Why Genetic Testing for Mental Health Meds is Important

Posted by ainsleigh @ainsleigh, Feb 11, 2019

@ainsleigh– Recently we learned that my 19 year old Grandson (who has been diagnosed with depression, panic attacks and anxiety) has not been
on the right medication. In fact the one he has been on was in the red (wrong) zone as opposed to green or yellow. Needless-to-say he is tapering off it in preparation to be put on one in the green zone! We did learn this through the Genetic Testing. If you are able to access this testing I would really recommend it!
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

@marjou

Agree. Why isn't this used as a tool to help patients seek better options versus the hit n miss of medications?

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Many of us did use kinetic testing to avoid the hit-and-miss process with psychotropic meds. I think some doctors are insecure having a test tell them what they should prescribe for their patients. You can go to the website and put in your zip code and they will furnish you a list of doctors who will administer the test and explain the results. Then you can take it to your clinic and you are doctor and have it made a part of your permanent medical record. When doctors see these reports they understand that this is something they should be doing because of the wealth of information, page after page after page, detailing how you will metabolize three different classes of drugs is just invaluable.

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@flind

Hi cookie6845 I wanted to respond because I can relate to not wanting to be on effexor! I was on it (venlafaxine) for almost 20 years. I successfully got off in February 2020 (right as Covid-19 was peaking everywhere). It was a horrible ordeal to go through the withdrawals… I'm not sure how much was exacerbated by timing (pandemic stress). But the good news is there is life after effexor! I posted a lot about my experience in Feb on a Mayo thread 'getting off venlafaxine' (something like that title). I might have done better tapering with a 'helper' antidepressant like Lexapro but decided I could handle it knowing what I was in for… I felt I was going crazy but just kept telling myself it was 'okay' that my brain would eventually re-adjust, and eventually it did. But for 2 weeks I felt like I was on hallucinatory drugs day & night – not fun. Anyway – the REASON I am posting here is that 3 years ago I had 2 types of genetic testing (one may have been Genomind). What matters MOST is to have someone qualified to interpret the results. In my case my MD/Psychiatrist said I was deficient in several important neuro-related nutrients/supplements and that if I brought those to functioning levels I wouldn't BE depressed. At the time I did not believe him (as I said, for ~20yrs I 'needed' venlafaxine). About a year later I had established a consistent routine of the recommended supplements. A year after consistently taking these I began having the strange sensation of feeling happy for 'no particular reason'. I also began to notice venlafaxine made me fuzzy-brained. So I began lowering the dose (gradually) which actually made me feel – Less Depressed! So in my case, genetic testing was key to resolving my depression. I was not offered a 'cure' for depression – I had sought genetic testing for a completely separate issue. But the geneticist told me I was seriously deficient in several important vital 'nutrients' that would make me healthier overall. Once I supplemented with these consistently (took 2 years) I was no longer depressed. Every person is different – that's why genetic testing is so important. In the hands of a skilled neuro-geneticist your own individual needs can be assessed. The solution for me would not be applicable to you (or anyone else) because were not genetic equivalents! We all have unique needs. The sooner Doctors learn how to use this testing the better – cookie-cutter medicine should be a thing of the past… It will help with the current system of 'trial and error' prescription of psychotropic medication that causes so much stress and heartache…

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Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your description of weaning off depression meds is wonderful. I have done the same thing but find I still suffer from it more than I would like. I do notice the empty, hopeless, exhausted, sad (and so on and so on) feelings seem to increase when I eat foods that are empty of nutrients. After a few days of those kinds of foods, it may take a week or more for me to "balance" again. I frankly just thought it was me being silly and finding a "reason" for these awful feelings when there truly is no connection between nutrition and "mental health". Now to find a Physician that is willing to work with me. My current Dr. has refused to acknowledge any connection between diet and mental health. She wants me to go back on an anti-depressant. Nope. I have developed a liver issue although the Dr. says the med wasn't a factor. My experience tells me different. Again…valuable information. Thank you.

