SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Treatment options for mental health issues can include medication — but it can be frustrating if it doesn’t work or have debilitating side effects.
Thankfully, a simple test could provide a lot of answers.
That’s the next part of our series The Suicide Crisis: Prevention, Information, And Awareness.
Karin Baughman, Freeman Ozark Center, “The results help us know if there’s any specific drug-gene interaction.”
A quick swab test offered through Freeman Health System can let a mental health patient know if they are a slow, rapid, or intermediate metabolizer of specific drugs.
“By the time they come to our setting in the Specialty Office, they’ve already trialed many things. They’ve usually tried something over the counter, they’ve tried exercise, they’ve been to their primary care doctor and tried a couple of anti-depressants many times.”
Karin Baughman at Freeman Ozark Center says those patients feel like guinea pigs — trying so many different medications to treat symptoms — only to have them not work.
“We get the genetic test back and we’re like, oh that’s why that was causing that problem for you.”
The test is fairly simple — come as you are.
It’s offered at both Hope Spring and Will’s Place For Youth.
And, results come back in about 2 to 3 weeks.
“We can show them that, in fact, there probably won’t be a drug-gene interaction and how we can more precisely guide the treatment.”
A sigh of relief for people who feel like they’ve tried everything.
Now, they finally have some answers.
“When people come in and they’re hopeless, they are not enjoying life, they’ve started to remove themselves from their everyday activities. They might not be currently going to work or going to work regularly. They’re isolating at home. They’ve quit doing activities they enjoy. Starting to see them come back and participate in life fully again and enjoy those activities is so rewarding.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and needs someone to talk to, we urge you to call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-talk.
We also have more resources for you on Fourstateshomepage.com — just click on the news tab and then the suicide crisis link.