Archive for the ‘Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid’ Category

DRUG THERAPY FOR INSOMNIA

The more we learn about sleep, the more we know about how to manage sleep disorders. In recent years, as data from sleep labs and other sources have become increasingly available, many physicians have begun to realize that in most cases pharmaceutical management of insomnia is at best a temporary solution. As a result of our growing knowledge, there has been a decided change in the way doctors deal with the problem. In 1964, the first year such data were collected, over 32 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were written. By 1971 the number peaked at over 42 million; by 1982, however, that figure had been cut exactly in half.
“Treating” insomnia by administering medicine may produce sleep for a few days or a few weeks, and the careful use of drugs can help especially if you are severely troubled by your insomnia or if inadequate sleep poses a threat to your health, safety, or well-being. However, unless your doctor uncovers the physical or mental disorder that is causing your sleeplessness, the problem will simply persist. In a sense sleeping pills are like throat lozenges, which soothe the irritation but do not cure the cough. No pill yet conceived cures insomnia. A more effective approach to chronic insomnia is some combination of psychological and behavioral therapies, the goal of which is to encourage poor sleepers to quit dwelling on the symptoms and bring about changes in sleep habits.
There is one exception to the rule: in rare cases of true organic insomnia—sleeplessness without any identifiable medical or psychological cause—long-term therapy with sleep-inducing drugs may be required. Even then, treatment is most effective if the patient takes frequent drug “holidays,” or respites, from the use of medication.
From the pharmaceutical fact file:
* Sleeping medications are the most widely used class of drugs in this country.
* Doctors write between 20 and 30 million prescriptions a year for sleeping pills and tranquilizers.
* Americans spend over $200 million a year for sleeping medications.
* Over 4 percent of the population—nearly 11 million people—use prescription sleep medicines.
* An even larger group uses over-the-counter preparations.
* About half of all patients in hospitals receive sleep medications at some point during their stay.
* Approximately 600 tons of sleeping medications are consumed each year.
Here’s the kicker:
* In many cases these pills don’t work, make the problem worse, or result in serious side effects. About a third of drug-related deaths reported to the Department of Health and Human Services involve sleeping pills.
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DRUG THERAPY FOR INSOMNIAThe more we learn about sleep, the more we know about how to manage sleep disorders. In recent years, as data from sleep labs and other sources have become increasingly available, many physicians have begun to realize that in most cases pharmaceutical management of insomnia is at best a temporary solution. As a result of our growing knowledge, there has been a decided change in the way doctors deal with the problem. In 1964, the first year such data were collected, over 32 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were written. By 1971 the number peaked at over 42 million; by 1982, however, that figure had been cut exactly in half.”Treating” insomnia by administering medicine may produce sleep for a few days or a few weeks, and the careful use of drugs can help especially if you are severely troubled by your insomnia or if inadequate sleep poses a threat to your health, safety, or well-being. However, unless your doctor uncovers the physical or mental disorder that is causing your sleeplessness, the problem will simply persist. In a sense sleeping pills are like throat lozenges, which soothe the irritation but do not cure the cough. No pill yet conceived cures insomnia. A more effective approach to chronic insomnia is some combination of psychological and behavioral therapies, the goal of which is to encourage poor sleepers to quit dwelling on the symptoms and bring about changes in sleep habits.There is one exception to the rule: in rare cases of true organic insomnia—sleeplessness without any identifiable medical or psychological cause—long-term therapy with sleep-inducing drugs may be required. Even then, treatment is most effective if the patient takes frequent drug “holidays,” or respites, from the use of medication.From the pharmaceutical fact file:* Sleeping medications are the most widely used class of drugs in this country.* Doctors write between 20 and 30 million prescriptions a year for sleeping pills and tranquilizers.* Americans spend over $200 million a year for sleeping medications.* Over 4 percent of the population—nearly 11 million people—use prescription sleep medicines.* An even larger group uses over-the-counter preparations.* About half of all patients in hospitals receive sleep medications at some point during their stay.* Approximately 600 tons of sleeping medications are consumed each year.Here’s the kicker:* In many cases these pills don’t work, make the problem worse, or result in serious side effects. About a third of drug-related deaths reported to the Department of Health and Human Services involve sleeping pills.*265\226\8*

Posted on March 25th, 2011 by admin  |  No Comments »

ORDINARY STRESS

Ordinary stress is pressure exerted on us in our normal daily life. My car breaks down, my boss misunderstands me, I lose some money in my investment, 1 have an argument with my friend, I am going to sit an important examination tomorrow, and so on; these are normal events that we may have everyday. I am jealous, I am disappointed, I regret, I am frustrated, I feel guilty, I am frightened, and so on; these are feelings and reactions we can have in our everyday lives.

