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Attacked! by Anxiety!

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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby bishopdante on Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:43 pm

Everybody living in the real world knows what abuse and trauma is, and that it is common. Common as muck. Modern people don't have baggage, it's warehouses and warehouses of trauma. Silos. 20th century was setting records for scary/toxic/lethal conditions.

Many people with serious aversions and anxiety have a fear response very deeply buried in their psyche related to when they were calibrating themselves as a person in early childhood. Certain triggers will set it off.

I grew up in a harsh crack-infested international and poverty-stricken inner city semi-slum. I got my share of trauma. I am so familiar with fear that I can hold it down, operate like normal and almost nobody can tell I'm shitting it. That is not entirely healthy.

Lots of people have specific fears, the mere sight or suggestion of the presence of the stimulus will produce severe startle, hypervigilance and pumping adrenaline. The person will go into their mode, and run the situation on autopilot motivated by fear. People create and re-stage the various percieved hazardous confrontational/aggravated modes, falling into a habituated and preconceived response associated with a situation of threat, and by reinforcement a longterm perception and habit is reinforced. Many people have confrontational social habits which have been turned into predatory behaviour. Re enacting and reinforcing the abuse and interpersonal conflict.

For a simple example, my dad doesn't like big aggressive dogs. He has a scar on his face from having been mauled by one as a baby, ripped his lip all the way from the top lip to the nose. He conquered that one, on the surface, but as a little kid I'd pick up on the emotion, and its deep conviction, and would run at the sight of one approaching aggressively (at which point said alsatian or rottweiler would chase me, and he'd freak out.). Being conscious of this, as we were, we could stay on top of it. Any dog breeder would tell a person: separating puppies from their mothers too early, and not socialising the dog to people early enough, either of these will produce an anxious and aggressive hound. Early-trauma dogs can be trained out of the fear and aggression, but it's a significant task. The dog that bit my dad had likely been mishandled, ie abused.

Often small thoughtless errors cascade into traumatic and volatile situations. Small things often become big things.

I often wonder how many lives are altered in their course by haste and ignorance. Somebody has an abusive workplace, goes home, and the kids get it. Lifetimes of trouble can be set up in a matter of hours.

How children get treated is very, very important. Many treat their kids as baggage, high cost and low worth. It is drilled in by commercial realities, jobs, schools etc. Habits are passed from generation to generation. This can be fairly toxic. One [anon] good mate of mine's dad stabbed his mum in the neck with a screwdriver in stonebridge park, in front of him, when he was a kid. He can get a bit scary under pressure. 6ft4 heavy built jamaican dude. Jamaica was not fun back in the slavery era. Jamaica is a bit scary in places today. He told me all about it after assaulting me in my studio on the day of a critical 2 year deadline on a big project. Most of the time he's fine, but sometimes he can freak out very severely. He'd made a few mistaken assumptions, was very stressed out at the time. I got a few blows to the head before defending myself. No joke sort of heavy aggro geezer to even attempt to manhandle, even with sudden jiu jitsu intervention picking the right moment and leveraging him into a doorway, teetering him on the top step, I was really not sure I'd be winning that one if he didn't stop waving his fists around and yelling blue murder. Luckily nor was he, so he started calming down and talking slightly more sense, and in his freaked out state was clearly having PTSD reminiscences to a few childhood traumas, which we had a chat about over a cigarette in the garden.


__________

How to overcome a conditioned fear stimulus:

Expose yourself to a little bit of the fearful stimulus in a secure state, and increase exposure until the fear starts, then immediately discontinue exposure and give yourself a nice experience. Change the channel. Try again later/tomorrow. Retraining deeply rooted habits takes a lot of effort.

What you think consciously has very little bearing on what your unconscious systems will ring alarm bells about.

Just like learning an instrument, it is a question of conditioning. Thinking is only one tiny part of it. Has to be drilled. Built up like a muscle.

Another problem is learned helplessness, or being numbed to acting in response to fear. The fear of making it worse, and the resignation to continued suffering.

