who gets depressed when their birthday is coming up?
who gets depressed when their birthday is coming up?
“Control is never achieved when sought after directly; it is the surprising result of letting go.”
~ James Arthur Ray
I’m trying to understand why. Logically it doesn’t make sense. My brain is not panicking. But my body is. The sensation of not being able to breath, that’s the inflammation in my lungs. The nausea from the antibiotic that grips my throat is chemical. The stomach cramping (tmi diarrhea) also just a side effect. The exhaustion, that’s my body fighting this thing.
So why the panic. Why does my mind so easily wander over to old thought patterns – get me out of here, I don’t want to exist, make it stop. It’s just a combination of symptoms. All with their own flavor of discomfort. But a week of discomfort. A week of this misery. And I’m losing it. It’s wearing me down. It’s frightening my husband.
I can’t get comfortable. When I am beside myself with anxiety that is always my primary complaint. I’m so uncomfortable. Uncomfortable existing. I didn’t want to be anymore, it was all too much. I don’t want to be here now.
But this is temporary. This is an illness. This isn’t going to last forever. And yet, my body is responding as if it was. Panic. Feel like I’m barely holding on.
Got to hold it together. Got to act as if it’s all okay. Don’t want to frighten people.
Help me get through this. Make the time pass faster. Please.
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Many people I know would be surprised to find out I’ve struggled with depression throughout my life. I chose early on to hide it, when I saw how uncomfortable people around me were when I shared what I was going through. I learned and created techniques to manage and hide it from even those closest to me. I don’t always win the battles and as a mom, whenever I felt it building up beyond my ability to hide it, I intentionally watched sad movies, so my crying wouldn’t worry or confuse my son as he grew up. With all my efforts to shield him, I was unable to prevent him from also experiencing the despair, anxiety and debilitation depression can infuse people with. His depression and anxiety worsened when he experienced a long-term illness, surgery and failed care by medical professionals. During his darkest days I was constantly fearful his despair would win and he would leave this world.
Through the darkness, however there can often be gifts. Directly after his surgery in 2014 we were advised by his doctor of the importance of managing his pain through medication. He was prescribed three narcotic pain killers, which we unfortunately discovered he was unable to feel. Doubling the dosage, per the advice of his doctor, he still felt nothing stating it was as if he was taking nothing at all. Frustratingly our doctor thought we were lying. Prior to abandoning him, his doctor did say one thing that stood out, she told me she had heard there were genetic mutations that could affect a person’s ability to metabolize pain medication.
It took all of 2014 for my son to recover from both the surgery and residual fatigue. As he healed, I researched gene mutations affecting narcotic metabolism and in the spring of 2015 decided to have him genetically tested. What we discovered was shocking, revealing and incredibly empowering.
We discovered he has a genetic mutation that prevents him from making the enzyme necessary for metabolizing a majority of narcotic pain medications. 3% of the population has this mutation. We also learned there are two medications he can take since they don’t require that particular enzyme to be metabolized. Mystery solved!!
The biggest gift, however, came from the discovery of two other mutations on a gene called MTHFR which methylates folate (Vitamin B9). Methylation of folate makes it possible for our bodies to utilize it. Folate has many important functions, one of which is to facilitate the production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine our feel good hormones/neurotransmitters. The power of happiness really can be in your genes!!
After researching and factoring in several additional gene mutations, we began supplementing with methylated folate (aka: L-5-MTHF, L-Methylfolate, Folicinic Acid) and noticed a difference within just a few days. With strategic supplementation based on his genetic mutations, a decade of despair and months of intense anxiety attacks were finally lifting!!
MTHFR gene mutations aren’t limited to contributing to depression. Here are several other diseases and symptoms resulting from unsupported MTHFR genetic mutations:
With the gift of seeing my son begin to smile and laugh again and watching his quality of life improve dramatically after just a few weeks, I decided to have my genetics tested as well. I learned I also have MTHFR gene mutations. To give you a better picture of what I’m talking about, here is how my particular MTHFR gene mutations look on my report:
The red Result +/+, indicates I have two mutations of MTHFR C677T which means I am methylating folate at only 10% of functionality. In this scenario I learned supplementation support is incredibly important. If only one copy had been mutated the Result would have been marked as +/- and shaded yellow, indicating support would be helpful. Green (-/-) indicates there are no mutations on the MTHFR A1298C gene.
Interestingly, 40% of the population has MTHFR genetic mutations and 38% of people with depression have a folate deficiency. Not a big difference between those two numbers. If you or someone you know suffers from depression and anxiety (or any of the diseases/symptoms above), genetic testing might be worth looking into and hopefully offer a personalized pathway to feeling healthy and HAPPY.
With genetic testing and reporting available, we have better access than ever to a road map to improved health and well-being personalized from our DNA. The reports make it possible to have a conversation with your doctor and/or health care provider, where together you can identify areas in need of support and decide how best to fill those areas in.
Below I’ve listed the company I used to order our genetic testing kits, pricing and websites with reporting platforms I found very helpful and informative.
1) Request a DNA Kit from www.23andme.com
Genetic Data Reporting Platforms:
There are several websites, books and YouTube presentations on the topic of MTHFR and other gene mutations, which you may discover down the road. The first step, however is to find out whether you need support or not and then begin the journey of mapping out your personalized path to feeling your best.
The information related to Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics is vast, but incredibly fascinating. Please share your stories and let me know if there are areas you would like to know more about. This topic is near and dear to my heart and if I can find ways, through my blog, to help clarify and provide you with resources to healing, it would be my great pleasure to do so!
