Are you against medication?

I am against medication for me, but I’m not against medication for everyone. I have several close friends and family members who are on antidepressants, and I do not believe in judging people for their choices or giving them an ultimatum about what’s “right.” How you decide to pursue your mental health treatment is extremely personal, and you have to make the decision that’s right for YOU — in your heart, your mind, and your spirit. I do believe that antidepressants are grossly overprescribed, and that the majority of patients are not given proper informed consent (i.e., fully warned of the potential side effects and outcomes of a medication before taking it). However, you’ll never hear me making blanket claims that they’re horrible for everyone.

How are you comfortable writing about something so personal?

Being vulnerable and open is tough. When it comes to mental health, not enough people are doing it. By sharing my story, my hope is that I can help others and do my part to chip away at the stigmas surrounding mental illness.

What were you diagnosed with?

I was diagnosed with multiple mood disorders by multiple professionals. However, I give little weight to my diagnoses. One professional diagnosed me with major depression and PTSD; another said I had bipolar type II, social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, impulse control disorder, ADD, dissociation, and agoraphobia. Today, I live without the symptoms associated with these conditions.

What medications were you on?

The two primary medications I took during the 1.5 years I was on psychiatric medication included generic brands of Zoloft (150 mg at my highest dose) and Lamictal (200 mg). I also tried a handful of other drugs, including Abilify, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Lexapro, Neurontin, Xanax, Risperdal, and Intuniv. 

Is paleo hard?

If you’re eating a standard American diet (SAD) and don’t like to cook, then paleo might be hard for you. It does take an adjustment period. Personally, paleo is not hard for me — it’s what makes my body feel best, and therefore, the extra kitchen prep and planning are worth it. Cravings for junk food eventually subside, too.

When are you going to stop eating paleo?

This isn’t a quick-fix diet for me; it’s my lifestyle. It’s a lovely, lifelong endeavor. While I no longer eat super-strict paleo all of the time (I sometimes incorporate white rice and goat dairy, which I tolerate), I still consider the eating plan the foundation of my diet.

What are your credentials?

I’m certified through the Nutritional Therapy Association as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), and I am also a certified Reiki Master Practitioner. I have a bachelor’s degree in writing from Columbia College Chicago.