We have billions of years sunk into sophisticated learning systems, like reflexes... but they were not built for the modern world. We have got some scary technology these days, and some scary people with scary preoccupations and blind spots, and many maladaptive responses to psychosocial and physical stress / trauma.

Many people turn anxiety into aggression, and will reframe a situation to produce conflict as a method of relief. Others turn to focusing on pain, and get into self harm. This is a pretty poor method of achieving control over the situation. The idea is to avoid harm.

Adjusting to this modern mess... many try by building bubbles, hiding their head in the sand. Avoidance. TV. Drugs. Entertainment. Reassuring lies.

Not the best strategy in my humble opinion. There are other ways, but don't expect instant results, or easy answers.

Take action! Face and conquer your fears. Get a grip on what abuse is. Trace the poisonous experiences to their root, get a proper rational grip on them, and exercise your will to retrain irrational aversion in the medium term, lots of scary things get not very scary after a few months, such as climbing 40ft scaffolds.

Become the guardian of yourself and your fellow people. Calm is a finer master than fear. Fear is the anticipation of loss, the amount of fear corresponding to the amount of perceived loss (/gain). To live in constant dread is a curse worse than death, and people have been known to consider and take grievous risks, or even certainly kill themselves to escape it.

A bit of fear is healthy. Nothing but fear is toxic. Irrational or causally-confused fear, at its extreme that's a full on schizotypal breakdown. Way deeper waters than a fight-or-flight response. Like LSD sort of territory.

I know of two people who have had one of those from psychological stress at the hands of a committed sadistic covert-aggressive abuser. Not being able to work out the source of the threat and losses is very stressful. Real sly sneaky manipulator type, fond of sabotage and destructive stuff / inciting robbery / violence, generally causing serious grief, and not getting spotted as the central manipulator.

Both of these escalation episodes were caused, rather worryingly, by one and the same malicious and sadistic person, with some unwitting help from incidental accomplices who were manipulated and coerced by their own fears, and seduced by various pleasures. Different times, different places, same set of footprints, same ringleader and same style of harassment.

And one of the people having a breakdown was me. My nervous system was already shot to bits by years of missed sleep, missed meals, brutal deadlines & overwork, stress and more stress 7 days a week, and a good few years of debilitating hangover of a very neurotoxic class of drugs called fluoroquinolones, which is probably the chief culprit behind gulf war syndrome.

As such, my personal brushes with the hazards being the tip of a very hazardous iceberg, I consider my own suffering trivial, and consider myself blessed to have even an inkling of what many, many millions suffer from, and not to be cursed with the bliss of ignorance.

There is a much less volatile emotion and set of behviours to exercise in preference to fear. Concern immediately followed by investigation and action.

The better your physical and spiritual health, the more robust the stress response and recovery from trauma will be. Exercise, rest, proper nutrition, good company, good art. Be scared of the actual rationally scary stuff & maintain a safe distance from exposure to it. There is scary stuff. Like what is going on in Syria/Iraq/etc. That's not good.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby mrcancelled on Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:33 pm

I booked an appointment for next week with a therapist that was recommended for CBT treatment. I'm so fucking stoked. I've never really done anything about this bullshit aside from read a couple of self-help books and, unfortunately, drink myself retarded.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby jimmy spako on Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:41 am

^ Awesome, stoked for you too :wink:
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby mrcancelled on Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:14 pm

Aw, cheers :wink:

Just talking to the guy for the few minutes I was able to over the phone was a huge weight off my shoulders. I'm going to him off of a recommendation, and I'm not 100% sure my insurance will be accepted, but I'm totally willing to pay out of pocket if it's effective. Yay.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby ::: on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:47 am

