My name is Matthew Konstantin (pronounced Kon-stan-teen), and I run mentalhealthmiracle.com and wrote the ebook The Mental Health Miracle.
I’m 34 years old and live in Canada, and am currently finishing my last year in school to become a natropathic doctor.
My struggles with mental health began around the age of 13 or 14. I developed the belief of “there’s something wrong with me”, mainly due to the fact that I had trouble expressing my thoughts and beliefs, and basically just had trouble being myself. This may seem like a silly reason for someone to think that there’s something wrong with them, but for me at the time this was huge. I still to this day don’t know where this feeling came from. I was a very happy child and never had any issues like this at all… it just seemed to come out of nowhere.
My best guess is that smoking marijuana around that time brought an awareness to a part of myself that I had never been in touch with before, which ultimately brought me a lot of confusion.
Anyway… I was convinced I had a defect in my brain that wouldn’t just allow me to be normal… I felt like something was missing.
I carried this belief around with my for the next 15 years. It was an area of intense focus for me, always in the back on my mind. I developed considerable anxiety in dealing with people because of it, and over the years it totally unraveled my confidence. I began thinking other things were wrong with me… my memory, my comprehension skills, my ability to feel emotions, etc. Around 20 or so I developed OCD (which I believe was as offshoot of my anxiety, combined with a great deal of self-doubt), and I also became very depressed.
I never really told anyone about my struggles but finally decided that I needed some help. I made an appointment with my family doctor who could see pretty clearly that I was depressed, so he prescribed me the anti-depressant Effexor. I was all too happy to accept the medication because I thought it would “fix me”. Little did I know the horror I would experience as a result of this medication.
I will admit that I did receive some benefit from the Effexor… it helped with my mood and anxiety slightly, however it did absolutely nothing to change my core belief of “there’s something wrong with me”.
Throughout my years on Effexor I saw a psychologist and a psychiatrist, and can say that I received minimal benefit from either one. I will be writing a post soon on the shortcomings of both psychiatry and psychology, and how neither really gets to the root of a person’s suffering.
Anyway… coming off of Effexor was easily the worst experience of my life. A depression hit me like nothing I had ever felt before. My life unraveled. I had near panic attacks where I felt like I was going to lose my mind. I had terrible “head zaps” whenever I moved my eyes or head around. I tried desperately to overcome the withdrawal on my own, but it was so severe that I needed to go on another medication… this time Cipralex.
I’m still a little resentful (something I need to let go of) at my prescribing doctor for giving me this horrible pill without exploring my situation further. He could have recommended I exercise, he could have asked about my nutrition, he could have checked my vitamin D and vitamin B12 status (low levels are associated with depression), and finally he could have made at least some effort to understand what I was going through. He did none of this, and moreover basically yelled at me for believing that the symptoms I was experiencing in coming off the med were real withdrawal (he told me it was because I needed the medication). That god I didn’t listen to him.
On Cipralex I gradually climbed out of the hole I was in over a period of probably close to a year. The severe depression and anxiety went away over a few weeks to a month, but I wasn’t really back to myself for a long time.
While on Cipralex I discovered natural medicine. Up until I was close to 30 I had no idea that there were other options out there for mental health other than prescription meds. In reality there are MANY superior natural methods to treating anxiety and depression that a pill simply won’t give you (see: my ebook).
Moreover I met a few very special people over the following years who helped me realize the error in my core belief. I didn’t want to listen at first and it took me a while to fully release the idea of “there’s something wrong with me”, but releasing this belief was essential to my healing.
And here I am today… medication free and feeling better than I have in a very long time. I hope my ebook and/or my blog can help you overcome your mental struggles as well.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me.