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Stress, Anxiety, Grief, and Its Manifestations

 
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I'm so honored you all have shared your stories here. My heart goes out to you in your struggles.

I found this. Which I love.

(source)

I think "lifeache" is a brilliant term for so many things.

And then I found this woman describing the Impossible Task.

M. Molly Backes
@mollybackes
Depression commercials always talk about sadness but they never mention that sneaky symptom that everyone with depression knows all too well: the Impossible Task.

5:43 PM - Aug 27, 2018


M. Molly Backes
@mollybackes
The Impossible Task could be anything:  going to the bank, refilling a prescription, making your bed, checking your email, paying a bill. From the outside, its sudden impossibility makes ZERO sense.

8:47 PM - Aug 27, 2018


She goes on - click the link above to read through her explanations, and/or click through the article to the original Twitter post, and see some of the responses. (Though beware the crazy ads with that article!) Pretty brilliant as well.

~~~~~~~~

Wishing you all herbal remedies for your lifeaches, and less Impossible Tasks in your world.

 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I keep seeing this - does this method help?





This seems to be doing the same thing the Fox Walk, Deer Ears, owl eyes, wolf nose, raccoon touch activity I have done with dozens of outdoor education classes, and it consistently correlates with better behavior, more relaxed but engaged students, better observations and connecting of ideas, and generally better learning and experiential outcomes for students and myself as a teacher. I learned this from a wilderness therapist who works primarily with women with ptsd, and she explained that this form of moving meditation had analogues in both Lakota Sioux and Zen buddhist cultures, and was proven to activate similar parts of the brain as sitting meditation. It is also a great way to introduce observations that lead to inquiry, whether scientific, spiritual, social or philosophical.

To all who are suffering, I feel for you. If my feeling bad for you could help I’d do it, but it won’t so it may help remember that when you are empathizing to a self destructive extent. I have found a great deal of solace in philosophy, especially the stoics and transcendental idealists. Spinoza most of all has helped with depression. He was an excommunicated 16thcentury Dutch Jew (tough place to find oneself), who was called “The Philosopher” by Hegel, was a favorite of Einstein’s (he said “I believe in the God of Spinoza”, which is essentially the singularity of all time and space happening all at once), and he inspired Arne Naess’ philosophy of Deep Ecology. What I remember best is his argument that “hilaritas”, or an almost laughing Buddha like attitude, is always justifiable. This is from someone with a very tough life story. Of course it’s hard when our brain chemistry is off, but remember that is does absolutely no practical good for anyone for you to feel bad. Go ahead and feel bad if you do, happens to me all the time, and feeling bad about being depressed is obviously not the point! But remember that you deserve to be happy, it only helps others for you to be happy, and you are the only person who can give the best version of yourself to the world, and that best version of you is happy! Now back to my winter long seasonal depression🧐.
 
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hau kola Nichole, Anxiety comes from many of the same places as stress.

Many of us see someone else in distress and that makes us feel their distress, this is the empathetic response which is more prevalent in people who have heightened senses.
If a person is prone to worrying about things they can not control because it is something that will happen with or without any input from them, that person will be susceptible to anxiety.
I know many people who fit that description, I've tried to help them, but was unsuccessful.

I learned a long time ago to stop and think, this allows me to decide if I can do something that will change an outcome, or if it is something that is going to unravel regardless of anything I can do.
If it is something that will change, then I will act, but if it won't be effected by my actions, then I have to let it run down the path on it's own.
My wife is a worry wart, I have to keep reminding her that she needs to first decide if she can make the thing she is worrying about change direction, if she can't then it is not worth the energy of her worrying about it.
This has helped her somewhat, but I think people who are prone to worry are going to always have worry with them and since worry brings with it anxiety, that too will always be a part of their life without a huge effort to relearn how to deal with things.
Stresses can be fought but that usually will bring on anxiety.
I liken it to being caught in an undertow current, if you try to swim against the current, you will tire and drown, if you swim with it you will be far out to sea before you are free of it, if you swim at an angle along the flow you will become free sooner and so closer to shore than if you just swim with it.
