I don't just want an anti-depressant! Can't they test for root causes?

When I began considering getting on an antidepressant 5 years ago, I was quickly overwhelmed at the different types and the difficulty figuring out which antidepressant or anti anxiety would be best.  

Should I address my Serotonin or Dopamine levels?  Which would make me fat? Kill my sex drive? Make me one-dimensional & flat? Take my current Serotonin & leave it on the synapse longer but not actually get me more of it?

I didn't want to trial and error serious brain balance shifters before testing & I couldn't be more grateful to find someone that knew what to test for and how to go about it.

A doctor that knew what to look for and knew which tests to order! She checked to see if I had problems with my nutrition intake, absorption, or conversion as well as how well my brain manufactured my happiness chemicals Serotonin and Dopamine. She checked my hormone balance and explained which times of the month my estrogen & progesterone would be out of whack with normal annoying female cycle drops. She explained stress hormone Cortisol and it's affect on mood and relationship with sugar.

She gave me a better understanding of the pieces of the puzzle and changed the way I looked at chocolate pie. Dessert is now called Moody Blues in my house.

1. my Vitamin D levels were as dangerously low as many of her depressed patients (taking 5000 IU/day if you live north of LA/Atlanta is a good idea & getting at least 15 minutes of sunscreen free sunshine mid day is also good)

2.my B vitamins weren’t converting properly to help make Serotonin (60% of people have conversion problems genetically)

3. my brain didn’t naturally make enough motivation and reward driving Dopamine ( Which explained the draw to chaos and constant activity )

4. My Serotonin stayed on my brain long enough Yay! (SSRI’s like Prozac would NOT have helped my mood at all & would have likely lowered my libido and sparked weight gain! )

5. I am low in estrogen which makes me muscular and lean w little boobs, makes me break out, and affects mood but reduces my chance for most reproductive cancers.- getting on an Estrogen patch certain times of the month is an option I wasn’t previously aware of.

Knowing what I'm working with lets me make better choices, forgive the parts I don't have control of, and change the things I do. Sugar is a terrible idea especially if I'm already burning through my B vitamins with other stress. Sleep and Leafy greens are practically medicine. I need to supplement the appropriate amino acids building blocks that make Serotonin and Dopamine naturally in my brain. Exercise is my "in the moment" Happy Juice releaser when I'm getting blah. I now practice reframing situations. thinking positively, and yoga breathwork. I also now know that choosing anti depressants that affect the Dopamine receptor/levels will be more effective than those dealing with Serotonin in my brain's case. I feel empowered rather than helpless and overwhelmed.

Dr. Stephanie is available at www.intuitivewomenswellness.com. Please tell her thank you for me- she is a blessing. She is also the founder of FunctionalMedicine.com as well as the MaleVitalityProgram. I can't rave about her enough.





GETHSH is a wellness blog dedicated to researching the variables in the formula to feeling good. All suggestions should be reviewed with your licensed practitioner and taken on your own free will.