I Cu Copper: How a simple biochemical imbalance was diagnosed as mental illness
by Deb Sheesley Tokarz
Although the is not a kinesiology book, I felt it deserved a place in the bookstore for several reasons. First, it is a book about hope. Second, it’s a story many of us have had with trying to get help and not being listened to or helped. Third, for those that deal with nutritional issues, it’s a wakeup call about the effects of copper overload.
Although I Cu Copper is largely about a personal struggle with depression and its stigma, it is simultaneously about a 15-year excursion to find an elusive cause that could secretly be harming many women. With the help of her journal entries, Deb Tokarz recounts each battle with a visceral urgency and effortlessly blends it with the discovery of the science behind it. I Cu Copper is more than one woman’s journey. It could hold the key to the cause of many women’s (and some men’s) depression, anxiety and fatigue.
Opening with the aftermath in the hospital of Deb’s attempted suicide, the reader will know that she does not intend to hold anything back. As painful as it is to remember, she bravely recounts her spiral into depression including the heart-wrenching decision that caused her to abort a baby she really wanted.
We are introduced to Deb before this depression descended: a woman nicknamed “Smiley” by her boss. The book follows her through a myriad of attempts to treat it including psycho-therapy, anti-depressants, and diet. As she pins hopes on each one, they all turn on her, sending her into a worsening feeling of failure. We watch as she begins to blame herself and takes on a deep shame. And yet, there is a small voice inside that leads her to keep searching for a cause.
Hope comes after many years of struggle that takes a toll on her marriage, motherhood, work, friends and family. Beyond the reach of standard medicine lies the answer. After finding the cause, the solution is not that complicated. It doesn’t require any great leaps of faith or alternative thinking. She begins to regulate her copper—largely through nutrient therapy and diet. She shares these revelations and describes the slow reclaiming of her health: mental and physical.