"At the young age of 18, I had a collapse of familiar reality. Four days and many ER visits later, I was in a psychiatric hospital being diagnosed with Bipolar 1.
My early twenties were rocky and unstable. Many combinations of meds and therapy provided me with very little symptom relief. My doctors were considering ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) at one point. I continued to trend downward until my family moved to Colorado, dragging my catatonically depressed self along with them. The merciful gods must have guided my mother’s hands as she located an integrative child psychiatrist, Dr. Scott Shannon, who was willing to treat me, even though I was a 20-year-old. We used acupuncture and Hardy's clinical-strength micronutrients, Daily Essential Nutrients (DEN). It took about six months but soon thereafter I commented to my sister that I had a feeling of what “normal” might be.
I was able to work several part-time jobs, attend college full-time and get good grades. This trend of “remission" or feeling 100% healthy and medication-free continued for many more years. There was a time when I moved out of state to Idaho with my then-boyfriend. We were strapped for money and I stopped purchasing my micronutrients.
There was a marked decline in my mood, my agitation climbed back up, and my anger and impulsivity came back with a vengeance. I started to get mean and live in a very emotional, black-and-white world. It was hard. I had to end the relationship and move home. I dragged around for a while, enrolled in college and then saw the campus psychiatrist. He prescribed another combination of meds, mood stabilizers, an ADHD medication, an anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety meds, all of which made me feel like I was in a land of numbed surrealism. I declined in function and dropped out of college.
I would have periods of functionality, but it was hard. Then the bottom really fell out when I became pregnant with my daughter. I had to abruptly taper off my meds at the onset of the pregnancy. I used the micronutrients in a scant way and had a very up and down pregnancy marked by mood lability and anger. I even felt suicidal during my pregnancy. It was a rough time.
I used Buspar and a low dose of Zoloft but I didn’t feel like myself. Then postpartum stress set in. I became somewhat catatonic again. I remember not having any energy, very little milk production and not much ability to get off the couch. Then I experienced a trauma when my daughter was 10-months-old that really impacted my mental health and resulted in the first hospitalization I had since the age of 18.
I was hospitalized for two weeks, feeling very manic and very psychotic. The next few years brought more inpatient stays, deeper levels of digestive and physical pain, and distress which began to manifest as dysfunction. I lost my small business ownership to another manic episode in 2018 and was so drugged in the hospital that I fell and broke my jaw.
The road to recovery was even more challenging. My family rallied and we quested back towards the care of the Colorado team where Dr. Scott Shannon was still working. I was given more testing and discovered a new autoimmune factor in my mental health challenges. I knew I had celiac disease and hashimotos but I also learned that I had a folate receptor auto-antibody and the homozygous MTHFR gene SNP.
My new course of treatment involved tapering off about six medications and supplying myself again with the micronutrients and folinic acid. I also started changing my diet to avoid the inflammatory foods that were compromising my ability to absorb nutrition.
I had another inpatient stay in 2020 at the start of the pandemic due to some residual PTSD. I was put back on a mood stabilizer at that time. Once out, I began to add back in my micronutrients and eat the right foods. I quickly rejoined the world, smashing it in sales at work and juggling the repair of relationships while improving my life.
I want to tell you that these micronutrients are powerful. They feed my brain the minerals it needs to keep up without short-circuiting. The Daily Essential Nutrients are the difference between my being a “treatment-resistant" babbling lunatic and the clear, calm, health coach who is showing people ways to live better."