challenges. Because I’ve lived it.

I’ve self-medicated a lot with alcohol through the highs and lows. I have been diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety and bipolar. I’ve been up and down and up and down.

I’ve tried many, many prescription medications – probably 15-20 medications in my life. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error. “Try this.” “Try that.” That’s all I heard. I got to the point where I just didn’t want to try anything anymore. But that [not trying a new medication] makes you feel more hopeless because you aren’t moving forward. I felt unbalanced and had low self-confidence with all of the medication failures. I never asked to be bipolar.

Patient Story: photo of Melanie

I took one SSRI and couldn’t even get out of my favorite recliner. I couldn’t walk. Couldn’t talk. Just numb. I was just outside my body looking in at this sad person in a chair.

Then, two years ago my house burned down to the ground in a fatal fire. I couldn’t cope. Things got really bad. I actually went on disability leave because I couldn’t move. I had horrible, angry outbursts. One minute, I’m in a good mood, and the next I’m screaming. I went back to the doctor and tried another medication.

I NEEDED change. I needed help. All these medications were making me feel 10 times worse.

Saw an ad for the GeneSight test

I saw an ad for the GeneSight test and went to my psychiatrist. I asked if he had ever ordered the test? He said, “yeah, we’ve done this before. Let’s give it a shot.” I was really desperate at this point.

I told them I wanted to take the test, so they ordered it for me. I took the test at my home. It was so easy and simple.

My psychiatrist received the results and shared them with me. He explained the report to me. One of the medications I hadn’t tried was an anticonvulsant. My psychiatrist ordered the medication and I started out slowly – 25 mg, 50 mg, and then up to 100 mg. It was balancing me out, but then I developed a rash. I went back to my psychiatrist, and he said: “let’s try a different manufacturer.” And this one worked without causing the rash.

Feeling more positive and productive

Today, I feel more positive and more productive. I’m actually job searching and trying to move forward. I feel like I have more energy. I don’t sleep or sit all day in front of the TV. I’m doing stuff around the house more. I am even socializing – I went out to BINGO and am contacting my friends more.

I’m not having outbursts. Am I perfect? No, I still have my moments, but I’m more even and not having major anxiety attacks. This is the first time that I feel like I am taking something that’s working.

And, it is nice to know that if this medication stops working for me, my doctor could use the information from this report to try to find a different medication. If this doesn’t work, I have other options. It’s just not being a guinea pig. There’s more hope here.

I would tell people to take the GeneSight test. When you are dealing with mental illness to begin with and feeling cruddy about yourself, nothing gets better by just trying to feel better. I wish the doctors would use the GeneSight test more. It could save patients time and money. I also think it could save money for insurance companies – I had a $680 prescription for a medication that didn’t work for me, and I had to throw it away.

The bottom line is that I found the GeneSight test to be a powerful tool, and it was beneficial in so many ways.

This story is one patient’s personal experience. Other patients may not have the same experience or outcome. Do not make any changes to your current medications or dosing without consulting your healthcare provider.

The GeneSight test must be ordered by and used only in consultation with a healthcare provider who can prescribe medications. As with all genetic tests, the GeneSight test results have limitations and do not constitute medical advice. The test results are designed to be just one part of a larger, complete patient assessment, which would include proper diagnosis and consideration of your medical history, other medications you may be taking, your family history, and other factors.

If you are a healthcare provider and interested in learning more about the GeneSight test, please contact us at 855.891.9415. If you are a patient, please talk with your doctor to see if the GeneSight test may be helpful.