For myself I see no alternative to becoming a triathlete, or at least starting to train semi-seriously in the triathlon sports of running, biking, and swimming, as a safe and nontoxic means of burning off my incredible rage since the T guy got elected. My "Park Slope yuppie" (her words!) friend took up fucking ICE HOCKEY at age 48 for exactly this reason, and if she can do it, I can fuckin' do it, or something like it. I can totally see her with a hockey stick and skates, getting rowdy at people on ice. ...Actually the alternative, for me, would be to start taking a lot more benzodiazepines, and I don't want to do that.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby ::: on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:52 am

The fact that I smoke my fucking head off, both pot and tobacco, is going to be a little bit of a hindrance with this "triathlon" plan, I'm aware, but I'm gonna try to work around it.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby bishopdante on Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:52 am

Some interesting points about medicating people into robots in this documentary series.

With the current situation, a lot of people have every right to be stressed out.

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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby Pasta on Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:21 am

Medication is not for everyone. But, for those of us it is for, it is a life changer. Clarity that it has brought me helps me identify whether something is situational, or chronic. Which helps me decide how I will approach it.

None of which would have been possible without meds and talk therapy. Meds without talk are useless.

Are they over prescribed? Absolutely. Do they help those of us with chemical imbalances? Absolutely.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby Miel on Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:38 am

^^^^ Exactly this.

It's important to remember that the medications are a tool. They're incredible things -- it's absolutely wondrous that they exist.

If you can get by without them, more power to you. But it's not a mark of strength to forego them when you're suffering. They can give you the leg up that you need. I tried for years to avoid using medications, but the reasons I did that now just seem completely misguided and frankly, I'd internalised a lot of stigma.

For anxiety, talk therapy can also do wonders, as the medications for acute panic are addictive and not very good for long term stuff. CBT is also incredible. Best of luck on your journey!
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby ::: on Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:00 pm

I agree with both Pasta and Miel above. There is no shame in taking medication to alleviate disabling symptoms. An imperfect analogy, but: does anyone blame diabetics for taking insulin? No, that would be ridiculous. Q E.D.

Until I get that YWCA personal trainer lined up, I'm on Zyprexa, an atypical antipsychotic which is somewhat sedating and (they say) an effective mood stabilizer for certain symptoms of bipolar and bipolar II. Lucky timing, too, since literally two days after I started taking it, Mark Fisher up and committed suicide, and the only reason I'm not flipping the fuck out all over again is because I am rather heavily medicated just now, between the Cymbalta I was already on and now the Zyprexa too. I hope to taper off the Zyprexa over the next two months, reducing the daily dose each week and replacing it with epic amounts of totally ass-kicking workouts. That's the plan, anyway.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby catwoman on Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:01 pm

Meds...
Depression with anxiety combined isn't always as easy to medicate, though.
When my old antidepressant was working, my anxiety went way down, too, but at some point I realized I had lost all my affect, didn't give a shit about anything, and my life was stalled. So I quit that antidepressant (with doc's knowledge, kind of), and the anxiety went through the roof. Now a new doc, let's try new meds, and now I'm hating my current meds, makes me feel like crap, and I'm anxious a lot, and I'm tired of trying meds and meds and meds.
I am convinced my last med "broke" my neurochemistry (after about 15 years on it), and I'm not sure there will be another med that will be effective anymore. (Of course, I'm kinda depressed right now, so, ... grain of salt, and all that...)

It was great when meds worked, but if/when they stop working, then what???
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby catwoman on Mon May 29, 2017 8:28 pm

Since the last time I wrote, my doc upped my Zoloft by 50%, but frankly I don't see that it's doing any good. I'm an anxious mess, and have been avoiding taking the very low dose benzo that I also was prescribed, because I don't want to get hooked on that. Really struggling with an inability to take any sort of action in any direction.
My boyfriend's mother is coming into town next week and she is expecting to see my house. But my house is a mess, and it's been a mess for a long time. And I'm never going to be able to make it a nice house before she gets here. It's not squalor, it's not filthy, it's not things stacked up to the ceilings, but it's messy and embarrassing to me. I really really do not want this woman in my house, judging me. Or being in my house at all. She's not a nice woman, she lives very far away, and there's a good reason for that because her children really don't like her very much.
I chronically feel confused and really unable to start anything or finish anything because I don't know where to start or how to finish. Just overwhelmingly anxious and stressed and paralyzed. The paralysis is the worst. As it's so easy to just Surf the internet all day, and ignore everything around me because it's too overwhelming. I'm really having a terrible time right now between anxiety and depression.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby Frank Decent on Mon May 29, 2017 10:09 pm