Some people might use the head against the brick wall analogy.

Children do observe the people around them and learn from what they see others do, so if you want a child to grow up well adjusted and able to deal with the stresses of life, you must also be a person who can do this.
Some of the things that I find very different among my culture and the European style culture is when to teach and how to teach (anyone), if the child is interested then they will learn quickly, if they aren't then you can not beat the lesson into their head.
If you show a child how to do something and then let them try without any interfering by you, they may struggle, but they will soon become better at performing that something. They will also take more pride within themselves because they did IT!

For those of us with ill spouses, we are thrust into a mulit-faceted role where we are on one hand the teacher of the children, the caretaker in a situation over which we might be mostly helpless to change the illness, and then our own needs have to be met all at the same time.
This is a recipe for meltdown no matter how you look at it.
So what we have to do is find which parts we can't do anything about and leave those to the creator to deal with, this allows us to have better focus on the things we do have the ability to change.

I have seen this prayer many times and it does ring true.
THE SERINETY PRAYER
"God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference."
 
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Dave Burton wrote:I didn't know yet that I was staying alive, because my ethics prevented me from killing myself, but didn't want to live, let alone do my classes, but still had to do well, because I felt an obligation to do so. And once I made that understanding and was feeling those strong emotions, antidepressants acted like a "safety-helmet" for my thinking while I was learning the tools for coping with anxiety and depression in my therapy and counseling sessions.  The drugs did not necessarily make me happy. It was more of that I went from "thought-thought-thought-thought" (which led me on some nasty spirals) to "thought.... thought..... thought.... thought..." (which gave me enough time to think about my own thinking and correct my own self-responses).

And yes, I most definitely agree compassion is the best and most needed response for people who are depressed. That was the biggest thing I needed- to know I was not alone, to know that others feel these feelings, and that there is a future. That is difficult to see sometimes.



I know exactly what you mean by thought-thought-thought.  Years ago I recall a GP told me he thought depression was linked to personality type, and that the people that suffer from it tend to be type A personalities that think fast. His theory was that it burned up/used up the neurotransmitters like serotonin too quickly which is what led to depression.

I have since read a different but similar theory that makes more sense to me. People that are fairly bright and prone to be a bit high strung can think of a LOT more things that can go wrong , and they can come up with them very quickly (as compared to a slow witted person that can't come up with a quick long list of horrible potential outcomes). All of those rapid fear inducing ideas keep firing off cortisioids (the stress hormone) and that is what causes the imbalance since it is an established fact that high cortisol levels lower the amount of serotonin, and low serotonin causes anxiety and depression.

But it is important to remember that we DO have control over our thoughts. If we catch ourselves starting to ruminate on horrible possibilities we can in fact cut the thoughts off and switch to more pleasant, or at least neutral thoughts.  Every time we do it we start to catch and cut off the negative thought patterns earlier. It really does help, not saying it will fix depression but it stops the constant flow of cortisoids (signaled by stomach flutters in my case) brought on by a loop of repetitive negative thoughts.

And you are right, antidepressants don't make us feel "good", they just bring us back to normal.  I recall one time after I had been taking prozac for two weeks I was driving to work when it suddenly dawned on me that I was thinking normal thoughts and even looked forward to some small pleasant thing later that day (like going to lunch). I hadn't done that in several months so feeling okay and not under this constant cloud of doom/dread was an amazing relief.

On a side note that is one of the big reasons behind the opioid epidemic. People tend to think those individuals just love to "get high" and once they get a good buzz from prescription drugs they want to stay on that super fun roller coaster.  In fact the people that become psychology addicted (virtually none actually become physically addicted from pills) are really individuals that are very stressed or have a lot of anxiety, and when they get on a mood elevating drug like an opioid it makes them feel a wash of relief because the anxiety/depression is suddenly lifted off of them and they feel "normal".  That is what causes so many to get hooked, it brings their anxiety down to a comfortable level and once they experience that feeling of "normalcy" they want more of it.
