by Mila McManus MD
As I was my first wellness patient, and depression was one of my many issues, I thought it would be appropriate to share my story this month since this newsletter focuses on depression.
I remember feeling depressed when I was in high school, but seemed mostly situational. College years were good, but developed anxiety. Two yrs into medical school, life was rough. I was exhausted and emotional and anxious all the time. I started on antidepressants and boy did it help a lot. I went from a lot of emotion to NO emotion. It helped anxiety as well. I craved carbs terribly and continued to have issues with insomnia which I first noticed in my early teens. I also had issues with terrible allergies, constipation, headaches, PMS, reflux, high blood pressure, unexplained 80 lb weight gain over a 5 year period, and eczema, just to name a few.
OK, so in retrospect, I had severe adrenal fatigue, low thyroid function, I was riddled with yeast, and was nutritionally bankrupt. Keep in mind that my labs were ALWAYS perfectly normal (so it had to be all in my head, right?). Over the years I tried several times to wean my antidepressant to no avail. Of course now I know that it’s because I wasn’t addressing the underlying causes of my depression and anxiety in the first place. Skip ahead to my first year in private practice as a family physician. I’ve now accumulated 12 prescription medications and I’m 30 years old, going on 90. I lived on diet soda and fast food. Nobody taught me in medical school that it wasn’t healthy to eat that way. Seriously!
Thank Goodness I found wellness, which is everything we doctors don’t learn in medical school. I was able to discover that the underlying causes of my depression and anxiety were due to nutritional deficiencies, abnormal gut flora, hormonal imbalance, and having toxic overload. Within 2 weeks of starting bio-identical hormones, changing my diet, and taking a handful of vitamins, I was well on my way to shedding all 12 of my medications. It did take about 6 months, but my antidepressant was the first to go.
I often wonder where I would be today, almost 11 years later, if I had not found wellness. My story is unfortunately a very common one, and I hope reading this story gives you hope. I feel so blessed every day that I get to pay it forward by helping other people overcome what ails them!