When we are under stress, a normal reacting mechanism in our body works to counteract the stress applied to us. Our body feels threatened, and we put ourselves on battle alert. We respond in two ways: with a biological reaction and with a psychological reaction. These two ways go hand in hand with each other, and both are protective mechanisms against the threat of imminent danger.

Biological reaction. Our body is immediately geared up for the stress, ready for Tight or flight’. Plenty of adrenaline is circulating, and our muscles are all tensed, our heart pumping hard, our blood pressure high so that our body is ready for the flight, our blood thickened and able to clot easily just in case we are injured or bleed in the fight, and our eyes wide open with the pupils dilated and staring at every move of the enemy. There is little chance of falling asleep when

there is imminent danger as we are on guard all the time.

The biological reaction to stress developed way back in the course of evolution, but is still very important in present day life; for example, in a boxing competition or when soldiers are fighting in combat Or when attacked by a burglar, we have to either ‘fight’ or ‘flight’.

However, in most modern stress situations the biological reaction becomes a burden. Physical action is normally not required. If your boss misunderstands you, you become very uptight and are ready to explode. But in most cases, even if you want to, you are not going to give him a black eye, as this is a civilized world. This biological reaction generates a lot of energy, which we are unable to release. We feel distressed. Continual, chronic, modern stress can be harmful to the body. We are flooded with excess adrenaline, and we have a greater chance of falling victim to a heart attack or stroke. This is because, during the biological reaction to stress, the blood pressure is high to increase the energy supply through circulation, and the blood will clot easily to stop bleeding if this is necessary. Some authorities recommend an aspirin a day to thin the blood, so as to prevent heart attack or stroke, as both can result from a clot in a vital blood vessel; in the case of a heart attack, it is a clot in the coronary artery supplying the heart muscle, and, in the case of a stroke, it is a clot in an important artery supplying the brain.

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Posted on May 8th, 2009 by admin  |  No Comments »

SUNDRY CONDITIONS FOR SELF-MANAGEMENT OF ANXIETY: IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

At the age of fourteen a boy became increasingly fussy about things. He developed a number of fads, particularly about having proper exercise and special foods. If anything should happen to interfere with these matters he would fly into a terrible temper. He would become quite beside himself in rage. On many occasions he threw food on the floor, smashed crockery and did wilful damage to furniture and household articles. He frequently hit his mother. However, both parents were extraordinarily tolerant of these outbursts which continued with increasing severity. In spite of this grossly disturbed behaviour he did remarkably well at university entrance examinations, and obtained honours at the end of his first year. Nevertheless, the violence of his outbursts increased with greater damage to property and further assaults to his mother. So much so, that at the age of twenty he was certified to a mental asylum. After nine months in the asylum his parents were told by the authorities that nothing more could be done for him, and that he would probably spend the rest of his life in a mental asylum.

At this stage it was arranged that he should be transferred to a private hospital under my care. However, he had grown to rely on the security of the mental asylum, and he steadfastly refused to leave, and the authorities would not compel him to do so. This strange state of affairs

continued for several weeks. Then he suddenly decided to go to the private hospital.

It was all very difficult. He was edgy and unco-operative and for the most part refused any medication. His knowledge that at any time he could return to the mental asylum where he had felt secure did not help matters.

I eventually brought him to do the relaxing mental exercises. His tension was gradually reduced and he became more co-operative. In a couple of months he was well enough to leave the hospital and live in a flat of his own. A few months later he was able to resume at the university. The present indications are that he will finish his course with quite a brilliant scholastic record.

This has happened to a lad whose parents were told that he would have to remain in a mental asylum for the rest of his life. It became possible solely by the reduction of his general level of anxiety by the practice of the mental exercises.

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Posted on April 29th, 2009 by admin  |  No Comments »

ANXIETY DISORDERS/FEAR OF LOSING CONTROL: FEELING FAINT

The sensation of feeling faint and/or dizzy can be a result of either not eating, depersonalisation or hyperventilation, or a combination of all three! The nausea many people feel can result in them not eating. Not just occasionally missing meals, but simply not eating. This is turn will cause feelings of faintness or dizziness, shaking and an overall sense of weakness.