 
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Lucrecia,

Just a couple of observations about your last post.  Firstly, very true, depression and anxiety are very real and potentially very serious disorders that have been minimized/trivialized in the past.  Fortunately, today there is a much greater awareness of how serious these disorders impact peoples’ lives.  Also fortunately, the stigma surrounding these diseases is starting to wane, but unfortunately, the stigma still lives on.  Both of these disorders are very serious and anyone suffering from them should get medical help and absolutely not feel stigmatized for doing so.  Increasingly, both depression and anxiety are understood as having verifiable organic causes that require medication.  No one should ever be stigmatized for going to a doctor for mental illness any more than they would stigmatized for having an infection or having the flu.  Mental illness is never the victim’s fault.

On the opioid crises we have, you have many good points, but I must respectfully disagree with a couple of your points.  First a background though.  An addiction, technically speaking, is a self destructive pattern of behavior that is outside the control of the afflicted person.  A person can be addicted to almost anything from drugs to shopping, to gambling, to sex, to eating, and the list goes on and on.

A chemical dependence (sometimes called a physical addiction) occurs when a chemical has been taken long enough that the body develops a tolerance to the chemical to the point where if the chemical is no longer present, the person will go through withdrawal symptoms (which are generally opposite those of the main symptoms).

With that being said, I agree that many opioid addicts started using opioids to alleviate stress.  However, I respectfully disagree with you regarding the statement that many opioid addicts are merely psychologically addicted and not chemically dependant.  Opioids produce tolerance and chemical dependence very quickly, and a person using even prescribed opioids for a length of time may find themselves chemically dependent even if using as directed.  If these people quit using abruptly, they then go through very painful, uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawals in a matter of hours.  Opioid withdrawal can be deadly if going cold turkey.  In the past, as many as 1/10-1/15 of people going cold turkey died during the withdrawal phase (usually 2-3 days).

I really don’t mean to be hypercritical, I just had to point out that people using opioids can become chemically dependent very, very quickly.  I teach psychology, so this is an area very important to me.

Sorry if I rambled too much,

Eric
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Eric Hanson wrote:
I really don’t mean to be hypercritical, I just had to point out that people using opioids can become chemically dependent very, very quickly.  I teach psychology, so this is an area very important to me.

Sorry if I rambled too much,

Eric



I based my opinion on the studies that tracked 15,000 veterans taking Oxycontin and other opioids for at least 3 months. Here is a link to it:



For example, Edlund et al. (2007) prospectively studied of over 15,000 veterans who were not on opioids before the study period. They were started on opiate analgesics for pain and were maintained on the medications for at least 3 months. Only 2% developed opioid abuse. Although another study indicated an overall greater incidence of opioid abuse (ca. 6%) in individuals treated for pain (Pletcher et al., 2006), most of the abusers had used illicit drugs (mainly amphetamine) prior to opioid treatment.

Importantly, neither study reported any cases of opiate addiction, only abuse. This distinction is important because substance abuse is much more common than true addiction and its definition is influenced by social, cultural and legal factors that are independent of the medical issues.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3073133/

 
Eric Hanson
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Lucrecia,

The study goes on to say “opiate addiction due to appropriate medical management of pain is rare.”  This statement is consistent with the distinction between addiction and chemical dependence.  In my opinion, a person taking opiates for pain, and using the medication as directed does not qualify as an addict.  However, the person will almost certainly become chemically dependent.  If they stop taking the opioids abruptly, they will be in for a very bad 2-3 days.

Overall, I agree with your statement, and I think the thrust of the article was that persons maintained on opioids (and use them as directed, not intentionally using them to get high) are unlikely to fall into a pattern of abuse.

I hope you did not find my statements as offensive or antagonistic, I certainly did not mean for them to be so.  I just felt the need to point out how easily opioids can produce a potent chemical dependence, especially when taken outside of medical supervision.

Again, I apologize if I offended.  I certainly did not mean to.

Eric
 
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Lucrecia Anderson wrote:But it is important to remember that we DO have control over our thoughts.



