While going through treatment for my major depression from 2007-2010 I found it very difficult to stay positive. I went to a number of different psychiatrists to try to get the help that I needed to get better. I know that each psychiatrist I went to tried their best to get me better.
Before I started working with my current psychiatrist, I did what I would call psychiatrist hopping. I would try a psychiatrist for a while and try a new medicine/protocol. Nothing seemed to work.
I would pull my self together to go to a psychiatrist’s appointment. It was a struggle. I now know what it feels like to want to totally shut down.
During this time, I was constantly prescribed new medicines. The difficult thing was that I would try a new medicine for 6-8 weeks to see if it was effective in getting me to a more stable place. If the medicine did not work, I was back to square one. Major depression is very debilitating, you feel like everything you do is a chore. Just getting out of bed seems overwhelming. I spent two and half years trying different psychiatrists and medicines before I went to my current psychiatrist.
Those two and half years were the worst years of my life. It was total torture, I could not wait for the severe pain of depression to start to ease. I was also anxious because I did not know when the depression would end.
Then I started seeing Dr. Karen Lang, it took time but with Dr. Lang’s expert guidance I came out of depression. You have to work everyday to get well and to stay well. Finding the correct therapist/psychiatrist for me, made all the difference. I still see Dr. Lang to this day. You have to find someone that you trust with your life and that you can tell everything to.
The psychiatrists at the time I went through depression and still today do not have the tools to determine which medication might work for a patient. When you are bouncing around trying different medications you do not know which way is up. This can be a challenge when you are very ill.
I can’t begin to tell what a difference it would have made for me to have a blood test that would have helped my current psychiatrist and the psychiatrists before her to determine the best treatment for me.
Personalized medicine for individuals battling depression means finding a person that you trust and that you believe can help you get well and stay well. And personalized medicine also means giving the doctors that take care of depressed individuals the tools that they need to do their job more effectively.