Along my journey to alleviate my depression without pharmaceuticals, I have run into many roadblocks. In retrospect, each challenge was important to identify what worked and didn’t work for me.
For example, when I first saw a naturopathic doctor, she mentioned the possibility that I may have an issue with my MTHFR gene, and while we waited for the test results, she advised me to stop taking my normal multivitamin. She suggested that I switch to methyl B-12, a more bioavailable form of B-12. I was glad to receive this new information, and followed her advice.
Unfortunately, I started to get much, much worse. My destructive thoughts increased, and I was angry and irritable at the smallest things. When I informed her of this, she told me to be patient and keep taking the methyl B-12. She explained that I wasn’t going to feel better overnight. So I hung in there and kept taking it for several months. At one follow-up appointment, I remember being in tears and sobbing, “Please help me. I need help.” She had already tried everything she knew, so she wrote me a referral to another naturopathic doctor. I was so discouraged. It felt like no one would be able to help me, and I was too tired and depressed to do my own research. All of this only added to my feelings of hopelessness and futility.
When I saw another practitioner and signed up for more tests, I stopped taking the methyl B12 so it wouldn’t skew the test results. Amazingly, I started feeling better right away! It started to dawn on me that the methyl B-12 was not right for me and was making me worse. I looked into other forms of B-12 and found there were other options. I ordered two different types of B-12 (HydroxyB-12 and ADB-12) and had amazing improvements when I started taking them. I felt what it must feel like to be “normal.”
Although I was glad to make this discovery, I was also angry at the practitioner who had advised me keep taking methyl B-12. I felt like I had wasted months following her advice. But as I look back, I see that it was really important for me to make that discovery about the Methyl B-12. If I had tried other supplements at that time, I may not have pinpointed my adverse reaction. Now I know what types of B-12 work for me, which was a very important discovery. I’ve had several other similar discoveries along the way. Each one has been part of the puzzle I needed to put together to restore my health.
One of the most important lessons I learned from this was to trust my own body, and my reactions to different supplements. As research about epigenetics gets better, one day in the future practitioners will have more tools at their disposal to determine what supplements will work for which genetic types. Because the research is still so new, right now it is a guessing game of sorts, where each person needs to experiment and listen to their body to see what works for them.
It’s easy to get discouraged as you run into these types of roadblocks on the journey to recovery, but if you can use the information to re-direct and try something else, you’ll be ahead of the game.
What kind of health challenges have you run into that later turned out to be blessings?