We do?

I don't. (lol)

The only thing I have control over is how I respond to thoughts. They're like watching a movie. My attention can either be fixated on the movie emoting to the drama. Or I can be aware that I'm sitting in a movie theater calmly watching the movie.

In the first way of relating to thought, I have no choice but to compulsively act on thought as if it was me. But in the second way, I can choose either to act on thought... or to simply let it pass by unresponded knowing it's not me.

As a latecomer, I've only read part of this thread. Has anyone here experienced any connection between depression and anger?
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Eric Hanson wrote:Lucrecia,

The study goes on to say “opiate addiction due to appropriate medical management of pain is rare.”  This statement is consistent with the distinction between addiction and chemical dependence.  In my opinion, a person taking opiates for pain, and using the medication as directed does not qualify as an addict.  However, the person will almost certainly become chemically dependent.  If they stop taking the opioids abruptly, they will be in for a very bad 2-3 days.

Overall, I agree with your statement, and I think the thrust of the article was that persons maintained on opioids (and use them as directed, not intentionally using them to get high) are unlikely to fall into a pattern of abuse.

I hope you did not find my statements as offensive or antagonistic, I certainly did not mean for them to be so.  I just felt the need to point out how easily opioids can produce a potent chemical dependence, especially when taken outside of medical supervision.

Again, I apologize if I offended.  I certainly did not mean to.

Eric



No offense taken, I just like to clarify things as I consider it a matter of credibility. I am a skeptic and if someone made a statement like the one I made about opiate addiction, and it was NOT based on legit data/facts, but was based on some rumor that they heard it would immediately call everything else they said into question.

I originally looked up that study because someone that had just undergone major surgery was afraid to take their pain meds for fear of turning into an addict, they asked others for input on the risk of addiction. There is a lot of fear and misconceptions surrounding opiates right now and if people looked at the stats and the facts it would help them make rational decisions.
 
Eric Hanson
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Lucrecia,

I agree wholeheartedly with your friend's predicament.  I think a statement I like to use in class applies here.  That would be to use as directed.  The likelihood of your friend falling into the trap of either addiction or chemical dependence when using opioids for short term pain relief is indeed very low if used as directed.  I am glad we basically see eye to eye on this.

Eric
 
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Greg Mamishian wrote:
As a latecomer, I've only read part of this thread. Has anyone here experienced any connection between depression and anger?



Yes apparently some depressed males (I believe it is a minority, thankfully) turn the rage "outward" in the form of anger whereas most males and virtually all females turn the rage inwards. That may be an over simplification but it becomes more apparent if they act out.

In extreme cases it makes the difference between a mass shooting followed by a suicide, versus just a plain old suicide.

And since it isn't a classic symptom the ones affected by it are probably less likely to even realize it is depression.
 
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Eric Hanson wrote:Lucrecia,

I agree wholeheartedly with your friend's predicament.  I think a statement I like to use in class applies here.  That would be to use as directed.  The likelihood of your friend falling into the trap of either addiction or chemical dependence when using opioids for short term pain relief is indeed very low if used as directed.  I am glad we basically see eye to eye on this.

Eric



I think a good debate to research with regard to this particular issue embedded within this thread is that between Drs. Gabor Mate and Stanton Peele, both highly educated and trained in addiction counseling and with rather opposing opinions on the basis and recovery path for addictions.  In fact, Eric, I would encourage you as an educator to possibly take up this topic in your class as a "critical thinking" exercise....weighing the arguments and references of each practitioner, readily found in their exchanges and offerings on the internet.  Eric, as for the recommendation to "...use as directed", isn't that partly how at least the situation in the US got to the point that it did with the addiction?  And please understand that I'm not singling out one facet of the addiction-prone as they interface with the health care system as it seems to be a rather systemic problem with many underlying forces at work here.  I've heard that now the opposite is the case....many with true pain problems are  having a difficult time obtaining the best pain relief because opioids are under such high recent scrutiny.

