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Dec
09
2009
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ANXIETY DISORDERS: IN SEARCH OF SELF

Over the years we built the image of who we thought we should be. We lived our lives with an uneasy feeling that we were not who we appeared to be. If we were not who we appeared to be, then who were we? We didn’t know. We were never able to answer the question.

The anxiety and/or the attacks blasted into our lives. They pushed past our control and steamrolled our defences. The image we had of ourselves crumbled with the weight of its own illusion. The disintegration of ourselves continued and our seemingly solid foundations of our self and our life were torn down.

Suddenly we were thrown back onto ourselves and we had nothing left as an identity. Our sense of inadequacy, our lack of confidence and lack of self-esteem became predominant. We felt helpless and isolated. Our need to be in control was the only defence we had left. We tightened our grip on it because we felt that total annihilation of ourselves was only an attack away.

We became separated from our real selves through a lifetime of suppression and, when we needed it most, we felt that we had nothing to give us strength or support. Our sense of helplessness and isolation increased dramatically. These feelings of helplessness and isolation are a measure of the degree to which we are separate from our self. It is the ultimate separation anxiety.

All of us search for external answers to our difficulties, but we don’t realise we are looking in the wrong direction. Although we may find temporary measures to sustain us, we don’t recognise or feel the enormous potential of our self which is waiting to assist us.

*99/94/8*

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Written by admin in: Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid |
Dec
09
2009
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HOW LONG SHOULD I STAY ON ST JOHN’S WORT?

This question could just as easily be asked in relation to any other anti-depressant. In one form or another, it is one of the more common questions on the mind of anyone who has felt the benefit of an anti-depressant medication. The relief and gratitude experience is counterbalanced in many people by a sense of unease at having to be on a medication for an undefined and possibly indefinite period of time. The honest answer is that we just can’t predict how long someone will need to be on an anti-depressant. If the depression has been a single short-lived episode, it may be possible to stop the anti-depressant after six months of remission without risking relapse. If there is a history of repeated episodes or long-standing depression, however, there is a high likelihood that depression will recur or relapse if the anti-depressant is stopped. In such people it generally makes good sense to stay on an antidepressant indefinitely. Although there have been no long-term studies of St John’s Wort in depression – and I should say that such studies are few and far between for other anti-depressants as well – there is no evidence of any long-term problems in those who have been on St John’s Wort for months or even years.

After several months on treatment, people often experiment and stop their anti-depressants just to make sure that they still really need them. If you do this, be sure to watch out for early signs of relapse and return to the anti-depressant as soon as these appear. It is much easier to reverse the symptoms of depression in their initial stages than after they are fully established again.

*92/75/2*

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Written by admin in: Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid |
Dec
09
2009
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ANXIETY DISORDERS/WORKING THROUGH THE RECOVERY: HOW MUCH WE NEED TO PRACTISE A CBT PROGRAM

The question sometimes arises about how much we need to practise a CBT program in order to reduce our avoidance behaviour. Having to confront various situations and places we have avoided does initially place us under more stress. We need to learn to walk a fine line. There are going to be times when we feel we want to give up and we begin to despair of ever recovering. There may be times when we feel this way, but we continually push ourselves without being aware of how much more anxiety is being generated. Then we do give up through exhaustion and despair.

Working with our avoidance behaviour, and the whole process of recovery, means we need to learn to care of ourselves. We need to learn when it is appropriate to pull back and take a break, as long as the break doesn’t go on for weeks. After the break, begin again.

Begin again. These two words can mean so much in the working-through process. If we feel that we are not making progress, if we feel that some of our attempts didn’t quite work out the way we would have liked, let them go and begin again.

Our ultra-sensitivity also increases the sense of guilt we feel towards our families because we can’t do everything we would like to do. We need to be aware of the extra stress caused by this. We can spend a week worrying and feeling guilty over one small incident which we think of as a failure. Guilt only increases our anxiety. It keep us locked into the cycle. We need to let it go, so we can move forward to recovery and to the time when we will be able to do everything we haven’t been able to do.

*91/94/8*

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Written by admin in: Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid |
Dec
09
2009
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CAN I COMBINE ST JOHN’S WORT WITH OTHER ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS?

