Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

Doctors eye deep brain stimulation to treat opioid addiction

 


.
.
Associated Press:

Patient Number One is a thin man, with a scabby face and bouncy knees. His head, shaved in preparation for surgery, is wrapped in a clean, white cloth.

 

Years of drug use cost him his wife, his money and his self-respect, before landing him in this drab yellow room at a Shanghai hospital, facing the surgeon who in 72 hours will drill two small holes in his skull and feed electrodes deep into his brain.

 

The hope is that technology will extinguish his addiction, quite literally, with the flip of a switch.

 

The treatment — deep brain stimulation — has long been used for movement disorders like Parkinson’s. Now, the first clinical trial of DBS for methamphetamine addiction is being conducted at Shanghai’s Ruijin Hospital, along with parallel trials for opioid addiction. And this troubled man is the very first patient.

 


The surgery involves implanting a device that acts as a kind of pacemaker for the brain, electrically stimulating targeted areas. While Western attempts to push forward with human trials of DBS for addiction have foundered, China is emerging as a hub for this research.

 

Scientists in Europe have struggled to recruit patients for their DBS addiction studies, and complex ethical, social and scientific questions have made it hard to push forward with this kind of work in the United States, where the devices can cost $100,000 to implant.

 

China has a long, if troubled, history of brain surgery for drug addiction. Even today, China’s punitive anti-drug laws can force people into years of compulsory treatment, including “rehabilitation” through labor. It has a large patient population, government funding and ambitious medical device companies ready to pay for DBS research.

 

There are eight registered DBS clinical trials for drug addiction being conducted in the world, according to a U.S. National Institutes of Health database. Six are in China.

 

But the suffering wrought by the opioid epidemic may be changing the risk-reward calculus for doctors and regulators in the United States. Now, the experimental surgery Patient Number One is about to undergo is coming to America. In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration greenlighted a clinical trial in West Virginia of DBS for opioid addiction.

___

 

HUMAN EXPERIMENTS

 

Patient Number One insisted that only his surname, Yan, be published; he fears losing his job if he is identified.

 

He said doctors told him the surgery wasn’t risky. “But I still get nervous,” he said. “It’s my first time to go on the operating table.”

 

Three of Yan’s friends introduced him to meth in a hotel room shortly after the birth of his son in 2011. They told him: Just do it once, you’ve had your kid, you won’t have problems.

Continue reading

Surrender: a great tool for healing, wellbeing (Happiness)

.
.
Healing was incremental for me, each plateau reached through concerted action over months. Nothing came easy or quick.


Complex PTSD from a childhood does not heal miraculously, quickly or easily. The mind was not fully developed when trauma entered its world. Hard to tell what is normal and what is the aftermath of abuse.


Aerobic exercise, therapy, reading, meditating, practicing acceptance, applying mindfulness and persistence each brought benefits for me. Sometimes all hope seemed lost but something inside refused to give up.


This trait is very important. Lots of setbacks, even perceived losses on this journey. That inner guide can be our savior in our low moments.


Meditating and mindfulness carved out a small secure space for me to survive. This space grew incrementally as I healed.


It was like climbing a ladder, each successive rung revealed more of the horizon, more of the path.


Acceptance was difficult, releasing the shame and guilt reached a sticking point. My fear, worry and confusion kept me paralyzed for months.


I still had resistance, actually I was terrified, enforced with cortisol by my fight or flight mechanism exploding. The drugs are real, the storyline is the mirage.


Being vulnerable, that is surrendering completely in the face of my trauma, broke the traffic jam. It was scary not to resist, to be so vulnerable, so defenseless.


With arms outstretched, totally open, I pictured my heart as a butterfly net.


I had found the next step, being vulnerable, surrendering to my fears.

 

This exposed my fears so I could observe them.


Try surrendering the next time you meditate.
.
.

My journey with PTSD anxiety

.
.
PTSD anxiety would be considered severe anxiety in most cases. I experienced  full-blown adrenal stress response (fight or flight mechanism) many times each day.


My system wanted to avoid another dump of cortisol and adrenaline at all costs. That desire led to six months of agoraphobia.


Resisting failed miserably, so I plotted ways to be friends with my nervous system.

 

The first step was to learn not to be afraid of anxiety or experiencing the frightening symptoms.

Denying, resisting, avoiding gave PTSD power!


What to do?

 

Strenuous aerobic exercise and daily meditation soothed my nervous system. It was not an easy or quick journey but an extremely simple one.

 

Aerobic exercise depleted the cortisol and adrenaline. I could exert maximum energy and my mind could share the exhilaration and accomplishment. Even when my mind was frozen my legs could move with determination.

 

Meditation allowed me to observe my panic attacks, allowed me to sit in the middle of those explosions, quietly.


