Kurt Swensen

Online Recovery Support – 503.407.6903


kurtswensen.com, Dr. Kristen Allott’s Fall Newsletter

A Plan for getting off antidepressants…………..

Jane markets software development.  She is a 35-year old, “got it together,” professional woman.  At least, that’s the way it seems on the outside.  As a networking master, success flows easily for Jane, so easily she runs on automatic most days.

It’s those early-morning, mental, gymnastic sessions that are driving her nuts!  Months of waking up at 3:00 AM with her mind racing in all directions from setting appointments with prospective clients that she has been wanting to see for two years to questioning if she wants to have Sam’s babies . . . or not . . . Jane is beginning to believe that Sam and she have a future together . . . She used last week’s early wake ups to work through the fact that she and Sam more than just like each other.  They may be able to create a long-term relationship. Meanwhileshould I be thinking about children when I have a wild obsession with Doritos and dirty martinis? . . . Could that be why I’m gaining weight? . . . I’ll talk to Sam about this tonight.  We’re meeting at the Matador in Ballard for . . Well . . . it began in my 20s.  I was a vegetarian at the time . . About that same time, I began taking antidepressants . . . I’ve never been without them . . . Well, for not more than three weeks since then . . Could . . . Maybe . . . Hold it!  Hold all those thoughts.  And, hold this thought, too: I’ve got to get myself together.

For Jane, getting herself together means scheduling a yearly check up with her health care provider, seeing her therapist, and taking care of some unfinished matters that she has let ride for too long, like getting off the antidepressant.

Several weeks later, Jane’s health care provider encouraged her to consider seriously dropping 15-20 pounds, because of the history of diabetes in her family. In the same week, her mental health professional referred Jane to Dynamic Paths to assist her in getting off antidepressant medications.  While taking the medications, Jane has noticed her body thickens and she experiences decreasing sex drive.  Over the last few years, she has tried unsuccessfully to stop taking the antidepressants several times.  Now seems the right time to focus on this issue again, given the positive nature of her relationship with Sam and the momentum building in Jane’s “getting it together” campaign.

Jane read the Dynamic Paths’ website.  She noted the various services and spoke to Dr. Kristen Allott by phone.  She discovered Dr. Allott and Heather Brummer provide similar assessments and new patient orientations.  Jane decided to meet with Heather, who sees clients after work several evenings weekly.  “I liked the idea of two people reading my screening results and consulting over my condition.  Besides, my initial costs will be less, when I see Heather, and more within my “getting it together” budget.

Heather and Jane worked together on three occasions, and after some simple menu changes, Jane began sleeping through the night.  She noticed she had more energy.  Is the “getting it together” campaign working?  she pondered. Well, . . . yeah!  I can tell I’m changing and that is encouraging. Yeah! I’m even willing to do a little more in the way of exercising–just a little more.

At the end of their third meeting, Heather provided a lab slip from Dr. Allott. Heather explained that Dr. Allott wanted to be sure that Jane’s body was absorbing nutrients given her changes in food choices.  “The lab work will allow us to answer this question.”  Heather stated, “Do you have sufficient nutrients for making dopamine and serotonin before starting the weaning off process from the antidepressant?”

Jane’s next time at Dynamic Paths was with Dr. Allott to discuss the results of her lab work. Dr. Allott spelled out how Jane’s nutrient deficiencies had contributed to her overall fatigue and long-term depression.  In that session, she asked permission to call Jane’s referring therapist to share the laboratory findings.  They confirmed the mental health professional’s intuitions.  Jane did need a stronger and healthier body as well as emotional support to reach her “getting it together” goals.

Jane returned again to the convenient evening times with Heather.  Together they implemented the plan to strengthen Jane’s body.  During this same period, Jane continued to see her therapist to talk through concern’s of Jane’s about marrying Sam and having children.  The therapist also supported Jane as she learned to manage a broader range of emotions during the withdrawal from the antidepressant medication.

With the additional nutritional support, practical steps, and the encouragement from Heather and Dr. Allott, this time around Jane succeeded in reaching her health goals.  Whatever comes next in life for Jane, she is ready.

EVENING CLINIC HOURS SHIFT to WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS     Heather will be working with Dynamic Paths’ patients on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  These evenings are available for folks who require after-five scheduling.  We welcome your call at 206.579.2757 to set an evening session that meets your particular needs.

ANTICIPATING THE HOLIDAYS? JOINS US AT THE MEET UP GROUP        The Meet Up Group continues as faithful and enthusiastic members, reaching out and welcoming new participants on the first Wednesday of each month.  These gatherings center on compassionate options regarding food and exercise.  They are led by Heather Brummer at the Dynamic Paths’ facilities on 89th street in Seattle from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.  We have space for you and an interested friend.

SCHEDULE FORECAST for DR. ALLOTT                                                         I will have 1-2 new patient openings in November.  Please call me at 206.579.2757 and we’ll set a time convenient for you personally.

SHARING TOOLS for MENTAL HEALTH with FRONT LINE CARE NURSES     What an event! On November 2nd, I will be presenting “Tools for Mental Health: Diet and Labs” to participants at the 36th Annual Advanced Practices in Primary and Acute Care Nursing Conference, being held in Seattle.

I find that exchanges such as this one can be eye-opening for those of us who, day in and day out, are doing the very best we can with patients who struggle with mental health disorders.  I plan to come loaded with what I’ve learned about the usefulness of individualized food screenings and lab work ups to aid us in the selection of strategies that make a difference in the lives of our patients.  If you are one of these nurses, I look forward to meeting you.

Best wishes for your good health,


Kurt Swensen • October 30, 2013

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