As I have already mentioned, it is possible to administer St John’s Wort with a variety of other anti-depressants and other medications in general. A survey of European colleagues who have treated collectively several hundred patients with St John’s Wort revealed no drug interactions noted to date except for potential problematic interactions with the MAOIs as noted above. At one point it was thought that St John’s Wort might itself be an MAOI and might exert its anti-depressant effects by that mechanism. If that were the case, it would be potentially dangerous to combine St John’s Wort with other anti-depressants. Fortunately this does not appear to be the case to any significant degree and St John’s Wort can be used freely with other anti-depressants. Furthermore, you need not worry that you will develop the extremely uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous high blood pressure reaction after eating cheese or drinking red wine, as can occur with those who are on an MAOI. There are no dietary restrictions whatsoever when you are on St John’s Wort.

As I mentioned above, you might be best off moving more gradually with dosages if St John’s Wort is used in combination with other anti-depressants or stimulants as these medications all act on the nerve cells in the brain and can enhance one another’s effects. While this is one of the desired goals of the exercise, namely to induce a more powerful anti-depressant effect than would be obtained on any of the medications alone, it is also a reason to increase dosages gradually to avoid the development of exaggerated and unduly unpleasant side-effects.

*90/75/2*

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Written by admin in: Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid |
Dec
09
2009
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POWER OVER PANIC/CONTROLLING THINKING: CASE HISTORIES

Jan

The wedding of Jan’s daughter was six months away and the planning for it was gaining momentum. Instead of feeling excited, Jan was feeling desperate. What if she had a panic attack on the day of the wedding? What if she had to leave the church or the reception? What would everyone think? She didn’t want to make a fool of herself or disrupt the wedding in any way. What if she couldn’t even make it to the wedding at all? She was feeling anxious about it already, yet it was still six months away. Jan wanted to prevent her anxiety from increasing, but she didn’t know how.

Marilyn

Marilyn’s counsellor had told her that clinging to the memory of her first panic attack was not helping her as she worked on her recovery. Marilyn felt quite angry with the counsellor. What did the counsellor know anyway? That first panic attack was dreadful. Marilyn had been in the local shopping mall when it happened. She had no idea what it was and had thought she was dying. She had asked a few people to help her, but they didn’t respond. They must have thought she was either drunk or crazy. Marilyn had.to get back to her car and drive herself home, where she stayed for the next four years. Although she had made it home safely every time she tried to go out since then, Marilyn would think of her first attack and naturally she would become anxious. She didn’t want to go through that again. How could she not think about that attack? It was that attack which caused all the ongoing problems. Marilyn thought the counsellor, like all the rest she had seen, didn’t really understand and wouldn’t be able to help her.

*77/94/8*

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Written by admin in: Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid |
Dec
09
2009
--

POWER OVER PANIC/CONTROLLING THINKING: CASE HISTORIES

Jan

The wedding of Jan’s daughter was six months away and the planning for it was gaining momentum. Instead of feeling excited, Jan was feeling desperate. What if she had a panic attack on the day of the wedding? What if she had to leave the church or the reception? What would everyone think? She didn’t want to make a fool of herself or disrupt the wedding in any way. What if she couldn’t even make it to the wedding at all? She was feeling anxious about it already, yet it was still six months away. Jan wanted to prevent her anxiety from increasing, but she didn’t know how.

Marilyn

Marilyn’s counsellor had told her that clinging to the memory of her first panic attack was not helping her as she worked on her recovery. Marilyn felt quite angry with the counsellor. What did the counsellor know anyway? That first panic attack was dreadful. Marilyn had been in the local shopping mall when it happened. She had no idea what it was and had thought she was dying. She had asked a few people to help her, but they didn’t respond. They must have thought she was either drunk or crazy. Marilyn had.to get back to her car and drive herself home, where she stayed for the next four years. Although she had made it home safely every time she tried to go out since then, Marilyn would think of her first attack and naturally she would become anxious. She didn’t want to go through that again. How could she not think about that attack? It was that attack which caused all the ongoing problems. Marilyn thought the counsellor, like all the rest she had seen, didn’t really understand and wouldn’t be able to help her.

*77/94/8*

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Written by admin in: Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid |

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