catwoman wrote:I chronically feel confused and really unable to start anything or finish anything because I don't know where to start or how to finish. Just overwhelmingly anxious and stressed and paralyzed. The paralysis is the worst. As it's so easy to just Surf the internet all day, and ignore everything around me because it's too overwhelming. I'm really having a terrible time right now between anxiety and depression.


Oh boy. Right there with you. Especially the stuff about not being able to start or finish things, etc. Just plain sucks. If you need to vent feel free to PM.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby bumble on Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:23 pm

Hi! How's it going?

I am feeling anxious! I am having an anxiety flare up for the past cupla-too-tree weeks! It is really not fantastic!

So hey! Does anyone else have recurrent intrusive memories of all the various times you fucked up? Man oh man. Remember that time you okay kind of honestly truly yelled at a fellow student back in the day because her research design was fucked up? Remember that? I sure do. And then it turns into a universal I'm A Terrible Person black hole of fun.

Xanax is helping here and there, and I'm sure it will pass -- they always do -- but these spells of intrusive anxiety and self-hatred are fucking shitty.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby Dave N. on Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:57 pm

bumble wrote: Does anyone else have recurrent intrusive memories of all the various times you fucked up? Man oh man.


Constantly. Always. I live in a hail of regret and grief over dumb and irrelevant exchanges with other humans. I'm still cringing over things I said or did in third grade, and I'm showing no signs of letting up. I want to kick the ass of the person or people who hardwired my brain this way, genetically or otherwise. Every now and then the storm breaks and I scramble to get things done, but for the most part, I'm in a constant state of hunkering.

Meditation and 5-HTP helps. One of these days, I'll give xanax a whirl.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby first2letters on Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:50 pm

Dave N. wrote:
bumble wrote: Does anyone else have recurrent intrusive memories of all the various times you fucked up? Man oh man.


Constantly. Always. I live in a hail of regret and grief over dumb and irrelevant exchanges with other humans. I'm still cringing over things I said or did in third grade, and I'm showing no signs of letting up. I want to kick the ass of the person or people who hardwired my brain this way, genetically or otherwise. Every now and then the storm breaks and I scramble to get things done, but for the most part, I'm in a constant state of hunkering.

Meditation and 5-HTP helps. One of these days, I'll give xanax a whirl.


Man, hearing that I'm not the only one who feels this way helps. I've weathered panic attacks, mood swings, social phobia, and depersonalization, but regret is probably the worst symptom of my own hard-wiring.

I once owned a 7" (wish I could remember the band) that had the words "Remember how long you'll be dead" etched into its matrix -- I try to reflect on those words when the flight response kicks in or my executive functioning nose-dives. It helps to reset me, at least temporarily.

I second the use of meditation and 5-HTP, FWIW. Also been taking magnesium and Acetyl L-Carnitine as I try to wean myself off Paxil and its attendant weight gain/carb cravings/withdrawal symptoms -- which has been taking years, BTW, but I'm getting closer to not needing it.

This thread is its own sort of medicine, too.
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby mrcancelled on Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:23 pm

Last week I went to a doctor after having not been to one in a good while, and it was the first time I've ever addressed anxiety issues to one before. It was towards the end of a routine physical exam that I brought it up, and I'm going in for a follow-up in about a week to discuss medication.

At this point I've tried therapy, OTC drugs/nootropics, meditation, self-help books, etc. I also exercise quite a bit and I quit drinking towards the beginning of the year. Many of these things have been beneficial, but I still have this panic that just kind of blankets everything, especially around people and at work. I've avoided the idea of medication for a long time but now I'm feeling like it's time to give it a shot.

