Doctors: Crazy, Uncaring or Simply Crooked? Or Why Won’t These 5 Physicians Check My Daughter’s Health Before Offering Her SSRIs and Stimulant Meds?

My 20 year old daughter has been tentatively diagnosed with PTSD, narcolepsy and depression. The response of every doctor we have visited has been to poopoo the idea of having a fully physical done before we begin a long-term, costly, life-altering drug regimen. I don’t get this.

The psychiatrist at her college wants her to begin taking Zoloft. Apparently he has been out of touch these last several years when the media has plastered the message, “You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old.” all over the news. (from

When did doctors sell out? When did they stop caring about a person’s actual, physical health and become pill pushers who just want to take the easy way out? There is evidence that diet and narcolepsy are linked. Check this out:

This is some of the data which started my research:
– Narcolepsy-like symptoms in mice have been induced by injecting them with antibodies from narcoleptic humans. No relationship between symptoms and anti-orexin antibodies has been found in narcoleptic patients however, which suggests the possibility that other antibodies are directed against the orexin cells.
-Narcolepsy is strongly associated with an immune antigen gene DQB1*0602, appearing in 90% of patients.
-HLA DQB1*06 alleles are also associated with Non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In fact DQB1*06 alleles seem to confer a higher risk to present neurological rather than intestinal symptoms.
For more information, click here.

For years I have suspected that my daughter has a sensitivity to wheat gluten. My mother has celiacs disease and it is genetic:

Why we get Celiac Disease:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Immune system malfunction
  • Environmental factors

With that being said, why won’t the allergist or our family doctor test the girl for food allergies? I mean, the allergist *did* do a little skin prick test, which he readily admitted would not tell us what we needed to know. He did not offer to give her the blood test that actually gives hard information about sensitivities and allergies. Why not? What are the doctors getting out of having one more kid on drugs? And why was I so uncertain that the doctor even had access to these blood tests?

Partially due to my own naivete but also due to the doctor’s not offering that information. He didn’t want to listen to me and I suspect his opinion was based on appearance. Here I am, a middle-aged, going-gray, housewife. Based on my lack of makeup and exhausted, stressed demeanor I must be an idiot. Right? It could not be assumed that I had been up since 5:30 am, trying to get my daughters, one of whom has a difficult time waking up, out of bed, into the van and through rush hour traffic, 45 miles to Norfolk for a full day of doctors visits that made me look tired, stressed and unkempt. Not even to a man holding my daughter’s chart, complete with address, in his hand.

Ergh! This is all so frustrating. Her health. My being marginalized. The lack of information offered by the doctor.

Eli goes into REM sleep when she is awake. It is not absolutely safe for her to drive and here is a little tidbit from drugs. com: Zoloft can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Seriously? We are going to give an already sleepy kid this medication? Yes, according to our battery of physicians and then? Then we are also going to give her some stimulants to make sure she’s perky during the day.

Now even a going-gray, middle-aged, idiotic housewife can find this: Amphetamines have multiple chemical properties, they are reuptake inhibitors and they are neurotoxins (cause permanent brain damage). (From here.)

And the doctors want to mix this with Zoloft? Bad plan:

A few examples of SSRI induced brain damage are: Hyperserotonemia, such as the lifethreatening condition the Serotonin Syndrome, Epileptiform Discharges, Epileptic Seizures and/or Epilepsy, Hypoglycaemia/Hyperglycemia (Low/Elevated Blood Sugar Imbalance), Stroke/Hemorrhagic Syndromes, Frontal Lobe Syndrome, Tardive Dyskinesia/Dystonia, Parkinsonism, Akathisia, Mania, amnesia, partial or total, etc… (from

etc? What is included in ‘etc.’? The fact is that SSRIs can cause brain damage but our medical professionals prefer to offer this to a previously suicidal young woman, who the standard practice suggests is too young to take it as it may cause her to become suicidal. I’m sorry but WTF?

On the subject of PTSD, Pub Med has this to say: “The current study of 324 women with varying degrees of trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress symptoms … In general, personal reactions were more positive and credibility was stronger for psychotherapy than pharmacotherapy.”

So, for the PTSD anyway, psychotherapy would be better. For ever and ever. Amen.

Here is more information on diet and how it relates to narcolepsy and can be used as a treatment:

Diet also plays a role in wakefulness, although it is not the be-all-and-end-all. Every narcoleptic is different and has different triggers for sleepiness. However, there are many foods that commonly make people sleepy and they can be avoided or eaten at night when it is appropriate to be sleepy. Milk and bread are probably the most commonly sleep-inducing foods. Pasta puts me to sleep in minutes. I have also heard reports of peanut butter and bananas causing sleepiness. Generally, eating protein-rich foods such as meat and eggs for breakfast and lunch and avoiding dairy and a lot of starch during the day helps you stay more alert and reduces the need for naps. Personally, I avoid caffeine and refined sugar, as they may cause a surge in energy for a short period of time, but when the effects wear off I feel extremely drowsy and have to sleep. If I need to drive a long distance, I will drive until I start to feel tired, then pull over for a nap and/or a cup of coffee before continuing. I especially avoid caffeine after 3PM unless absolutely necessary for driving, as caffeine late in the day disrupts my sleep and results in me losing most of the following day to sleep.
the above from: here
more information here.

In some cases, the narcoleptic condition may be attributed a food allergy. (from WebMD)

Narcolepsy may be the result of food intolerances.

Of course, if we run out of options we can always try this: parasitic hookworms could hold the key to treating coeliac disease, which is caused by gluten intolerance.

Disclaimer: I do not really pigeonhole all doctors. This post is about the 4 we’ve seen this week and the college psychiatrist. Thus far we are 5 for 5 who want to medicate without checking her health first. No testing for anemia (she has a history of this), thyroid problems (also a history), cholesterol, or blood glucose levels (several family members are diabetic).


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
This entry was posted in activism, children, decency, Elizabeth, family, health and well-being, opinion, personal. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Doctors: Crazy, Uncaring or Simply Crooked? Or Why Won’t These 5 Physicians Check My Daughter’s Health Before Offering Her SSRIs and Stimulant Meds?

  1. Denise says:

    Have you tried doing a search for a holistic doctor? I personally don't go to one, but they or a 'naturalist' would be very likely to research that side of the situation for you. They are all about the whole body health etc. I wish you luck. You are a momma and you know what is best for your daughter. I would think any Dr at the very least they would want to do a work up on your daughter before starting major meds- even if they weren't looking for those particular links. Geesh. But I know reality is much different. Good luck!

  2. Cerwydwyn says:

    Thank you for leaving a comment! I love comments.We have considered a naturopath or holistic doctor but we are currently trying to work within the boundaries set by our medical insurance. Cost is a huge factor for us. I do intend to go back to college with her after Christmas and set her up for a month of gluten-free eating and see if that helps her at all.

  3. Denise says:

    Sure- I've been lurking a long time- and am often tempted to comment. I really need to just do it. 🙂 I enjoy your honesty and straight forward attitude! Cost definitely is a factor and I hadn't been thinking of it when I commented. As I said I personally hadn't used a Naturopath myself, but it sounded like just what you needed and I believe some day I may. Thankfully we are pretty healthy. It is a shame we can't just visit those we know can help us because of insurance restrictions. I haven't thought about universal health care and what it will mean for those wishing to visit a more natural practice. I'll have to research that. Probably no different in a worse case scenario. I imagine that would just mean paying out of pocket which many do anyway. I wish you luck in finding the right person to help. I'm sorry you are going through this, but you definitely have done some great research and will find the best path I am sure. Hang in there!

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