First and foremost let me start this article by saying I am not in any way a medical professional. I have no training in mental health and I am solely sharing with you a journey that I have been through and what has helped me. If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of depression you should immediately seek out medical/professional support.
I am fairly certain my battle with anxiety, depression and insomnia started around the age of 15. I always have been a perfectionist, and around that age I began struggling to keep up my perfection. By the time I was 16 I was in and out of doctor offices and was finally diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). So that is what I assumed was my problem. So I learned to live with it and moved on with things. Fast forward five years and my IBS had now turned into panic attacks, periods of lethargy accompanied by lack of desire, and horrible numerous other stomach problems. As a mom of 3 stuck in an abusive relationship with major financial problems I found myself at a breaking point. So I turned to a doctor who started testing me and diagnosed me with anxiety and depression. Then I began the spiral down the rabbit hole of medication after medication.
After numerous medications and feeling like a zombie most of the time in 2011 I decided no more and stopped all my meds cold turkey. Let me tell you that was one of the stupidest things I have ever done. Withdrawal is a serious thing to mess with, but I did make it through for over two years with no meds, but an uproar in stomach issues persisted again. By 2014, after ending my marriage and going through many changes I found myself back in the pit of despair and back chasing the pharmaceutical train. I finally found a doctor that would listen and finally got on meds that actually allowed me to function, but at a price of some not so nice side effects such as days without sleep. So I basically trained myself to become an insomniac. Any night that I got more than 2 hours of sleep I saw as an achievement.
So with drugs running my life and sleep on a permanent vacation I decided for myself that there had to be something to help me besides this hell I was walking in. So I turned to therapy and let me tell you it was a huge help, but it is not cheap so I couldn’t go as often as needed. Second I found a doctor who is more prone to prescribing holistic approaches to issues rather than a prescription pad. Third I discovered that I have a genetic mutation that directly effects mood and mental health. Lastly I discovered the keto diet.
Once I put all those things together and started making changes, my body and my mind both started to clear. I started to get more sleep, and within a couple months I was no longer on medication to make me go to sleep. I now get 7-8 hours of sleep a night and wake up refreshed. I was put on a supplement that is all natural to help my genetic mutation and within a month of starting that it was like a fog lifted. Four months in to all the changes and I know longer needed one of my stomach meds. Six months in and I no longer need a prescription acid reducer. Almost eight months in and I am finally being weened off my final prescription medication for anxiety and depression. I feel like I am coming to life for the first time in a long time. I actually am beginning to enjoy life!
So am I 100% cure? Absolutely not! I still have days I battle demons , and nights that I don’t sleep. The difference if I have learned how to deal with it and cope better and I’m not afraid to admit that to admit that I have these issues and will always battle them. I’m finding me all over again and so far I like what I am finding.