Solving the Mystery of Anxiety

I’m not a healthcare provider. I’m a parent who was desperately trying to figure out what was wrong with my 13 year old daughter in 2016. Years earlier, Caroline was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, though I didn’t understand why this kid was anxious at times. By age 13, however, the anxiety had hijacked her brain and she was completely non-functioning. What happened to my formerly happy, funny, articulate, honor roll student? After trialing 14 anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs over nearly a year, mainstream medicine only offered more meds. Looking beyond strictly a psychological approach, we were finally able to get to the root of the problem and successfully aid her healing.

The anxiety was manageable growing up, but by her early teenage years had morphed into debilitating anxiety, agoraphobia, depression, OCD, brain fog, severe mood swings, and aggressive and paranoid behavior. Her brain was stuck in “fight or flight” mode, and consequently, her cognitive function – ability to think logically, reason, and remember – shut down. Our approach to treating her mental illness was all wrong. When I told psychiatrists that my daughter turned her into a person I didn’t recognize, they would say, “Let’s try a different drug.” As my desperate pleads to multiple psychologists and psychiatrists fell on deaf ears, my daughter grew sicker.

Over the years, we sought the advice of multiple MD specialists for other symptoms, including chronic rashes and hives, insomnia, limited eating with GI issues, headaches, throat issues, hot flashes, and dizziness, among others. Those appointments only yielded a “she’s fine” assessment or the recommendation of another psychologist, psychiatrist or psych drug.

I came to the realization that mainstream medicine was not able to help, and while talk therapy is critical and effective in many cases, it clearly wasn’t working for her. I concluded that her illness did not fit the protocol of conventional medicine and traditional psychology. This was not in the scope of their knowledge, education, or training. 

Mainstream medicine excels in various specialties, including surgical procedures, lifesaving resuscitation, and prescription medication. Conventional MDs are not educated or trained in root cause of illness, various infections like tick borne disease, including Lyme disease and its many co-infections, as well as environmental toxicities like pesticides, heavy metals, and molds. They are also not trained in nutrition, including essential vitamins and minerals.

Holistic providers at the NH Health & Wellness Center listened to all her symptoms, ordered various labs, and looked at her whole health picture – both mental and physical. They determined that Caroline’s symptoms were related to undiagnosed Lyme disease for more than a decade. Due to her body struggling with Lyme, these were ideal circumstances for other problems to result, including long-term strep infection that led to PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep Infections), heavy metal toxicities, parasites, food sensitivities, hypothyroidism, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and more.

It took years for my daughter’s illnesses to develop and thrive, so healing has taken diligence, patience, and time. Many ask, and we share the successful approach and various treatments that we eventually embraced in hopes that others who struggle find answers and healing as we did. Each of us is unique, however, and two people with the same symptoms may not necessarily have the same root cause. Working with a holistic provider to get to the root cause of your unique symptoms and circumstances is essential.

Here’s what my daughter benefited from at the Center.

  • Naturopathic Medicine: While trained to diagnose and treat disease as conventional physicians, naturopathic doctors often approach the patient and disease differently, identifying and treating the root cause of a problem, rather than simply treating symptoms. We have worked extensively with Dr. Laura Chan, ND, LAc, who methodically and painstakingly got to the root of Caroline’s various symptoms and treated accordingly with homeopathic remedies, herbs, supplements, and prescription medication.
  • Lyme Magnetic Protocol Therapy: From several strains of Lyme disease and lots of strep infection, to heavy metal toxicities and parasites, Lyme Magnetic Protocol practitioner Janelle Salzman persistently assisted the systematic clearing of each layer of infection. Caroline never took antibiotics. She allowed the healing power of magnetic therapy to kill off infection.
  • Clinical Hypnosis: Compliments of Lyme, Caroline grew up with symptoms of anxiety and fear, and her brain was well conditioned for associated behaviors. One of her biggest challenges to a full recovery is reconditioning her brain to think, act, behave, and respond as a healthy person. Board Certified Hypnotist Lois Hermann has worked extensively and skillfully to help her clear negative, draining energy as well as access her subconscious mind, where the relearning takes place.
  • Supportive Services: Caroline’s body has needed a number of supportive services to give her the best chance of a full recovery. All available at the Center, she has benefited from functional nutrition, craniosacral therapy, Reiki, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

The approach of the Center is refreshing, eye-opening, and healing. Years of unanswered questions are now answered. Since clearing all infection, many of Caroline’s physical symptoms resolved, including rashes and hives, throat issues, and hot flashes. She sleeps better now and has more energy to participate in life. There are some remaining brain-gut issues related to memory and brain fog as well as trauma, and she is working hard on a full recovery. She stopped taking all psych drugs in March 2017. She no longer suffers from anxiety. Her sense of humor, helpfulness, positive attitude, and upbeat mood all returned with a vengeance.

Along with her daughter Caroline, Christine Snyder blogs at to share her family’s success with holistic medicine in hopes others who struggle reach for options beyond mainstream healthcare. She has gotten accurate diagnoses for herself and her husband who battled unexplained symptoms for years. She is also proud mom to 23-year old Joann, her healthy first born and speech pathology grad student at Ithaca College. Christine has had a career in marketing and PR for 30 years.

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