Anyhow, she mentioned Lexapro/SSRIs. Anyone have much experience with these, for anxiety?
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby Janeway on Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:49 am

at a little breakfast restaurant i noticed this fancy basket of muffins and rolls as a gift you could buy and I decided when the waitress came to the table I'd order it for my date as a surprise like it was a bottle of champagne, but when the waitress asked our order and he let me go first, they didn't understand, and the small town lady just thought i was nuts and i felt trapped like "oh god get me out of this moment" I just was blushing on top of blushing and looking at my friend who kept asking question and after question about muffins and baskets and my order and I was like "fast forward this part of life" I didn't think the waitress would ever leave or the questions would stop, it just kept getting worse. I just was stuck at the tiny table with the lady standing over me and the guy staring crazy at me like being interrogated by police and I just was like "oh never mind then" but they insisted on knowing and I just sat there mute and awkward in it til the lady walked away to give us more time and I just was quiet and the guy recommended I reorder something else. I think I just said "chocolate milk" at him and went to the bathroom to cry or something, I was in a daze, it just was the most overcoming experience I could t control and it felt horrible.

i have celiac disease but didn't know at the time and gluten kinda always fucks with your neurochemistry... drug and brain connection, psychopharmacology. my anxiety or panic attack or whatever you can call the embarrassed internal flip out about muffins was lucky for me to be an isolated incident. but I've always wondered how anxiety ... for those who have it recurrent, I'm wondering if they can pin point their first occurrence, ether it's been lifelong or sparked in childhood or during pueberty or formative years. I've reread through some of the random pages on here and it seems like, if there some kind of social coaching like in addition to medication or cbt, but like , if you can relive an anxiety moment ...

for me it's like dress rehearsal. I was never nervous on stage cause I'd use my nerves in my tummy as butterflies wanting to take flight and I figure your tummy is where you giggle and if you laugh really hard, even fake laughing hard, it's like doing sit ups to make the excited nerves of being on stage melt away. there's no way to have like, a rehearsal dinner of an anxiety attack that's hiding in a moment you haven't had to face yet, but I think a lot of folks don't realize you can do a post-rehearsal of a moment that sucked. like getting revenge on a moment. I can willingly decide to go back to the same restaurant and when the waitress bring the menu not even look at it an order the basket and when it's niagra falls questions flying at me I'll just continue to smile and say "because I'm hungry for muffins, that's who. go get my basket now please, I got places to be". and I'll prob overtip with a $20 bill because that's a whole other issue to deal with, but folks don't mind or ask too many questions when you give them too much money.

anyone with more than one incident ever, how can you keep up with all the behaviors of folks messin with you? it's okay to have anxiety, I just want us living in a world where folks can have a panic attack in a room same as an epileptic seizure where folks are aware and know how to help instead of making things worse by only offering medicine without understanding. doctors aren't the only ones who should be experts on such a social emotional reaction, since we're all on this island together folks. I hope at least when the attack subsides you guys have some kinda island rewards for yourself for getting through another crappy experience. good job, now go eat a burger on the beach like jimmy Buffett and have a mellow happy party, the jimmy buffettest
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby chrisc on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:58 pm

bumble wrote:So hey! Does anyone else have recurrent intrusive memories of all the various times you fucked up? Man oh man. Remember that time you okay kind of honestly truly yelled at a fellow student back in the day because her research design was fucked up? Remember that? I sure do. And then it turns into a universal I'm A Terrible Person black hole of fun.


:smt006

I brought this up to my therapist a week or two ago. She told me to stop, take three breaths, then reframe. It seems helpful but I'm bad at it still. I had to google it to remember how just now. link
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Re: Attacked! by Anxiety!

Postby bishopdante on Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:47 pm

Our exploitative, unequal, materialistic and socioeconomically harsh society (globally) has been conducting itself in a viciously unethical and unscientific fashion for quite some time.

