Let me take a personal journey for a moment in hopes that I will help someone else be able to say, “I won the battle with depression and got off antidepressants.”
Sunny Mila (Chia) Dreamsicle Smoothie
I felt like a three ton weight was pressing on my shoulders and wanted to just lie in my darkened closet and not come out.
One of the hardest parts was that I looked normal.
It is not easy to share the details of my life in a public forum like this, in fact I’ve had this post written for a while and continued to put off posting it because I just wasn’t sure I wanted to put it out there, but I’m going to do so in the hopes that I might be able to help someone else.
My life was (and is) seemingly perfect. I have a supporting and loving family, husband and daughter, a wonderful home, a job, I have figured out my passion, I have all my limbs and hey, I live in Florida, how bad can things actually be?
I was suffering from major depression. What made it worse was that I should NOT be depressed, right? I should have felt only happiness and gratitude. And I DID, but I also had a cloud that hung over my head and no matter how much I tried to talk myself out of it, read positive books, think positive thoughts, it would still be there. It was so bad that I would cry almost every day on the way on the drive to work and many days on the way home. When I got to work I would blow my nose, put some cover-up around my eyes, slap on some powder and put my glasses on to cover it up. I was exhausted all the time, so much so that it felt like physical pain. I would tell my mom this almost daily. Mom I’m so tired it hurts.
I had an aging (and very noisy) Labrador, Madison, that would wake me at night and afterwards I wouldn’t fall back to sleep which made the exhaustion worse. One particular weekend stands out in my memory. Some friends, Matt and Stephanie, came in town and several couples were going out for dinner. My hubby was busy doing something that I can’t recall so I was going to go myself. I put on a beautiful new dress that had the colors of the ocean, blues and greens, and drove to my friend Justine’s house 45 minutes away from mine to see them. Everyone was chatting and gathering their things to head to dinner. I tried to put on my game face but I was so worn down that I was wrestling with myself. Just suck it up and go, you’ll be fine. And the next thought, I’m so tired it hurts. I just want to sit at home and wallow. The exhaustion won. I said I’m so sorry, I can’t do it. I have to go home. I’m exhausted. I envisioned everyone mentally rolling their eyes at me. Of course they weren’t, but I was so embarrassed. I’m still embarrassed about that day and sad that I missed seeing Matt and Steph. I was too young to be that tired. Anyone is too young to be that tired.
That memory always fades into another; my husband and I were staying in St Augustine to celebrate the “February Birthdays” with about five other couples, and I was so worried about even making it to dinner, never mind out afterwards for drinks and music. I was so tired that I wanted to forgo dinner at the Floridian and just stay in my hotel room at the Edgewater by myself. I drank two red energy drinks and one and a half of those little energy bottles and was still exhausted. I was so embarrassed that I would resort to drinking such chemicals when I have a food blog about eating a healthy, plant based diet.
The story of how I won the battle with depression and got off antidepressants.
I was on the highest dosage of Bupropion I could be on and I had tried many of the other antidepressants. Nothing seemed to work. My poor mom is a saint for listening to me through all the crying.
On a particularly dark day I said enough was enough and called my physician to see if she would increase my dosage again. I told her I just want to be a zombie. Get through the day. Go home. I don’t want to feel this weight any more. She said no. You are on the highest dosage. It can not be increased any more, Dawn. I cried about that.
My hair was falling out so I fired my hair dresser thinking that he had over-processed my hair.
Then one day I got an email from my mom’s neurology nurse practitioner, Megan. (My mom has Multiple Sclerosis.) Megan, asked me if I would do a talk on food, nutrition, recipes and my CSA (KyV Farm) for her MS group she runs and I told her of course, I would love to. She said my mom had been telling her about my food blog and she got very excited because she is vegetarian.
Things would come up and I didn’t get around to it, but we continued to talk and become friends. She became a regular follower of my blog and we would occasionally discuss recipes offline.
A while later I did a few posts about flax and chia seed. Once again she contacted me and said she saw I was eating chia seeds. I said yes, and told her how I was eating lots of organic chia and freshly ground flax daily. She asked if I had tried Mila, a raw seed blend. I said no and asked if it is organically grown and non GMO. She said yes to organic and no to GMO. She said I’d be happy to share some with you. I said as long as it’s one ingredient and is a whole, raw food, send it on over. I’d try it.