Greg M. "Has anyone here experienced any connection between depression and anger?"

From humans to rat models, parental neglect in one shape or form often leads to depressive symptoms, often enduring after the neglect has been relieved: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_impact_of_child_neglect_in_early_childhood

If that is coupled with notion of early life neglect leading to anxiety and anger, and all of this considered along a developmental trajectory, there may be a global link between these factors: https://www.amazon.com/Separation-Anxiety-Anger-Classics-Attachment/dp/0465097162
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Lucrecia Anderson wrote:But it is important to remember that we DO have control over our thoughts.



We do?

I don't. (lol)

The only thing I have control over is how I respond to thoughts. They're like watching a movie. My attention can either be fixated on the movie emoting to the drama. Or I can be aware that I'm sitting in a movie theater calmly watching the movie.

In the first way of relating to thought, I have no choice but to compulsively act on thought as if it was me. But in the second way, I can choose either to act on thought... or to simply let it pass by unresponded knowing it's not me.



Well we may not have control over thoughts popping up but most have control over whether or not we fixate on those thoughts for the next 20 minutes. If we catch ourselves in the process we can force ourselves to start thinking about something else, even a preplanned something else like the spring garden or something. At least I assume most people can!

One thing I try to be mindful of is what came first, the thought/cause or the feeling?  For instance if something happened that made you immediately angry that is one thing, however sometimes the feeling of anger (or anxiety) came first and then our brains instantly scramble to find a reason/cause for the feeling, and once it latches on to a "reason" we fixate on it. Course if you have the news on you won't have to scramble for a reason as it will provide a constant steady stream!
 
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Lucrecia Anderson wrote:One thing I try to be mindful of is what came first, the thought/cause or the feeling?



Damn right! This was one of the tools I learned about in therapy, and I think this helps a bunch! Because, sometimes my thoughts are triggered by a feeling I have had. Sometimes, my thoughts come first. And sometimes, my thoughts are in response in something that recently happened, but may not have triggered an immediate noticeable emotional response. And that's a tricky thing, too. Sometimes, I get very delayed emotional responses to things. Like, when I saw an ambulance rushing by, then, it reminds me of a memory I have, and then that memory triggers the emotion of crying. Sometimes, the order of events is different.
 
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It's been a difficult few weeks for me.  This video helped.

 
Eric Hanson
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John,

Regarding the "using as directed" comment.

Say a person is given a narcotic/opioid/opiate where a person can take one pill every 6 hours as needed for pain.  I am willing to believe that this is a fairly commonly written instruction for narcotics.  If a person followed these instructions carefully and never took more than one pill every 6 hours, then I highly doubt the person is going to develop a true addiction, or abuse the drug.  To be clear, when a person uses the drug as directed, I do not consider this abuse.  As Lucrecia pointed out, most patients do take their medications as directed.  These patients are almost certainly not going to become addicts (they may become chemically dependent, but as long as they take their medication as directed, they do not suffer withdrawals, nor do they suffer the real life-crippling effects of a person who has fallen into the trap of addiction).  

A different case entirely is a patient who takes his pills once every 6 hours, no longer gets the high he once did and then becomes inventive with ways to re-experience the initial euphoria.  Maybe he takes two pills instead of one.  Maybe he goes 2-3 days only taking two pills so he can save up for a little "party" when he binges on triple or quadruple the dose on the 3rd or 4th day.  This is the way a person falls into the trap of addiction.  And in this case, they were definitely not using as directed.  In most cases, once a person goes off the "use as directed" route the patient runs out early and then tries to get extra pills.  This is where a doctor is faced with a real dilemma.  Is the patient using his pain meds for legitimate pain and truly does need more, or is the patient just trying to get more drugs from the doctor?  It is not an easy decision, but that is one of the reasons that doctor's get paid the money they do.  They have to make very consequential decisions about a patient's health and sometimes do so when a patient is being less than honest.  And a doctor's liability seemingly never ends.

