Genetics and Medication

Jul 28 / Linda Meredith
In an era of evolving perspectives on the origins of major depressive disorder, depression, and broader mental health concerns, we are witnessing a transformative shift. Whilst the days of stigma and unjust blame are not yet long gone, genetics are beginning to bring answers. 

We find ourselves on the brink of a genetic revolution that promises to offer relief and understanding, sparing many from the need to conceal their struggles and enabling them to access the support they deserve.
I've been aware for decades that many people don't find help with medication when it comes to mental health challenges. Current reading online runs along the lines of "well, big pharma can't tell us how the meds work, so they don't work." This does damage and causes shame to those for whom medications do work. How can I say I'm taking medication and it's working when mainstream opinions are they don't work. Do I have to keep silent about it working to appease the general public's emotional comfort zone? I think not. Not only do we have to have these conversations, we have to go beyond our emotional comfort zones and start learning new things.

Jenn Armstrong

Around 4 years ago I was in a finance group that Jenn Armstrong was running. Jenn's an amazing financial CFO for small business owners and had never had a medication work for her. She did however choose to have genetic testing done to discern what medications would and wouldn't work for her. Yes, you read correctly. Genetic testing can have the ability to advise  you what medications will and won't work for your individual system.

Genesight is in America and you can get a referral from your doctor ensuring the cost is minimal to none depending on your health insurance. There are also places in Australia doing the genetic testing but I haven't had it done. Your first place would be to speak to your gp and see if you need a referral or not.

Australia

Here's an article on the dna testing in Australia and how it's not part of main stream health care, as yet. I'm unsure what you will find in the U.K. and Europe and further abroad, but definitely Google genetic testing for depression and your country and learn what is available now. Also, speak to as many health care professionals as you can as eventually one of them will know something about the genetic testing.

Genetic Testing was a game changer for Lisa Marie Campagnoli

Genetic testing was a game-changer - as told by Lisa

In 2016, I collapsed with fatigue, anxiety, and chemical sensitivities so acute that I was bedridden and unable to work, literally overnight. The psychiatrist we brought on to my “team” was very astute and was right about many things. Our most immediate goal was to control the anxiety and panic, but every medication we tried caused immediate reactions, even in very tiny doses. He prescribed genetic testing to quickly eliminate medications that I would likely react negatively to. The genetic test absolutely helped in that regard and confirmed that the options for me were very few. 

The test results revealed information about the gene mutations I had inherited. Some of them made treating my mental health symptoms with medication complex. Even more interesting to me was what some of the results revealed about my experiences with health, my personality, and reactions to life experiences. By extrapolation, I got possible insights into health, undiagnosed mental illnesses, and possible clues explaining origins and patterns of intergenerational trauma in my family. These are genes myself and my siblings inherited from our parents and grandparents and that our children have possibly inherited from us.

I do not remember the names of the genes or their mutations, although I suppose I could dig out the printed page I received from the doctor. But, for example, I know that I am more prone to PTSD, I metabolize dopamine quickly and I have one MTHFR mutation. Later, one of my children was tested. She had two of the same MTHFR mutations, so now we know her father, who has passed, had one or two himself. By extrapolation, these mutations might offer clues to greater predispositions to addictions, anxiety, depression, being more highly sensitive or needing more stimulation.

Some of the family struggles of the past stemming from personality traits, individual emotional needs and even maladaptive coping mechanisms can, not certainly, but possibly be explained by the mutations and gene expressions that have been making their way through the generations of my family. My own results imply that we are a highly complex group. 

At the time, I was very excited about these results, but family members were not so interested. Since then, a few have asked about the genetic test I took years ago as they seek clues to help their own families. Despite my enthusiasm, I am not interested in services like Ancestry or 23 And Me because in the interest of self-care, I do not want more, possibly life-changing information to process right now.  

ARTICLE from a Psychiatrist on Genetic Testing and Mental Health

Transforming Mental Health Treatment: The Power of Genetic Testing in Root Cause Psychiatry™

Article by Dr Bruce

More Client experiences with Genetic Testing

Don't wait. Take your health into your own hands.

Recently, one of my clients enquired about genetic testing for depression medication in America. Their doctor was happy to write the referral and explained that medical professionals weren't automatically offering genetic testing at this time due to their not being enough evidence for the genetic testing. 

The "enough evidence" refers to how our current process of gathering evidence takes 17 years to go through the "system" in order for their to be enough evidence to recommend to clients/patients.

Some of us don't have anther 17 years to waste waiting for help that is effective and not stealing time from our life. 
Don't wait any longer, speak to medical professionals until you can find one who will listen and take your concerns seriously. Your health needs you to be proactive for a healthier life.
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Feedback from our Facebook Group

After posting the article in our facebook group a member shared the following with us (used with permission)

"I am extremely sensitive to meds much like the woman in this article. Some depression meds exacerbated my depression resulting in suicidal ideation and worse. I would go off the meds and be labeled noncompliant. I insisted the only.things I could take were benzos but hated them and did not want them but would still be labeled as drug seeking. It was maddening.

I did this genetic testing and well... it said I could take benzos and that was it!  Shut the damn doctors up and my road to healing began. It's not just psych meds I have issues with and have gotten side effects not known or listed on many meds. The body knows and will let you know! Great article."

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