I’m glad that I asked my clinician for the GeneSight test
It’s been a rough road.
I’m 45 years old, have a 26-year-old son (with two little girls). I often babysit my granddaughters and another child who I call my non-bio granddaughter. I also have a 20-year-old daughter, who is disabled and needs full-time care.
Right before I was pregnant with my daughter, I was diagnosed with depression. Back then, my primary care doctor prescribed a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) that was popular at the time.
In those days, you just followed your doctor’s orders. The medication wasn’t working for me, so I started telling them it didn’t have any effect on me. She just kept upping the dosage. I felt like she wasn’t listening to me and – to shut me up – she’d just up the dosage. I went to the maximum dosage pretty quickly. It wasn’t working.
Finally, my doctor realized that the SSRI wasn’t going to work. She switched me to a different medication, but it didn’t work. So, I went on another and another and another.
I moved with my family and changed healthcare providers to a nurse practitioner. In addition to my depression, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It is a painful condition. In the morning, I have to set my alarm to get up an hour early because it takes me an hour to get out of bed due to the pain.
At one point, my nurse practitioner sent me to a psychiatrist to make sure I was taking the correct medications and dosages. The psychiatrist took me off everything – cold turkey. I ended up having a bad reaction. I had a massive migraine, super dehydrated and I couldn’t even get my migraine medications because she took those away. I tried going to the doctor at my old doctor’s office, but they were booked so they told me to go to urgent care. But urgent care needed a referral from my doctor and no one could get anyone on the phone. I was out of my mind in pain. The urgent care clinic thought I was a drug addict looking for pain medications. So, I ended up going to the emergency room. It was awful.
Social media scrolling leads to breakthrough
A couple of months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and watched a video from an influencer I follow. Normally, her videos are just funny stories from her life, but she posted a video that was called something like “switching medications.” The title of her video caught my eye.
I watched it and she said that she was switching her depression medication again, but this time she was going to take the GeneSight test that her doctor had ordered. She said she was OK with taking the test because she had been on so many things. That sounded like me.
So, I looked up [the GeneSight test] online. I thought, well, that’s amazing. I’m really sensitive to a lot of medications and thought it might be worth a shot.
I brought up the GeneSight test to my nurse practitioner, and she had never heard of it. After she looked into it, she was like “great, let’s do it.”
After reviewing the GeneSight results, my nurse practitioner decided to add another medication to what I was taking. That was several months ago.
It’s amazing how much more in tune I feel with my body. Now I’m more aware of what I take and when I take it and how I feel. And how I feel when I take my medication vs when I don’t take it. For example, if I fall asleep on the couch watching TV and forget to take my night medications, I can tell a difference the next day and I’m aware of it. Before I wasn’t always aware.
I would tell any of my friends who suffer from depression and anxiety that they should consider asking their doctor for the GeneSight test. I’m glad that I did.
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.