I hope this helps illustrate what I mean about "using as directed."  There are all sorts of ways to abuse medications that were obtained legitimately, but in my book, the use as directed in not abuse.  I am not trying to come off as sounding rude, I am just trying to be clear on my thoughts.

Eric

 
John Weiland
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Eric Hanson wrote:.....In most cases, once a person goes off the "use as directed" route the patient runs out early and then tries to get extra pills.  This is where a doctor is faced with a real dilemma.  Is the patient using his pain meds for legitimate pain and truly does need more, or is the patient just trying to get more drugs from the doctor?  It is not an easy decision, but that is one of the reasons that doctor's get paid the money they do.  They have to make very consequential decisions about a patient's health and sometimes do so when a patient is being less than honest.  And a doctor's liability seemingly never ends.



Agree with this view, but just adding the following that addresses risk factors that may result in problems even when used as prescribed (my bold text to emphasize agreement with your view):

"Opioid addiction risk factors

Opioids are most addictive when you take them using methods different from what was prescribed, such as crushing a pill so that it can be snorted or injected. This life-threatening practice is even more dangerous if the pill is a long- or extended-acting formulation. Rapidly delivering all the medicine to your body can cause an accidental overdose. Taking more than your prescribed dose of opioid medication, or more often than prescribed, also increases your risk of addiction.

*The length of time you use prescribed opioids also plays a role. Researchers have found that taking opioid medications for more than a few days increases your risk of long-term use, which increases your risk of addiction. The odds you'll still be on opioids a year after starting a short course increase after only five days on opioids.

A number of additional factors — genetic, psychological and environmental — play a role in addiction, which can happen quickly or after many years of opioid use.*" -- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/in-depth/how-opioid-addiction-occurs/art-20360372

My asterisks flank the content that I felt deviates a bit from your view....not greatly, only slightly, but nevertheless in a way provides context to the situation.   In the end, like so many chemicals/processes that can provide relief, there is so often the 'crutch' aspect to them that must be carefully monitored and weighed against other factors, such as terminal illness or complete lack of alternatives.

Dave B: "....And sometimes, my thoughts are in response in something that recently happened, but may not have triggered an immediate noticeable emotional response. And that's a tricky thing, too. Sometimes, I get very delayed emotional responses to things. Like, when I saw an ambulance rushing by, then, it reminds me of a memory I have, and then that memory triggers the emotion of crying."

Yes, whether or not these observations are made towards the self alone or in a family context, this kind of self-reflection can be very informative.  For reasons unexplained early in my marriage, my wife would get SUPER-irritable...around dusk in the late afternoon!  It took some time and self-reflection on her part to realize that the sudden decline and death of father in her mid-childhood was associated with short visits to see him....around dusk of the day. What she found most triggering in the present was the manner in which the light hit the trees as it was setting and hearing a train in the distance.  The particulars surrounding his death were dealt with poorly and the whole grieving aspect for her completely invalidated by her mother and other family members at the time.  She was pretty sure this re-emerged in her life as an 'unsettling' around the dusk period of day later on.  Like you noted....it's a tricky thing and often difficult to pin down due to the mind's desire to "move on and don't look back", even if the body is not really ready.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

As a latecomer, I've only read part of this thread. Has anyone here experienced any connection between depression and anger?



Greg I said it is a symptom in a minority of men -- actually it seems it may be a fairly common symptom.

This guy lists anger/irritability as the #1 hidden symptom in men.  He starts listing the symptoms around the 2:45 mark.



On a side note, if you feel overwhelmed by anger/rage you might want to force yourself to focus on a problem requiring logic. I am not a counselor and have never heard of that method being used, but if you are a cisgender male (feel free to sue me if you aren't and I mis-gendered you) your brain flips from emotion to logic based on the hemisphere you are using, so forcing your brain to focus on a problem requiring logic could be a very effective way of controlling your emotions at least temporarily. It works for me and I don't have a male brain.
