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I’m thriving rather than trying to survive

I had a picture-perfect pregnancy and delivery. I was ready for the future, believing naively that my life would stay pretty much the same. I am embarrassed to say this now, but I had always rolled my eyes at women who talked about their postpartum depression. But, when my baby was four months old, I was hit hard.

I felt withdrawn, detached, and sad. I believed I knew what was happening – it was postpartum depression. I had always suspected that I had struggled with some mental health issues like anxiety – I have always worked a high stress, demanding job – but pushed it to the back of my mind whenever it surfaced.

I called my OB who prescribed an antidepressant. I had a horrible reaction to the medication – debilitating panic attacks – and my anxiety and depression got significantly worse. And I became physically ill as well. I first stopped taking the medication. My doctor then lowered the dose before I started again, only to have the same bad results.

Patient Story: photo of Julie

My doctor recommended I switch to a different medication. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had what felt like out-of-body experiences: I would fall asleep then wake up in utter panic, spending hours trying to come back from the edge. I even ended up in the emergency room as I could not eat, and the medications were still impacting my body.

I did not recognize what was normal or not normal. I could no longer look in the mirror because I had no idea who I was looking at.

A friend recommends the GeneSight® test

A friend recommended GeneSight and told me about a psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP) who could order the test. The PNP placed the order and I received the kit at my home 48 hours later. I took the test at home and shipped my sample in the pre-paid envelope and waited for my results.

When the PNP reviewed my results with me, it was clear that SSRIs – both meds that had been previously prescribed – may not be a good fit for me. The PNP worked with me to try a few medications in the “Use as Directed” category and I started to feel better, but still not as good as I wanted to. The third medication, which I started about five months ago, made an enormous difference, and once the PNP adjusted the dosage I have felt like myself again.

I’m thriving rather than trying to survive

Before I took the GeneSight test, I was overwhelmed, defeated and in anguish. I felt defeated because these medications worked for others; why didn’t they work for me? Now I know that’s not how this works!

Since being on a medication that is working for me, I am motivated, optimistic, and thriving – rather than trying to survive.

I am so grateful to my friend for telling me about GeneSight. I am a HUGE advocate and now want to tell others about my experience. You do not have to play Russian Roulette with medications. I got through this. And you can, too!

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.