by Sarah Matuszak-Schneider
Sarah reached out to us wanting to share her amazing journey to better health and how Dr. Cole helped her achieve that. Here we showcase her inspiring story.
There I sat, on my bed with my beautiful 18 month old child napping peacefully beside me. Sunlight cascaded through the window, but it was the darkest time I have ever known. The date was December 2015 and I had spent the last 365 days attempting to alleviate my depression and PTSD symptoms with conventional medicine. I was two weeks from graduating with the degree of my dreams, I had two wonderful children, and one amazing and supportive boyfriend. Unfortunately, I had spent two years responding to 911 calls as a critical care paramedic in a major Midwestern metropolitan area. In those two years, I took care of over 2,000 people on the worst days of their lives – some of whom did not survive. Fires, gunshot wounds, car accidents, drownings, stabbings, suicides, complications of chronic illness – I had seen them all. And every single one of them stayed with me. In some cases, they haunted me.
In May of 2015 I saw a cognitive psychiatrist who diagnosed me with PTSD. I then saw a Nurse Practitioner who prescribed sertraline once a day to alleviate my distress. Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor – basically, it helps one’s brain retain the hormone that elevates one’s mood. Sertraline worsened my insomnia and made it even harder to relax due to an incessant jittery feeling. I was 21 years old and doomed to take pills for the rest of my life – pills that didn’t work. Fast forward seven months and PTSD had taken my sleep, my smile, my peace. My own family didn’t recognize me anymore. I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I wanted to destroy the being that I was. Suicide crossed my mind constantly. As I sat on my bed on that day in December, I was convinced that suicide would be the only way out.
I desperately reached out to the internet for answers to my paralyzing problems. That is when I found Dr. Will Cole and his work. I read the following articles: Is Your Mood Suffering Because Your Brain is Inflamed, 7 Things That Are Hurting Your Brain & Mood, and 6 Science-Based Tips for a Healthy & Happy Brain. These three articles gave me the tools that I needed to start healing my brain naturally. Between implementing different tools and eating superfoods that he suggested such as blueberries, turmeric, and green tea, my symptoms dissipated. In one month, my mood was lifted, I had more energy, and I felt less brain fog. I became a better mother, sister, daughter, friend, and paramedic. Functional medicine cured what conventional medicine failed to even give me a reprieve from and I am forever grateful to Dr. Will Cole for saving my life.
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