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@mitzisil

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your description of weaning off depression meds is wonderful. I have done the same thing but find I still suffer from it more than I would like. I do notice the empty, hopeless, exhausted, sad (and so on and so on) feelings seem to increase when I eat foods that are empty of nutrients. After a few days of those kinds of foods, it may take a week or more for me to "balance" again. I frankly just thought it was me being silly and finding a "reason" for these awful feelings when there truly is no connection between nutrition and "mental health". Now to find a Physician that is willing to work with me. My current Dr. has refused to acknowledge any connection between diet and mental health. She wants me to go back on an anti-depressant. Nope. I have developed a liver issue although the Dr. says the med wasn't a factor. My experience tells me different. Again…valuable information. Thank you.

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GeneSight testing could tell you if perhaps you were taking a drug you couldn't metabolize and show you one you can. Google it a learn more. I found it very usefull

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Here is link to MAYO site. They have discontinued April 30, 2020.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/mayoclinic-geneguide

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@cookie6845

Hi, I'm new to this board and am wondering if any of you have had success with genetic testing for depression? My PA doesn't recommend it – says it's too expensive and test results can limit what insurance companies will cover. Would appreciate your feedback.
I've been on Effexor for 25 years and am in the process of weaning myself off. I HATE Effexor!!! I've tried to get off of it in the past and ended up going back on it due to the side effects. I've been on 75 MG for years. I've gone to 37.50 for the past 7 days and now and taking the 37.50 every other day for 7 days. On the 15th day I'll start on Lexapro. Have any of you had success with Lexapro? Thanks for any advice you can give me.

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'Love Lexapro~~it really works for me!

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@wheelerma ME TOO! I also love Lexapro. I still have depression off and on, probably like a normal person. I feel so sorry for my son, because he's Bipolar 1 and really struggles, but his wife protects him. He wanted to come back for his Grandmother's funeral, but she thought it would make him worse again. I think my son is being controlled by his wife. It's hard because we have no contact with him or my precious granddaughter Marlowe. I haven't seen her since she was 3 years old and she is now 8. I do see her by skyping with her, but only if she's at her grandmother's house in Chicago. They are both professors, but my son can't teach because of his Bipolar 1. His wife is a very successful professor and she was teaching at Duke and got her tenur (SP). They are now in NYC and shes at Columbia U. That's enough to make me depressed, but Lexapro has helped and all I can do is pray, come home son.

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Has anyone had MTHFR come back on their genetic testing? I paid four figures after insurance a couple years ago when a doctor ran genetic testing (unbeknownst to me) and this is one of the results. It has depression and anxiety linked to it, which runs in my family might explain that. I have an high sensitivity with medications and would definitely like the testing to find out which meds would work best. Roulette wheel scares me to death with each new med. I'm on Lexapro but am having panic attacks that are getting worse. I guess it's time to up my level on it. I've been resisting but this last one scared me.

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@gldnrtrvrlvr Boy I had trouble putting in your code name. I have been on Lexapro and feel good on it, but I'm also on Klonopin, and Lamictal. Ask your doctor about those two meds. The Klonopin is for anxiety and the Lamictal is used for seizures, but is also a mood elevator. I hope this helps you. I am also depressive and anxiety. I haven't had any panic attacks for some time. Mental Illness runs in our family.

Well we leave Saturday for Mayo. I have to have a Covid-10 test and blood test for it. It has to be done 48 hours before surgery, that's all for Sunday. But, Monday I have a 7:30 appointment for a chest x-ray and then an EKG. Later I see the surgeon and then later he does an exam. We also will go to a class which will help my husband know how to help me once I get home. I'm starting to get nervous, but yet excited. I'm not scared of the surgery. I think I'm more scared once we get home. My husband works full-time out of our house as Cyber Security for Wells Fargo. He is so busy now it just scares me how he is going to take care of me. He will find out at that meeting.
I hope you start feeling better, I know what it is like. My son has bipolar 1 and has a hard time, but my mom had that too and ended up ending up her life at the age of 69.

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@ lilypaws

How are you doing? I hope you'll be able to let me know. Virtual hugs to you.💜

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@wsh66

Many of us did use kinetic testing to avoid the hit-and-miss process with psychotropic meds. I think some doctors are insecure having a test tell them what they should prescribe for their patients. You can go to the website and put in your zip code and they will furnish you a list of doctors who will administer the test and explain the results. Then you can take it to your clinic and you are doctor and have it made a part of your permanent medical record. When doctors see these reports they understand that this is something they should be doing because of the wealth of information, page after page after page, detailing how you will metabolize three different classes of drugs is just invaluable.

Jump to this post

Thanks, that's a great idea and may stop a lot of my adverse drug reactions and bad side effects that are occurring. I'm currently trying to reach my Psychiatrist because we agreed that I'd increase my Lexapro to 15 mg. and that's when I realized it was the medicine that's been causing quite a few problems since I went on it almost a year ago and hadn't put the two together. When you have so many medical conditions going, it's harder to determine what is causing what. I looked up the side effects of Lexapro in great detail and found side effects that I've been struggling with. Now to get through to the doc. They won't take a message and I can't find a way to leave a message for her on her website! I'll look one more time then I'll be walking into the office.

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@lilypaws

@gldnrtrvrlvr Boy I had trouble putting in your code name. I have been on Lexapro and feel good on it, but I'm also on Klonopin, and Lamictal. Ask your doctor about those two meds. The Klonopin is for anxiety and the Lamictal is used for seizures, but is also a mood elevator. I hope this helps you. I am also depressive and anxiety. I haven't had any panic attacks for some time. Mental Illness runs in our family.

Well we leave Saturday for Mayo. I have to have a Covid-10 test and blood test for it. It has to be done 48 hours before surgery, that's all for Sunday. But, Monday I have a 7:30 appointment for a chest x-ray and then an EKG. Later I see the surgeon and then later he does an exam. We also will go to a class which will help my husband know how to help me once I get home. I'm starting to get nervous, but yet excited. I'm not scared of the surgery. I think I'm more scared once we get home. My husband works full-time out of our house as Cyber Security for Wells Fargo. He is so busy now it just scares me how he is going to take care of me. He will find out at that meeting.
I hope you start feeling better, I know what it is like. My son has bipolar 1 and has a hard time, but my mom had that too and ended up ending up her life at the age of 69.

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@lilypaws How're you doing? I've read in other parts that your home now. That was quite a surgery. Do they want you up and walking every day? After my fusion, that's what I had to do. My surgery was in 2013. Lately it feels like my screws are poking me and boy does that hurt.

I will talk to my doctor about those meds if I can but you know doctors don't like patients telling them how to do their jobs! Great way to get them grouchy usually or tell you to leave. I understand about the genetic factor of anxiety/depression as both my kids are dealing with depression and anxiety, my father fought depression all his life and committed suicide at 60, my mother fought anxiety and depression. I don't know beyond that. It wasn't talked about. Now they've labeled Gen Z as having both. How is that possible when they've been given everything? Wish they'd grown up like we did where they'd to go outside and play with friends, no TV, social media, phones, etc. to waste away the day with instead of doing something and having chores to do. My kids did have chores and have to play outside but we're still influenced by the technology advances. It was a fight.

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@gldnrtrvrlvr

Has anyone had MTHFR come back on their genetic testing? I paid four figures after insurance a couple years ago when a doctor ran genetic testing (unbeknownst to me) and this is one of the results. It has depression and anxiety linked to it, which runs in my family might explain that. I have an high sensitivity with medications and would definitely like the testing to find out which meds would work best. Roulette wheel scares me to death with each new med. I'm on Lexapro but am having panic attacks that are getting worse. I guess it's time to up my level on it. I've been resisting but this last one scared me.

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Hi @gldnrtrvrlvr — There is another discussion for MTHFR that you may find helpful to meet other members discussing the gene.

Hyperhomocysteinemia with MTHFR C677T mutations. Does anyone have this: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hyperhomocysteinemia-with-mthfr-c677t-mutations-does-anyone-have-this/

Are you able to discuss the meds with your doctor or pharmacist to see if there are better alternatives?

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