We forget these sensations are a natural result of not eating and put them down to the anxiety, which in turn adds to the cycle. If we don’t eat we can become more vulnerable to dissociation. Attention to diet is extremely important. If you are experiencing difficulty in being able to eat it is important that you speak with your doctor.

If dizziness or feeling faint is a result of dissociation, we can break the dissociated state, or if it is a result of hyperventilation we can adjust our breathing.

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Posted on April 21st, 2009 by admin  |  No Comments »

TRANQUILLISERS FOR ANXIETY DISORDERS

Although tranquillisers were one of the first defences against anxiety, the growing controversy over their use for some of the anxiety disorders means this type of treatment is slowly being withdrawn. The current trend is not to prescribe tranquillisers for anxiety disorders. If they are prescribed, then it is only for a two to four week period (Brayley et al. 1991). While this will lower the risk of possible addiction, it does not solve the original difficulties caused through the limited understanding, treatment facilities and resources for people with anxiety disorders.

We are all aware of the millions of prescriptions written each year for tranquillisers, which in itself should be enough to highlight this problem in the community. It hasn’t. The controversy over tranquillisers should have added further emphasis. It hasn’t. We need to be taught management skills from the beginning. This would enable us to take control of our disorder from the outset.

People who have been taking tranquillisers over a long period of time are in a similar situation. Although there are withdrawal programs, there is still only limited help available. Again, management skills need to be taught and they can be of great assistance during any withdrawal process.

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Posted on April 21st, 2009 by admin  |  No Comments »

SECONDARY CONDITIONS OF ANXIETY DISORDERS: DIAGNOSIS AND THE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING

The what ifs

Getting a diagnosis with an inadequate, or no explanation, brings feelings of unease and disquiet. From these, the ‘what ifs’ are born. ‘What if the doctor has made a mistake?’ ‘What if there is really something wrong which has been overlooked?’. Our fear pushes the anxiety level higher and we do have another panic attack. The cycle of panic and anxiety has begun. We can’t imagine why, if we are only suffering from stress or anxiety, we can’t ‘pull ourselves together’. In fact, the harder we try, the worse we become.

The lack of understanding

The various treatments we try are either partially effective or completely ineffective. The responsibility is thrown onto us. We are not trying to ‘pull ourselves together’, we are ‘obviously getting something out of being this way’, we are ‘weak and have no will power’ or ‘no strength of character’.

Ineffective treatment does not mean we are ineffective people. The lack of understanding and inadequate treatment does make it appear to everyone, including family, friends and doctors that we can’t ‘pull ourselves together’. But what everyone doesn’t realise is that if it were so easy, we would have ‘pulled ourselves together’ long before now. Many of us are living with anxiety and panic attacks as constant companions, and the fear of what is happening to us can’t be brushed aside or dismissed so easily.

Without adequate understanding and treatment we do not know how to effectively control what is happening to us, so we use other forms of control in an effort to ease our situation. Ironically and tragically, many of the controls we use actually become the secondary conditions and help to compound and perpetuate the disorder. This in turn perpetuates and compounds the myth that we are not doing anything to help ourselves.

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Posted on April 21st, 2009 by admin  |  No Comments »

POWER OVER PANIC: PANIC DISORDER AND GENERALISED ANXIETY

Central to panic disorder is the experience of spontaneous panic attacks. The attacks can be a result of a major life stress or a build-up of stress. People may have an attack months after an extremely stressful episode and never have another one. Other people may have intermittent attacks throughout their life, not necessarily at predictable times. A number of people have reported their panic attacks began while using marijuana.

Panic disorder is diagnosed after a person has experienced ‘at least two’ spontaneous panic attacks followed by one month of ‘persistent concern’ of having another one. Although it is not unusual for people who develop panic disorder to have two or more attacks a day and to experience pervasive anxiety in anticipation of having another one (APA 1994). Many people feel as if they are having a heart attack or they may die or go insane or lose control in some way.

Generalised anxiety disorder

Generalised anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences ‘anxiety and worry for at least six months over particular real life events’ such as marital or financial problems (APA 1994).

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Posted on April 21st, 2009 by admin  |  No Comments »