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If you are struggling, the FIRST thing your doctor should do is order the GeneSight test

I am a busy mom. I had three kids in five years and tried to work as needed, but I struggled with situational anxiety. When I sought counseling in 2018, I felt like my clinicians didn’t listen to me.

I first worked with my primary care physician for medication management. She told me it was outside of her scope, and that I should see a psychiatrist, so I did. My psychiatrist prescribed medications that didn’t work.

I then went through two more counselors, as I felt they were not listening to me; in fact, they had already decided on my treatment. I even had a counselor tell me: “Well, maybe your kids aren’t as hard as you think.” I’m guessing she didn’t have three kids close in age.

My current counselor described my mental health issues as situational anxiety and depression, due to my demanding work and home life. She reassured me that my condition was valid but mild, even when I was convinced that I was suffering from something more severe.

Patient Story: photo of Juli

I asked my psychiatrist about medication tolerance testing for adults because my children’s therapist suggested a similar tool for my children. We researched it and discovered the GeneSight test. I wanted to take the test, hoping that regardless of how much it cost me, it would help give my psychiatrist additional information to consider in prescribing medications. At that point, I had tried four medications with no luck AND the withdrawal side effects were awful.

I had researched enough by this point to learn that, without genetic testing, my doctors may not have all the information they needed to make decisions. I had heard so many horror stories about medications not working and had experienced my own.

Taking the GeneSight test

The test process was incredible. I did the cheek swab, and my psychiatrist went over the results with me. I have a two-year science degree from Boise State University (BSU) and about 15 years of experience in mental health advocacy, so it wasn’t difficult to interpret.

I got the GeneSight test because I just knew the medication I was on was wrong: At that point the medication wasn’t treating my symptoms, and I had side effects I didn’t want. I stayed on that medication until my doctor and I had the GeneSight test in hand and could agree on the next step in my treatment plan. My psychiatrist switched me to a new medication. I knew that without GeneSight I could have spent years fighting with dosing and other medication trial and error.

GeneSight can Help Doctors with Medication Management

I started seeing the difference within weeks. Before the GeneSight test, my life was chaotic at best. Before learning about and taking the test, I felt lost, broken, and scared. Today, my children, now almost 12, 10, and 7, are thriving – and so am I.

I tell everyone I meet who struggles with medication management that the FIRST thing their doctor should do is order the GeneSight test. Period. I’ve recommended it to family members who have been able to take it with them to counseling and psychiatrist appointments.

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 call us at 855.891.9415. If you are a patient, please talk with your doctor to see if the GeneSight test may be helpful.