Brain vs. Body

What are my mental health issues stemming from? Is it totally the genetic make up of the chemicals in my brain, or is there a malfunction in one of my organs somewhere in my body that I have yet to find out? Whether it be the estrogen and progesterone my body produces, my thyroid, or some other deficiency- I needed to know.

Since my hysterectomy, I’ve been on hormone replacements. Quite honestly, I can attest to the fact that after my hysterectomy, my mental health switched gears. Not only did I feel “off”, mentally but, my once board straight hair turned curly after it became so dry, unruly, and completely damaged. I knew that my female hormones were playing a huge part in my overall health. My doctor prescribed me the hormones I needed, but never really followed up with blood work unless I was feeling so shitty that I’d ask to go in and do it.

I have only recently found my psychiatrist. I mentioned previously that she is a psychiatrist that specialized in treating females with mental health issues, specifically with female related issues. She ties into the big picture. I’m telling you, she’s a Godsend. At my first appointment, she requested that I do blood work to test every possible hormone secreting organ. We tested my thyroid, foliate, estrogen- you name it, we tested it. A little part of me was hoping that something would come back saying I had a deficiency that had never been uncovered that could be contributing to my depression. I met with my doctor again yesterday. My lab work was completely perfect- no hormonal issues, no thyroid issues, no nothing! Although I was hoping we’d get some answers in regards to my mental health, I had a sigh of relief knowing that the rest of my body is functioning just fine, but it, in fact, is some sort of chemical imbalance within my brain. See what I mean? Perfect blood work. No explanation in blood work can guide you to a mental health diagnosis.

Wouldn’t it be funny that if your blood work could explain mental illness and give insight to an individualized, successful drug solely based on your genetic makeup, if the lab report stated, with a warning to your doctor: “In conclusion, based on the blood work taken from Erin Goodson, we have decided that this bitch is batshit crazy! Treat with caution! She’s got Bipolar II, so be prepared for to show up to her next appointment with either of the two of her personalities!” hahaha!! You gotta find the humor in this shit. Yesterday, as I was getting ready for my appointment- curling my hair, putting on makeup, and getting all cute and shit, my husband looked at me and said “where YOU going?” I said to my doctor appointment! He said “why you don’t show up looking like you did an hour ago, walking around in slippers with a big robe on, hair all nappy- let her see the real you?” I said “well, shit I will, but I’ll need you to drive me there cause I don’t feel like doing that either!” I’m so lucky to have a husband who loves me and tells me I’m beautiful, despite looking like I just crawled out from under a rock!

So, with good blood results, my appointment yesterday was so encouraging. My doctor has several plans for me, ready to throw into action. But, not before I get my genetic testing results back. She suggested that I do a cheek swab to see how certain enzymes, or lack of enzymes, in my body react differently to different medication. The results of my cheek swab can give very important information to us on how my liver breaks down certain antidepressants and how I could be deficient on a certain enzyme responsible for breaking down medication. I’ll meet with her again in a few weeks.

I’m not backing down to my mental illness. I strive to be happy. I’m not choosing to be miserable due to my mental illness. I’m married to my best friend, I have the best circle of friends, and so much support. I’m supposed to be living my best life……well, I mean a happy life. My best life is gonna happen as each of the five kids grow up and move on out! It takes accepting your mental illness, it takes WANTING help- search for a good doctor. Not just a pill pusher, but a psychiatrist who actually wants to get you better, that cares about you and your overall wellbeing. Choose to rise above this. Take every avenue available- and there are a lot- to get yourself happy. Take a look at your support group. Are they toxic in your life? It may be reassessing your circle. There’s help out there, you just have to want it. Just don’t stop fighting!

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