As ridiculous as the above question appears to be at first read, I assure you, it’s not. Let me back up to fully explain why I ask this. I believe I’m on to the answer, but only more time will really tell. (Although, I believe it to be absolutely true at this point.)
Last summer, our little family decided to have a trip to the local farmers market, the same farmers market in which I had my Gluten-Free, Mother of Three booth four years ago. Since then, I’ve only visited the market perhaps three times; this was one of the three times.
While perusing the fruits and veggies, a former customer of mine spotted me, ran up to me, and really wanted to share with me what she’d been going through with this new doctor of hers. (This former customer, like my daughter, had celiac, anxiety and depression.) She told me that I needed to check into the MTHFR gene. Because I didn’t have paper handy, she said to remember Monday, Thursday and Friday. It worked because I did remember it. She said that she was being tested to see if she had that because it would mean that her body couldn’t process and absorb folate properly. She said that I should consider giving my daughter, whom she knew about, methylated folate to see if it might help her. She stressed that it needed to be the methylated form (bodily-ready) and that it needed to be folate, NOT folic acid.
I didn’t know if this would help my daughter or not, but while it was still fresh in my mind, I went to the health food store and found a bottle of methylated folate. I took it home, put it in my kitchen cabinet, and waited to speak with my daughter’s pediatrician about it to see if this could possibly help her.
My daughter’s doctor is wonderful. She said that it sounded interesting and that she would ask around and speak with people who would know about this and that she would get back to me in about a week. In about a week, she did. She consulted with some of the best minds in this field (over at Stanford), and their conclusion was that there probably wasn’t much to this. She said it wouldn’t hurt her to take it, but that it probably wouldn’t do any good. Disappointed, I gave up on the folate and left it in the kitchen cabinet.
Months went by. During this time, we continued to live in a never-ending nightmare with my daughter. We changed her meds from Lexapro to Prozac. On Lexapro, she was depressed and really sleepy. All she wanted to do was sleep. On Prozac, she was even worse than she was before. She was angrier, more miserable and impossible to deal with on any level. That’s when my husband and I decided to take her off of Prozac and to try a more holistic approach. We figured it couldn’t get much worse than it already was.
On the 3rd of January of this year, 2017, as a hail Mary, I secretly started giving my daughter methylated folate. I didn’t tell my husband about it for a couple of days. I crushed it up and slipped it into her morning tea. It was only 1000 mcg per day. I kid you not, that same day, on the first day, she showed improvement. The next day she asked if she could go to see her best friend. She hadn’t been willing to see her or to even speak with her for stretches of months over a two-year period. She not only went to her friend’s house, but she stayed there for hours before I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up. My daughter was nearly unrecognizable to me. She was happy. She was social. She was normal.
That very same weekend, my husband’s plan was to take our daughter out to run errands with him, just to get her out of the darkness of her bedroom. Much to his surprise, she went along happily. During the errands, his plan was to stop at his sister’s house and to try to get our daughter into their house just long enough to make an appearance. To their shock, our daughter went in, sat around the kitchen table with my husband, his sister and her husband, and conversed for an hour. Our daughter, who would normally refuse to get out of the car, not say a word, and would hope to not be seen at all, was vocal and animated. She talked, laughed and joked around.
When my husband came home, I asked him how it went. He pulled me aside and said he was blown away. He couldn’t believe how normal she was. (It actually takes a lot to blow my husband away, so for him to say this was a big deal.)
I didn’t want to get too excited because I was uncertain how long this euphoria would last. My daughter continued to show significant signs of happiness and well-being. She was talking to us. She was hanging out in the same room as us. She wasn’t depressed or angry. We would catch her giggling to herself while reading something on her phone. She was stable and actually, well, pleasant.
This pleasantness lasted for exactly two weeks. She then plummeted right back to where she was. I was distraught over this. I was so hopeful that we’d found the answer, at least, an answer. Then, out of the blue, the same lady from the farmers market who’d told me about folate, emailed me. She started with, ” I don’t know if you remember me or not.” Holy cow! Are you kidding me? “Of course I remember you!” was my answer.
I proceeded to tell her about our experience with folate and how it was going beautifully, and then how it all of a sudden dropped off. She then said, “Are you balancing it with a B12?” I told her no, I wasn’t. She said I should do that. I did. Two days later, my daughter was back up to the level she was before the drop-off.
Since then, which was two months ago, she’s been stable. She’s been social, she’s been visiting with her friend, talking to her other long-lost friends, and she even spent the last weekend at the mall. AT THE MALL. My daughter who was diagnosed last summer with severe social phobia, non-specific depressive disorder and autism spent the weekend at the mall with her friend. She’s even been nicer to her siblings, the same siblings that she’s wanted killed off for quite some time. My son asked if we’d changed her meds. He was shocked to hear that she wasn’t taking any meds at all, just supplements. (He knows now, but she doesn’t know she’s taking them.) Her symptoms that seemed to signify autism have now been significantly reduced as well. I don’t even think of her as having it anymore except for the occasional mild social quirk.
I was telling my neighbor across the street about this because she has celiac, anxiety and depression, and she said she should try it because she’s been very depressed and hasn’t been able to lift herself out of it. I hadn’t seen much of her lately because she hadn’t been venturing outside much. I decided to run home and grab her some to try. She was going to wait until the following day after breakfast to take it. That next night, she called me in hysterics. I couldn’t even understand what she was saying. I told her I’d be right there. When I arrived, she threw her arms up into the air and declared, “I feel wonderful!!” She said I wouldn’t believe the day she’d had. It was the best day she’d had in a long time. She had friends over, she laughed, she was happy and she was thankful. I wondered how much of this might be a placebo effect, but that was about two months ago and she’s still just as well as ever. Every time I see her she thanks me for giving her her life back. I didn’t, the folate and B12 did, but I understand the importance of getting the word out there to those who may benefit from this as well.
By the way, thank you, Judy, for reaching out to me and for telling me about this. You’ve helped our daughter and my entire family more than I can ever express.
I hope this helps others out there as well.