There was nothing to fear inside the mechanism. I saw my fear, it was only my defense mechanism trying to warn me of imagined danger.

 

It was broken from my childhood trauma. No real danger existed inside my PTSD.

 

I found it could be fixed. Trauma thoughts could be integrated into the present moment, safely with a specific use of meditation.


I have PTSD symptoms at times but my adrenal stress response does not fire now.

 

Meditation and aerobic exercise quell the anxiety monster!
.
.

What are the five major types of anxiety disorders?

.

.

The five major types of anxiety disorders are:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.

 


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.

 

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

 

Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation – such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others – or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.


(National Institutes of Mental Health)
.
.

Kindness repeated over and over can change unworthiness and suffering

.
.
PTSD, depression, and anxiety devastate our society.

 

 

These disorders are fueled by thinking and judging ourselves weak, unworthy or shameful.

 

 

What can we do?

 

 

We can use kind actions to replace these judgments and negative thoughts.

 


The less we think, isolate and avoid life, the better we feel.

 

 

Have a kind greeting, a patient ear, and a compassionate heart for friends, coworkers and acquaintances.

 

Be determined to make people who cross your path today, Smile.

 

 

PTSD, depression and anxiety are dormant when we are giving without regard for reward.
.
.

What Is Hypervigilance? Healthline Blog

.

.

“Hypervigilance is a state of increased alertness. If you’re in a state of hypervigilance, you’re extremely sensitive to your surroundings. It can make you feel like you’re alert to any hidden dangers, whether from other people or the environment. Often, though, these dangers are not real.

 

Hypervigilance can be a symptom of mental health conditions, including:

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
anxiety disorders
schizophrenia

These can all cause your brain and your body to constantly be on high alert. Hypervigilance can have a negative effect on your life. It can affect how you interact with and view others, or it may encourage paranoia.

 

Hypervigilance symptoms
There are physical, behavioral, emotional, and mental symptoms that can go with hypervigilance:

 

Physical symptoms

Physical symptoms may resemble those of anxiety. These may include:

sweating
a fast heart rate
fast, shallow breathing
Over time, this constant state of alertness can cause fatigue and exhaustion.

 

Behavioral symptoms

Behavioral symptoms include jumpy reflexes and fast, knee-jerk reactions to your environment. If you’re hypervigilant, you may overreact if you hear a loud bang or if you misunderstand a coworker’s statement as rude. These reactions may be violent or hostile in a perceived attempt to defend yourself.

 

Emotional symptoms

The emotional symptoms of hypervigilance can be severe. These can include:

increased, severe anxiety
fear
panic
worrying that can become persistent
You may fear judgment from others, or you may judge others extremely harshly. This may develop into black-and-white thinking in which you find things either absolutely right or absolutely wrong. You can also become emotionally withdrawn. You may experience mood swings or outbursts of emotion.

 

 

Mental symptoms

Mental symptoms of hypervigilance can include paranoia. This may be accompanied by rationalization to justify the hypervigilance. It can also be difficult for those who experience frequent hypervigilance, like those with PTSD, to sleep well.

 

Continue reading

“The origins of and mechanism behind social anxiety”

 

.

.

Excerpts from Darius Cikanavicius, Author, Certified Coach:
For the most part, social anxiety develops as an adaptation to stressful and hurtful social childhood environments.

 

When a child is small, their whole world consists of their primary caregivers (mother, father, family members, other authority figures). This world slowly expands as they get older, but how people understand social interactions is set. In other words, the examples we are exposed to as children creates blueprints for our future relationships.
Sadly, most if not all of us are traumatized as children to one degree or another. The degree to which we were hurt is the degree to which we will have interpersonal problems. One of the most common interpersonal problems is, indeed, social anxiety.

 

 

Hurt and mistreated children grow up into adults who feel disappointed, distrustful, overly trustful, bitter, angry, clingy, stressed, numb, or emotionally unavailable in relationships and interactions with others.
They have been programmed to feel like that by how they were treated when they were small, helpless, impressionable, and dependent. Back then, acceptance and validation were vital.

 

 

As I write in the book Human Development and Trauma:

“Childhood trauma leads children to become more afraid of the world. When a child’s first and most important bonds are unstable, it is natural and expected that in adulthood they will transfer this lack of a sense of safety and security onto others.”

 

 

Unresolved pain that stems from early relationships can haunt us for the rest of our lives. Early hurt and pain can program us to feel and believe that, generally, people are dangerous. They will hurt us, laugh at us, use and abuse us, punish us, hate us, want us dead, or even kill us.

 

 

It can be understood as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD or C-PTSD) where the trigger is people and social situations because in the past they were a great source of pain.

 

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: