We've heard so many people struggle while trying to figure out the right medication to cure their mental health ails. So we just had to share this segment from Jordan M's mental health story, where he details Genomind, which is a genetic test that helps determine which medication will work for you. Outline below, or read the full story here.
During my athletic days, I understood that more knowledge meant being able to outsmart my opponent. This was especially true as an undersized pitcher that had to use my mind more than my natural born abilities to perform at a high level. Due to this, I immersed myself into the world of mental health research. This research led me to Genomind, a Pennsylvania based corporation that focuses on producing widely accessible genetic testing specifically focused on mental health. Genomind is one of several organizations perfecting this new science, called Pharmacogenomics, which was developed by the Mayo Clinic in 2013. A simple cheek swab is sent to their lab where they’re able to analyze how your body’s genetic makeup will aid or negatively affect the breakdown of common mental health medications within your body. This blew my mind.
“You’re telling me there is a test out there that will assist in telling me which medications will work with my body?”
Yes, please! No more medication roulette. No more waiting for months when I’m prescribed a new medication to see if my mind is being benefited or further derailed. No more praying that the 10th medication in three years will finally be “the one”. As excited as I was to find a local psychiatry office that could perform the test, I was also disheartened at how this mental health breakthrough is mostly unknown. “Shouldn’t this be on the front page of every national health publication?” I asked myself.
Shortly after my test was performed, the results were in. Of course, the numerous medications I had been taking for over a decade were in the “use with caution” column of the results. No wonder I wasn’t making significant progress; I was taking a rather useless medication for my body.
After consulting with my psychiatrist, I was prescribed Trintellix — one of two medications listed on my test results that my body should have a positive reaction with. Within three weeks of my first dosage, my mind begun to feel free for the first time in a decade. The proverbial fog had been lifted. I was back to a baseline that allowed me to experience the good AND inevitable bad days of life. The difference this time around is that those bad days weren’t crippling my mind and body. Instead, I was able to overcome. Don’t get me wrong, this genetic testing isn’t the only solution — nor should it be your only way of conquering your personal battles. I still find solace and strength in counseling, talking openly with my family and friends during my bad times, working out to increase my endorphins and eating a healthy diet that gives my body the nutrients it needs. Further, I rarely drink anymore and have started to practice meditation and mindfulness. However, this new science gave me the ability and more importantly, the proper tools, to fight again.