I am a mom to a son and two daughters: six-year-old and 11-month-old girls. My youngest is a “rainbow baby” – because my baby boy at 2-and-a-half-months passed away from SIDS.
The loss of my son was devastating. It changed me.
I had Post-Partum Depression after each child, but the depression that consumed me after I lost my son was different.
I started to have a debilitating, recurring thought: if I lost my son so suddenly, I could lose any one of my loved ones at any time. As a result, I had a hard time opening myself up to relationships and people.
So, I retreated into myself. I pushed people away. Family members. Friends. Coworkers. I cut ties with people for any reason and no reason at all.
I lived with my mom at the time and our relationship suffered greatly. She took care of my daughter while I would lie in bed. I didn’t want to do anything.
I quit a wonderful job that I still miss. I got frustrated one day and just walked out. In fact, I walked out of four jobs over an 18-month period.
My primary care doctor diagnosed me with major depressive disorder.
Trying Multiple Depression Medications
After my depression diagnosis, my doctor prescribed an antidepressant that had worked for my mom. It worked for a bit, but then I felt like it stopped working. So, my doctor would change the dosage – raising it or lowering it based on how I said I was feeling. Over the course of several years, he prescribed different medications and different dosages.
The years of trial and error were so frustrating and discouraging. You feel like you are stuck living that way.
Then, my doctor left the practice, so I scheduled an appointment with a nurse practitioner. After reviewing the notes from my previous doctor and hearing my frustrations with medication trial and error, she said: “I think we need to do the GeneSight test. We could spend years trying to find medication that helps you.”
When she explained what the GeneSight test was, I was excited. But, to be honest, I was also a little nervous. I thought, what if the medication I previously tried is in my “use as directed” column? Would I be back at square one?
When I got the test results and the nurse practitioner reviewed them with me, I was surprised to see that there were medicines in the “use as directed” column that I had never heard of.
My mom also took the GeneSight test and, when we compared results, some of the medications in her “use as directed” category were in my “gene-drug interaction” categories. It reinforced for me that we all have unique DNA and that what might work for your family member may not work for you.
My nurse practitioner changed my medication about five months ago. After two weeks of taking the new medication, I started to notice a slightchange in how I was feeling.
First, I noticed that I was starting to be a more affectionate person. And then I started to wantto get involved with my kids, with my loved ones, and in activities. Slowly, I realized I wanted to go to parks, play games and hang out – all things that seemed impossible before.
Over the next few months, I gradually started to feel like a different person, but more like myself than I had in years.
I’m now to the point of being able to work again. I’m finally ready to go to college and pursue my dreams.
It’s not just me who notices the change. My friends and loved ones now say they haven’t seen me smile like this in years. I’m rebuilding relationships that depression severed.
Thank you for offering this test.