As a freelance writer and independent consultant, I was surprised that
learning and writing about mood disorders turned out to be so interesting. After
living with my own mood disorder for more than thirty years, I have a personal
interest. When I was sick with depression, I was ashamed and wanted to avoid the
stigma of mental illness. I did not want to accept that episodes of mental
illness were happening to me. I was not graceful and I did not cope well. I was
upset. I craved the peace of mind which is so hard for mood-disordered people to
find. Like any chronic illness, acceptance only comes after processing feelings
of denial, anger, loss and grief. A depression survivor also has to work hard to
learn the truth about depression symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and
prognosis. After a long journey through darkness, I came out into the light. I
learned to restore and maintain normal mood without adverse effects. I am
motivated to share my information and help other depressed people. I consult
about money matters, coach depression survivors and write articles and books. My
focus is the depression survivor.
People often call for information about my Depression Survivorís Kit .
Some follow up with phone calls or meetings. Although I cannot fix other
peoplesí brains or solve their problems, I consider myself richly blessed that
so many people shared their reality with me. Depression and other mental illness
episodes trouble many people. By the time people ask me for information, help
and support, they are pretty well at the end of their rope. Most interesting to
me as a survivor - writer - interviewer - consultant are the people who contact
me as part of their search for effective healthcare for themselves or their
relatives. They want helpful tips, survival information and practical guidance
through the maze of depression symptoms and mental healthcare.
I explain that as a writer - consultant - mood disorder survivor and
Independent Depression Project coordinator, there are limits to what I can do.
Undeterred, people pour out their stories in the hope that something good will
come of it. I listen, sympathize, encourage and suggest people ask their
psychiatrists and physicians for mental healthcare which is consistent with the
practice guidelines of the psychiatric profession. I honestly believe that
medical professionals are serious about accepting their responsibility to help
sick people become well. Few mental healthcare professionals have experienced
depression symptoms or the adverse effects of medications. Doctors are
overloaded with cases of depression; hospitals are understaffed; and
cost-cutting is a priority. Many doctors try to help their patients cope with
refractory depression but few succeed. The sickest patients are lonely and
unwell but they can still ask for restorative mental healthcare.
Medical practice guidelines recommend in-depth diagnostic testing before the
common psychiatric practice of labeling and drugging depressed patients. Many
depressed people are helped by antidepressants, however adverse effects are
commonly experienced. It is paradoxically painful to take oneís medications
according to the advice of a trusted psychiatrist, only to get sicker and suffer
the symptoms of depression as well as several adverse effects of pills. ĎBrain
fogí can envelope the depression sufferer. Already ill with up to 15 involuntary
symptoms, a depressed person can feel helpless and hopeless when their
healthcare professionals donít offer a quick fix or explain that it takes time
to diagnose and treat depression restoratively.
It appears that many depressed people are not being diagnosed based on
detailed medical or psychological tests and therefore the range of possible
medical, biochemical, metabolic, genetic, developmental, psychological, social
and environmental factors involved with their depressions are not being
considered, tested, identified, or treated. After interviews with many middle
class depression survivors, I still hope to learn that my perception on this
point is wrong. I expected better quality care but I learned that restorative
mental healthcare is an ideal that is apparently not always being offered by all
mental healthcare professionals.
When people wish to consider a second medical opinion or find restorative
mental healthcare, I refer them to local healthcare professionals who can help.
Little-known orthomolecular medicine appears to be consistent with the practice
guidelines of the psychiatric profession and restorative mental healthcare. Even
some traditionally-used European plant extracts can help but these are still
medications and they need to be taken under medical supervision.
I wish orthomolecular doctors could convince their skeptical conventional
colleagues that restorative biochemistry can help depressed people recover
normal mood without adverse effects. This sounds too good to be true so I will
qualify. Each case of depression is different; there are no panaceas for
depression; and even natural supplements can have adverse effects. By doing
root-cause diagnostic testing and recommending supplements of natural vitamins,
trace minerals, amino acids, precursors, energy and enzyme co-factors which are
the body normally, there can be fewer adverse effects. Remembering how a few
people helped me when I was looking for restorative healthcare, I wrote the
Depression Survivorís Kit to help other depressed people. Also available
is the Orthomolecular Healthcare
References - A Laymanís Guide to New Hope for Mental Health.
Read a review by Dr. A. Hoffer, MD, PhD