A few days later I got a large bag of seeds. Being the health nut that I am I cracked it open and began eating it. About three weeks into it I noticed better digestion, more energy and I was falling back to sleep after Madison woke me up at night. Hmm…well that was nice. The seeds I was eating before hadn’t had the same effects. I started getting low and asked her for more. About three months into eating it I noticed something about my depression. Not that I wasn’t getting upset, but that I wasn’t crying all the time. I seemed to be able to get over the hump easier.
Eager to get off any pharmaceuticals, I decided to cut out one day a week of taking them, after a week or two I cut out two days. And so on and so forth.
After a few months I was completely off pharmaceutical antidepressants, and for some reason I didn’t put two and two together. But I finally thought about it and the ONLY thing I had changed was this food.
I did some research. I found many studies about high amounts of Omega 3’s helping the symptoms of depression. The blend I was eating has 3000mg per serving, I know other brands do as well, but for some reason the organic kind I was eating before didn’t touch the depression.
The fact that I had no idea this was one of the “side effects” of eating this whole, raw food until after I was off the meds was what really moved me.
My hair started growing back in. I didn’t realize that many people experience hair loss on high dosages of antidepressants, so now that I was off them, my hair started growing back. Now, over a year later, I don’t even take one medication, my weight is lower and I have more energy. I can’t remember the last time I drank a disgusting red energy drink or took those little energy bottles. I have a cup or two of coffee in the morning because I enjoy it, and that’s all I need. I get up between 4:15 and 4:40 am and typically get to bed around 9 or 10 pm.
I’m so thankful that Megan sent me that purple bag of seeds that was so different than everything I had tried before that I think of her daily with gratitude.
The best part is that the three ton weight is gone. And I’m happy to say I finally did do that talk for the MS group and had a great time.
This is my story. I’m not embellishing or exaggerating. I still absolutely do get upset about things but am able to deal with them a bit better and find my moods much more even. I did join the business with Megan in order to share information about my story and the food that helped me so much and I’m so proud to represent it. I tell people about it like a good movie or good restaurant. If they want to try some, great and if not, that is fine too. I am NOT by any means saying that what I found will cure anything whatsoever, and I’m NOT giving any advice on how to get off antidepressants, all I know is my own experience and how it helped me. Everyone’s bodies are different and react differently to foods. Please also notice that I said it took THREE months. If I had been expecting the effects of this food I probably would have gotten impatient. Because I didn’t know this was a benefit of this food, it was like an added bonus. And what a bonus!
All I ask is that you treat yourself with love and consider the side effects of taking any sort of pharmaceutical BEFORE you start. Your doctor will most likely NOT try to treat any ailment through food and nutrition before going to pharmaceuticals. There are a very few like Megan and if you have found one, hold on to them like gold.
I have no idea what other ailments my body was suffering from those high dosages of antidepressants, not to mention the energy drinks but I am so thankful, every day, that I found this food.
I am so blessed to be able to say “I won the battle with depression and got off antidepressants!” If you have questions about my experience please contact me at chefdawn (at) hotmail.com.
“If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Sunny Mila (Chia) Dreamsicle Smoothie
Sunny Mila Dreamsicle Smoothie
Vegan, Gluten Free
1 cup vanilla almond milk
2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 frozen banana, chopped
1 scoop (2 Tbsp) Mila
**If using unsweet vanilla almond milk, you can add a bit of agave, honey or sweetener of choice
1. Blend everything together and enjoy!
“While it is true that many people simply can’t afford to pay more for food, either in money or time or both, many more of us can. After all, just in the last decade or two we’ve somehow found the time in the day to spend several hours on the internet and the money in the budget not only to pay for broadband service, but to cover a second phone bill and a new monthly bill for television, formerly free. For the majority of Americans, spending more for better food is less a matter of ability than priority. p.187”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 184.5 mg
Potassium 460.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 43.9 g
Dietary Fiber 11.2 g
Sugars 28.2 g
Protein 6.5 g
Vitamin A 10.8 %
Vitamin B-6 14.6 %
Vitamin C 7.7 %
Vitamin D 25.0 %
Vitamin E 50.7 %
Calcium 53.3 %
Copper 4.6 %
Folate 2.4 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 7.7 %
Manganese 20.9 %
Niacin 1.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 14.0 %
Riboflavin 5.0 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 1.5 %
Zinc 0.6 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Everyone knows pills are the answer and wants to be able to say “I got off antidepressants“. If you want to try mila for yourself click this link and then click “shop” and use US11065661. Mila is retail $55 and wholesale membership club $45 for a monthly supply.