 
Eric Hanson
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John,

I don't think I could possibly agree more.  You are especially correct that a person taking a pill and crushing it up for snorting is most definitely NOT using as directed.  That is one of the bad ways or using I should have mentioned in my earlier post.  I will comment a bit about Oxycontin abuse.  Again, used as directed, Oxycontin was designed to be abuse resistant (not resistant proof, abuse resistant, and as fate would have it, it is not as abuse resistant as would have initially been hoped).  Oxycontin was developed to release the narcotic agent over a period of about 12 hours.  Part (a very major part) of any drug's addictive potential is the speed of which the drug takes affect.  Take cocaine.  Powdered cocaine taken nasally takes about 20-30 minutes to peak absorption.  Cocaine inhaled (crack) takes on the order of 10 seconds to peak absorption.  Both are the same chemical, but the crack is far more addictive than the powdered cocaine.  Most addicts get addicted not so much to being intoxicated but getting intoxicated.  They crave the rush, the initial onset.  Of course there are exceptions, but the faster the speed of onset, the more likely a drug is to become addictive.  Back to Oxycontin.  Oxycontin achieves its long duration of action by delaying the release of the narcotic from the pill.  However, once a person crushed that pill up, then as you said, the whole dose goes in all at once.  Crushing up and snorting is most definitely not "using as directed!"

Again, even where you placed your asterisks, I still agree wholeheartedly.  Also, please don't interpret my statements about Oxycontin as meaning that the pill taken orally is perfectly safe.  It turns out that the release of the narcotic from the pill does not happen evenly and people taking it get little bursts of the drug, exactly what is NOT supposed to happen.  However, those bursts are nowhere near as dangerous as the sudden rush from snorting a crushed pill.

Thanks for pointing these aspects out,

Eric
 
Ben Zumeta
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This topic came to mind listening to Paul's recent chapter read about bee keeping based on the Song of Increase. Particularly the analogy between the individual bee being rejected and giving up at old age or sign disease with the overstressed hives collapsing or just "going away" for the good of the species. As I listened, it brought to mind how my many childhood concussions seem to have affected my internal monologue and depression, and how the neurological effects of concussions, trauma, or mental illness seem to have similarities to the self-abort mechanism in bees and their colonies. Maybe this is an evolved response that was at some point for the good of our species...when we are broken by trauma or disease, or rejected enough by society, we tend remove ourselves one way or the other, and often do so with the thought we are making others better off. I think going off and homesteading or hiking for a living seem to be a better alternatives to the others that come to mind!  Wish those little old bees could do the same. Hope this doesn't trigger anyone, and I wish you all well.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Dave Burton wrote:

Lucrecia Anderson wrote:One thing I try to be mindful of is what came first, the thought/cause or the feeling?



Damn right! This was one of the tools I learned about in therapy, and I think this helps a bunch! Because, sometimes my thoughts are triggered by a feeling I have had. Sometimes, my thoughts come first. And sometimes, my thoughts are in response in something that recently happened, but may not have triggered an immediate noticeable emotional response. And that's a tricky thing, too. Sometimes, I get very delayed emotional responses to things. Like, when I saw an ambulance rushing by, then, it reminds me of a memory I have, and then that memory triggers the emotion of crying. Sometimes, the order of events is different.



I agree.
From my own personal experience I learned my emotions are responses to something else.

If someone calls me a name, I get upset. But if they first tell me they are going to call me a name I don't get upset because I know what they will do.  This example demonstrates the difference between my perceiving the world through delayed emotional reaction to thought... and my perceiving the world directly in the present moment before I think and feel about it. With the latter approach, I can still get upset if I want, but it is my own free choice and has nothing to do with others.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Lucrecia Anderson wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:

As a latecomer, I've only read part of this thread. Has anyone here experienced any connection between depression and anger?



Greg I said it is a symptom in a minority of men -- actually it seems it may be a fairly common symptom.



From my own experience I found the less angry I was the less depressed I was. I also learned that my anger was a result of blaming (unjustly accusing) others. Anger has the power to fixate attention on others. So instead of becoming fixated on others as if they were the problem, I looked at myself to understand that I was my own problem and not others. They only offered the opportunity to get angry. It was my own need to be angry that was the real problem.

