For me, my depression started in the winter shortly after my son was born, nearly 22 years ago.
I would get the winter blues, or as I would call it the “winter humps.” I would get sad when the seasons would change, and it would get grayer and darker outside.
I couldn’t figure out why I felt this way. I had a loving husband, two kids I adored, friends I trusted, and a life I wanted. I often thought to myself: “What do I have to be sad about?” I just felt off-balance, dwelling on the little things that would consume my mind. Under stressful times, I would have a hard time processing or rationalizing a decision which would result in being overwhelmed and then having a quick temper (and then I would feel immediately guilty when I lost my cool).
I knew something wasn’t right, and I didn’t want to spend my life this way in this same cycle. My doctor diagnosed me as having seasonal affective disorder with mild anxiety.
Stopping/Starting and Adding/Subtracting
For years, I tried to find a medication to help me manage my depressive episodes. My doctor would prescribe something, and I would wait for it to work. Oftentimes, I would just get so frustrated with it not working that I would just stop taking the medication. I spent years taking so many different kinds and different combinations of medications. It was just frustrating, leaving me feeling hopeless.
When my kids were 9 and 4, my husband died of cancer. Suddenly, it was just the three of us. My kids became my life. They gave me every piece of joy. With our new family dynamics, I knew I had to have a healthy mind, so that I could be there for them in every way they needed.
I went to a new psychiatrist and she listened to me and prescribed a medication that started to work. It took some time to get the dosage correct, but when we did, I realized that I had never felt this mentally good in 20 years. Life is life. You will still struggle with those life situations, but the medication allows me to not dwell on the little things, overthink things, and rationally process through problems and situations. It is a lot easier for my mind to rest and not overthink things that aren’t necessary.
A Friend Recommends the GeneSight Test
A dear friend of mine has lupus. She had been through the trial-and-error process with a bunch of medications for her lupus and pain/depression until she took the GeneSight test.
While I finally was on a medication that worked, my son (who is now in college) started to struggle. His grades were slipping, and he couldn’t focus. He tried one medication, but it didn’t work. He was prescribed another medication, but had another fail. I knew I didn’t want him to face the same trial-and-error process I went through for 20 years. It is an emotional process to watch your loved one go through the same struggles you did, knowing just how hard the roller coaster is.
I thought the GeneSight test might be the answer to my son’s medication struggles. I told him I’d take the test with him.
Our psychiatrist gave us the GeneSight test at the same time. Not surprisingly, all the medications that failed me were in my red category. The medication that finally feels like a success is in my yellow category. Prior to getting the test results, it did take some adjusting to nail the right dosage.
Our psychiatrist prescribed a medication for my son that is in his green category. Since he has been on this medication, he reports he has been able to focus, his anxiety in social settings has significantly decreased, and he feels that he is less irritable. The light is back in his life and he is back at school.
Well balanced. Impressed.
I’m so happy for the clarity that the GeneSight test brought to me and my son. Before I felt like we were using “the dartboard approach.”
The GeneSight test confirmed and validated for me that the medication I was taking previously didn’t work with my genetic code. I believe it will save my son years of trial and error that I had to endure.
I tell my friends that this test can save so much time, energy and the emotional struggles. I’m so impressed and can’t wait to see what this can do for the mental health field. I think it will help so many people who feel helpless and hopeless. If you are struggling trying to find a medication that works for you, I give you two words: “Do it!”