Deb, 63, Illinois, USA

“It’s liberating to talk about my struggles with mental illness. That is now that I’ve come out on the other side. There was a time I hid my anxiety and depression because I was embarrassed and didn’t understand my emotions.

My symptoms came suddenly in my early 20s with attempted suicide after starting an estrogen birth control pill. Falling into despair, I didn’t know what hit me, and doctors couldn’t explain my change. I was scared. The psychiatrist I saw wanted me to take antidepressants, but I refused. Instead, I exercised to raise my endorphins, which relieved me from the depression but not the anxiety.

I struggled with anxiety for years. At 34 years old, when I gave birth to my first child, my anxiety increased even more, and I suffered postpartum depression. I tried to manage it with exercise again to avoid psychiatric drugs. Unfortunately, my anxiety was more intense than the depression, and fears developed into OCD behaviors, gradually driving me into adrenal fatigue with my second pregnancy five years later. The physical changes were draining, and my emotional stress intensified, causing me to resort to self-harm. So I finally agreed to an antidepressant, but it aggravated my symptoms. Traditional medical and mental health doctors were unaware I was estrogen dominant, my body didn’t metabolize copper properly, and I became copper toxic because estrogen was retaining copper, creating a build-up. The excess copper with nowhere to go disrupted my neurotransmitter activity. I fought my best but couldn’t go through with my second pregnancy. The trauma of choice and the procedure added guilt and shame, worsening my mental health symptoms, and eventually, I gave up my career. The following eight years involved enduring varying dosages of antidepressants, each with its awful side effect. They did little to nothing for my depression and worsened my anxiety with a racing mind and panic attacks while, at the same time, I felt drained and numbed. My loved ones did not know how to help because I had always been a strong, professional working woman seemingly able to handle anything. As a barely functioning depressive person, I took matters into my own hands and went off the antidepressants to feel again.

I got my feelings back. The only problem was they were angry, unhappy residual emotions. My love for my daughter helped me cope and keep fighting to be healthy. Then as I entered early menopause with unbearable night sweats and took hormone replacement drugs with estrogen, my depression became more intense. Not wanting to return to the awful feeling of antidepressants, I sought doctors who use a natural method of correcting imbalances in neurotransmitter activity with advanced nutrient therapy. When these doctors uncovered that all my psychiatric symptoms were hormone-related because my body did not detox copper properly, I felt hope. It took some time to get the excess copper out of my body and balance other depleted nutrients, but I started getting better and progressively healing. I can happily say I am ten years symptoms-free. Since getting the heavy metal out of my body, I no longer suffer fatigue, depression, or OCD, have minimal anxiety and have no side effects. I had a treatable condition that didn’t respond to psychiatric medication. Speaking out about what I went through is much easier now that I have survived copper toxicity and have peace of mind.

Thanks to advanced nutrient therapy normalizing my brain chemistry, eating a low copper diet, and incorporating personal healing practices like meditation and daily self-care routines that work for me, my life has been renewed, and I can smile again. For me stopping the roller coaster trial and error of antidepressants and going, a natural route was a good decision. I’ve learned that a mental health journey is constantly evolving as I work hard to find ways to reduce stress. Stress causes copper to rise. Early on, I relied on self-help books for comfort. Then I moved on to faith-based books, and now I enjoy spiritual practices. And the main thing I share from my journey is that we all have individually unique biochemistries, and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for mental health issues.

I knew in my heart something else was causing my symptoms. But I had the attitude that doctors know best and kept letting them prescribe drugs. If I had to do it again, I would trust my intuition, listen to my mind and body more, and search for answers outside the traditional medical community sooner.

Traditional medical doctors have no training in nutritional supplementation and only test for things they can treat with a pharmaceutical. Copper toxicity has physical symptoms, but because of its many cognitive symptoms, I often receive inquiries from people suffering unnecessarily.

My goal is to create awareness and provide hope for others during their healing journey. I do this through sharing my personal experience in my books, I Cu Copper, and the Internationally Best Selling multi-authored book, Aligned Leaders. I’ve been recognized in the Northwest Herald and written articles for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and Safe Harbor Alternative Treatment. I’ve also been a guest on Radio Health Journal, WCGO Chicago Radio, and Eat For Life Health Podcasts. In addition, the Integrative Mental Health Summit had me as a guest speaker alongside mental health medical professionals.”

You can find more of Deb and her work at the links below:
Instagram: @debtokarzauthor


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