Discouraged About Finding Anxiety Help? Try Genomics
Harness the power of your genomic blueprint to feel emotionally healthier.
Posted March 24, 2016
Every so often in my clinical work a case stumps me. In my forty plus years of psychology practice I have collected a large basket of varied kinds of interventions that offer help for depression, anger, anxiety and couples troubles. No one intervention works for everyone, but at least one, and usually a combination of several, works for almost everyone I have seen.
Still, when a case does prove unresponsive to any of the diverse treatment methods I use, I open my basket to new treatment options. That's why genomics has caught my eye. I can't vouch for its scientific validity. I have seen though that it can work.
I recently met a physician who has a similar penchant for collecting new approaches to healing: Roberta Kline, M.D. Here's the article Dr. Kline wrote in response to my questions about the off-the-main-highway treatment methods called genomics that she has found effective.
Thank you Dr. Kline for sharing the following case example with my PsychologyToday.com readers.
Genomics: New, and Often Highly Effective
Jessica felt helpless, hopeless and alone, but she was a fighter.
She had just turned 18, was realizing her dream of living in the big city, but struggled with worsening anxiety. Her life was falling apart-- she couldn’t sleep, was having panic attacks, was exhausted and not eating well, couldn’t focus in school and felt lost. How could this be happening to me?
Jessica sought help from a psychiatrist, but soon found herself in the hospital suffering from serious medical, mental and emotional side effects from the multiple prescribed medications. It took weeks to detox from those meds, forcing her to drop out of school.
Determined never to be in this kind of situation again, Jessica vowed to find other ways to manage her anxiety.
Jessica’s online searches revealed a treasure trove of information about nutrition and emotional health. Always a picky eater, she branched out and experimented with different diets and supplements. Still, after months of trial and error, she was no closer to figuring out what was best for her, no closer to getting back to school.
Confused and disappointed, Jennifer faced the realization that experimenting was not revealing the "right" answer for her. While she continued to believe the well-established principle that eating “healthy” benefits a person in multiple ways, what might be a better approach?
How do you sift through all the hype and know what YOU really need?
The "right" answer starts with your genes, your DNA. Your DNA provides instructions for everything. It instructs your body to optimize nutrients, balance emotional and physical bodies, protect you from foreign invaders and provide vital energy. Sometimes however glitches in the DNA code that writes these instructions creates a faulty switch in a person's "software." When these switches are put into an unhealthy environment, the system may falter or crash.
Wait, I might have faulty switches in my DNA?
We all do. Fortunately, if you know what yours are you can learn what to do about them. Faulty switches in DNA can lead to human diseases. Different from inherited diseases, small changes in your DNA called SNPs (pronounced "snips”) are common. More than 10 million have been discovered in the human genome. SNPs can cause problems in your body’s biochemistry and metabolism if they are not being supported by the right diet and lifestyle choices.
So how did this help Jessica?
We looked "under the hood", unzipping Jessica’s DNA to find the many faulty switches (SNPs). Here are some of the highlights of the plan we then created to address her emotional health:
- Increase omega 3 fatty acids- but only from animal sources. Jessica is unable to utilize the form found in plants.
- Increase choline and folate - These switches are faulty; she needs more.
- Vitamin D- Because Jessica’s body does not produce vitamin D from sunlight and her cells also have trouble using the vitamin D she gets from food, she needs a supplement.
- CoQ10, critical for energy, is useless for her because she can’t convert it into the active form. She needs the supplement ubiquinol.
- Organic foods are important in this case. Jessica does not have the ability to process the chemicals in pesticides or heavy metals like mercury or arsenic which are toxic to her body and brain.
- Jessica has faulty switches in her stress response. She produces excessive adrenaline. In addition, her body does not adequately break down the excess adrenaline, so it stays in her system longer, contributing to anxiety. She needs stress management, extra B vitamins, magnesium and Sam-e.
With so many faulty switches associated with ability to process OTC and prescribed medications, Jessica was cautioned against taking any medication unless her prescribing physician knew her SNPs and could adjust the dose accordingly.
When Jessica could see her unique DNA profile, she understood what she needed and why. Now she had a roadmap!
Within a few weeks Jessica began feeling markedly better.
As often happens in response to successful treatment, Jessica then started to wonder if she really needed to stick so closely to her plan. As she became casual about her plan, the anxiety flared again. Now, while she is not perfect in following her plan, she does adhere to it most of the time.
Now, Jessica’s anxiety arises only occasionally. When it does begin to flare, she manages it easily with the methods from her plan. She returned to school, graduated with honors, and is now pursuing her music career.
So what do YOU need for nagging health difficulties that conventional treatments do not seem to help?
Get tested by a knowledgeable practitioner and together create your own personalized health blueprint.
Bobbi Kline MD, FACOG is a functional medicine and genomics practitioner, Co-founder and CEO of Genomic Solutions NOW! and NCG Health Solutions, dedicated to helping patients and practitioners harness the power of our genomic blueprints for health.
For more information: https://www.gsnuniversity.com
Susan Heitler, Ph.D., a popular PsychologyToday blogger whose posts have received over 7 million reads, practices as a clinical psychologist in Denver. Her new book Prescriptions Without Pills, offers self-help versions of the techniques she uses in her practice to quell depression, anger and anxiety and to keep relationships humming along smoothly.