At what point are we going to wake up and smell the coffee? At what point are we going to recognise the destructive sociological force of prioritising MONEY MONEY MONEY.

The problem with psychosocial stress, we are discovering, is that it activates the microglia (brain's immune cells) to attack the brain, which becomes inflamed by stress. Chronic stress or anxiety is disastrous for mental health, and the modern type of stress is not narural, nor are we evolved for it.

This auto-immune response may be implicated in all manner of serious disorders, from schizophrenia to depression to alzheimers to parkinsons. Antibodies can strip cells of their receptors... pretty worrying. Best not to jam non-endogenous chemicals into receptors which may cause an immune response.

One of the contemporary problems is people getting anxious about being anxious. That doesn't help.

Adrenaline / cortisol is a matter of chemistry, and if you are drowning in a bath of the stuff, what you think is the result of that condition, not vice versa.

Stress, especially chronic stress... is seriously not good for a person. These days whether rich or poor... nearly everybody is stressed. In the UK we have reached a point where 70% of people's income is going on rent/mortgage (compared to 15% a few decades ago). That is insane, and if you miss a month you're pushed over the edge into socioeconomic free fall.

Another problem is dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, or HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) system. Sleep deprivation combined with stress is particularly bad for producing this.

Skyrocketing heart rate, exploding chest / messed up breathing, muscle spasms, shaking hands & legs, and a terrifying mental state of confusion and free-floating fear, that can be diagnosed as a "panic attack", and thus trivialised. The truth is that these events can be quite dangerous, and are a sign of a medical-grade problem. It isn't "all in your head".

In the UK all of the metrics of serious stress are bleeping red lights and alarm bells. Suicide rates soaring, mental health helpline calls soaring, as we strip away the protections for all people, not just those who happen to be poor today - but that is the argument against safety nets, welfare measures, public facilities, - "scroungers". The idea is to create extreme economic pressure. Stop people from slacking. The problem is that creating a high-risk intolerant society massively escalates stress, aggression, alcoholism, drug abuse, and that has consequences.

Is the solution to the escalating stress more benzos, more SSRIs... is that the solution?

No way, I say.

Change the situation. The conditions, and conditioning. The situation for a *lot* of people is dicey. Socially. Economically. Medically.

We *really* need to do something about this. Not just as individuals, but as a society. A global society.

What I saw in Shenzhen China, "all work and no play" massive factory mill-town, with thick burning plastic air and the workers chewing methamphetamine to cram in the shifts... terrifying. Not right. Toxic.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3621819/

________

If you are suffering from chronic stress or anxiety... the traditional solution was rest and recuperation. Take a holiday. Change the channel. Go see some friends. Go for a run. Go have a fight (in a dojo). Batter some drums (I like it).

Prescription drugs are not safer, or less drug-like because they are manufactured by a corporation.

Just look at Bayer corporation and heroin in the first half of the 20th century... or Purdue and oxycontin today. Big money. Not safe.

In the United States, methamphetamine hydrochloride, under the trade name Desoxyn, has been approved by the FDA for treating ADHD and obesity in both adults and children


^ that's meth.

That'll give a person anything from panic to psychosis to parkinson's.

______

Elvis was on prescription, on his way out of the building:

Dilaudid, Percodan, Placidyl, Dexedrine, Biphetamine, Tiunal, Desbutal, Escatrol, Amytal, Quaaludes, Carbrital, Seconal, Methadone and Ritalin.

(And a hefty doctor's bill).

Why? So he could cope with a completely farcical workload.

If you thought athletes had problems with (temporarily) performance-enhancing drugs... you haven't seen the performing arts done USA-style.

________

Definitely

*quit*
*the*
*drugs*.

They work in the short term, but what goes up must come down. Having a medicated and artificially insulated psyche and physiology results in exposing yourself to situations that a person would avoid sober.
Last edited by bishopdante on Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision." - Bertrand Russell
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bishopdante
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:25 am
Location: London

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