Gabriela Herstik
March 10, 2017 3:43 pm

Even as we work to destigmatize mental illness, many things are still left under the covers, waiting for us to learn and share. Depression has a range of causes, from traumatic experiences to chemical imbalances. But for Lo Bosworth, her depression was caused by a vitamin deficiency. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 40 million American adults, or 18% of the population, are affected by some form of anxiety disorder, with 6.7% of American adults experiencing at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to a 2014 study by the association.

The former The Hills star has been largely silent about her depression until she opened up about her 16-month experience with depression on her blog, The Lo Down.

Lo says she tried everything from therapy to anti-depressants which she adjusted upwards of four times with no relief. When her doctors were confused at her lack of progress, they sent for a complex blood test to look at her vitamin levels. It turned out she had severe deficiencies in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Finally, she had genetic testing done and learned she had mutations in the MTFHR gene, which instructs the body in making enzymes that create amino acids the body needs to metabolize and grow, and the MAOA gene, which affects neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

 

And just like each case of depression is unique, so is each treatment. Although Lo’s case was treated through vitamins like Blisphora (methylated Vitamin B12 with folate) and Vitamin D3 with K, this doesn’t mean it’s everyones path. Instead, Lo’s honest post aims to encourage others to be their own advocate, seek the care they need, and figure out what’s right for them. And although the idea of self-care may have been watered down recently, the message is the same. Taking care of yourself, whether it’s simply going to therapy, showering and eating food, or trying to find the right treatment for your mental illness, is vital.

Mental illness is not all attributed to the same cause. But as we shed light on the different things that cause depression and anxiety disorders, we are also lifting the stigma for those living with these illnesses. The more we learn, the more we can heal.

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