Peace. So elusive. Like reaching out to catch the wind, or fog. If I could trap it in a bottle and carry it with me, then I could guarantee having it when I need it. But behind glass I cannot feel it, I cannot experience it. All I have is this cold, smooth surface. And when I open the bottle up, it evaporates. But maybe peace isn’t a thing you hold in your hands. At the beach, warm sand, cool breeze, crashing of waves. Here, yes, this place brings me peace. My body is solid, heavy, sinking and relaxed. But then I leave, and go back into the world. How do I bring this peace with me? Maybe peace isn’t external. I close my eyes and return to the beach. It is a capsule of time, gleaming, inside my mind. Not always accessible, especially when I need it. That’s why I meditate. I practice separating from the world of chaos and ego and demands. I return to the core of my being. My true self. The light that shines bright no matter what. Though sometimes I forget it’s there, or forget the power of its light. I go back there, and I am. I exist in the I am for however long I can. Before the flood gates of thoughts, worries, doubts and insecurities fall open and wash over me. And somehow, that light has recharged me. Refilled my sanity gauge, even just a little helps. And I am not flattened by the onslaught. I stand there, I’m soaked, but I’m standing. My jeans are weighed down, and it takes effort to walk forward, but I walk forward. And each time I am still standing, each time I am still moving forward, shows me that I am strong. Proves to me that I don’t have to drown again. That I can, I will, I am at peace.
I am at peace. I am at peace. Oh God I’m losing my mind! My healing is already in progress. My healing is already in progress. Please take this nausea away! I can’t breath! I’m trying. I’m really trying. To stay positive. To focus on the calm, the light. It’s so hard. It’s hard if I think it’s hard. How do I make it not hard. I am calm. I am the light. I am breathing. My heart rate is too fast! In and out, breath in and out. I’m trying not to throw up! Help me please. Make these symptoms go away. I am hanging on. I am healing. I am making incremental improvements. Every day, a tiny bit better, a tiny bit easier. Make it go faster. Start with the nausea! The nausea makes me panic, which creates the nausea. Get off me! Get off my neck! I am breathing. I am calm. I am at peace. I am healing. I am safe. I trust the Universe. I just want to be better already. Hurry up. I just want myself back. I just want existing to be easier. To be easy. Please. Please. Please.
Breathing. Peace. Calm. Comfort. Rest. Light. Ease. Allow. Trust. Heal.
“The more readily you accept the circumstances of your life as they are in this moment, the easier your life becomes. When you struggle against this moment, you’re actually struggling against the entire Universe. And while you may have the intention for your life to change in some way, accepting it, as it is right now, places you in the best position to attain your goals.”
Day 13 – Abundance and the Law of Least Effort
Chopra Meditation Experience, Creating Abundance
I’m fighting and clawing with all my might at the invisible thing choking me, squashing me. And then it occurs to me, the harder I fight and the stronger I push it away…the harder it chokes and squeezes. I’m fighting myself! And I’m losing. Instead of seeing this as an alien trying to destroy me from the outside, I now recognize this fight as coming from inside myself. The only way to win is to accept it. It’s not easy. Instinct wants to kick at, kick off, the intruder. These are real, physical sensations. My mantra: “I accept this.” I keep repeating it. I have to constantly remind myself…accept, accept. But I am finding a measure of peace, despite the sensations. And right now, I’ll take what I can get.
And just like that I’m there again. No sleep last night. And my sanity has unraveled today. Faking it so my daughter doesn’t see. Can’t breath. Can’t find calm. No energy, no appetite, but no rest. Heart pounding, pounding, pounding. I can’t take it. I don’t want to be here. To be. Gotta hang on. Hang on. Gotta remember this is temporary. It has to be.
There you are again. The unwelcome, familiar passenger. Sitting on my chest. Heavy. Unshakable. I can’t breath. Gulping air in but cannot fill my lungs. When I carry you around, you get in the way of everything. I no longer directly touch anything I come in contact with. Everything is a few feet away farther. Just out of reach. Distorted by your interference. When I hug my child. When I hug my husband. When I watch tv. When I eat a meal. When I talk to someone. You make it hard to hear. You make it hard to pay attention, to stay focused. I start to talk and you get in the way, what was I saying, what were the words I was looking for. You’re blocking them. A wall in between me and everything else. If I move fast, can I get around – no, you’re already there. And so I’m not quite myself, not quite inside my body. Because my body is such an uncomfortable place to be. When I’m touched, I don’t feel anything. When I’m spoken to, it’s from miles away. I’m in limbo, not quite anywhere. I’m a balloon, floating further and further away.
I can’t breathe. There’s a tightness around my throat and a pressure on my chest. The nausea is constant. I keep taking big breaths, forcing the air in and out. I keep clawing at my shirt collar, hoping that will help somehow. This is the first time in years I haven’t been on antidepressants during my cycle. I feel so exposed. Like a deep layer of skin has been removed from my body. Every hard word or sound, every jarring or startling experience, feel like chunks of my flesh are sawed off, leaving me shaking and traumatized. It is so uncomfortable to be. It is so exhausting to be. I am trying to remind myself, this is temporary. But every moment, every second, lasts forever. This isn’t a 5 minute panic attack. This is nonstop, unending, ever present from the moment I hit consciousness in the morning until the moment my sleep meds kick in. Please stop. Please stop. Please stop. Please make it stop.
Writing this helps. Posting this makes me feel less alone.