(from World Health Organization)

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

Key facts

•Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.

•Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.

•More women are affected by depression than men.

•At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

•There are effective psychological and pharmacological treatments for depression.


 
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It good to stop reading the news, social media,  stop hanging out with people that go out of their way to put you down or their jollies from backhanded compliments. Whatever your triggers you do the best to minimize the time you spend on it.

Instead read a book, play an offline game, take a little road trip to take a few pictures with no where in mind, meditate, try some reiki or message, accupuncture,listen to music that cheers you up, , take a bath,  sit by the window to enjoy the sun or some birds eating from a feeder, watch some fish in the water, lie down look up at the sky and feel  the wind on your face, smell the grass, close your eyes and take deep breaths, listen to the sounds with no one around. Or try a hobby that involves precision and repetitive movements like a martial art or knitting,  japanese tea ceremony, bread baking.

Try to remember even if things are bad now, life comes in waves.
 
pollinator
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For me, a bad temper is a surefire indicator.

For background, I am not at all sensitive and pretty self-contained. My two best friends, when we were playing a game where you describe each other in terms of a metaphorical animal or object, described me as “a sun-warmed rock” and “one of those blind fish that hang out in underwater caves,” respectively. So I don’t get too excited about much (with the exception of my dad, who can motivate me to homicide by commenting on, like, the amount of mayonnaise I put on a sandwich). So if I notice that I am getting irritable with any other human being, or feeling generally misanthropic in traffic or the grocery store, it’s a great big neon sign than I am stressed the heck out.
 
Dave Burton
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On that note, Jennifer, I think I have similar indicators of my stress. I've been a lot more touchy-feely, since finishing anxiety and depression therapy, as it has added a whole new dimension to my existence that I had locked away.

And one of the things that happened this week was that I broke down three times this week, sobbing in tears, because it just felt that overwhelming with the two exams, the paper due that week, the paper due in two weeks, Spring Break plans, graduation planning, after college plans, explaining my life plans to family and relatives who haven't seen me in such and such number of years, and then the entire circus inside my head, as well (am I skinny? or fat? have I lived up to my values? am I a good person? do I have a right to my existence? have I done too many wrongs that I no longer meet my own ethics? have I lost all my honor and must cease to exist? does the evolution of my personal ethics damage my integrity? is it okay to change my ethics as I learn new information?... and a bajillion other things I worry myself silly with...)

And on the flip side of the teariness, I was just as ready to snap on people for the slightest bit of rudeness, poor humor, or whatever I wasn't feeling ready to handle at the moment.

And also, being more serious than usual is another indicator for me, too, because I prefer to appear composed and as a rock that people can rely on, and if it looks like I am obviously trying to hide my emotions, then, yeah... I'm probably very stressed.

My outward social indicator more of looks like "I am calm.. (twitch, twicth), You didn't see that! (and a crack starts to form on the porcelain mask that is my face, hand cover face) I'm trying! (mask shatters) Don't look! (tears leaking out one eye, while a fire burns in the other) I'm sorry!"
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Dave,

Your description of some of the stuff you ruminate over sounds pretty agonizing, even as I am laughing at your description of trying to maintain your social facade at the end of your post. (Not laughing in a meanspirited way!)

It’s funny, I am like almost probablematically unemotional, but I don’t feel like I repress or lock stuff away...possibly I just had an excessively idyllic childhood and no major issues, IDK. I used to sort of think everyone else in the universe was being melodramatic 24/7, and then I realized that wasn’t the case kind of got worried that I was an unfeeling lump of clay, and now I’m just like...cool, emotional diversity! It’s strange, because I am super perceptive emotionally, I can always get a read on even subtle people/situations, I am really intuitive...but my own emotional volatility is nil, I never much worry or get upset. And usually the more dramatically bad things get, the more chill I feel, oddly. I kind of enjoy the priority-defining flow of dire situations, I guess? But the petty stress gets me sometimes, and that is when I start having my Jekyll/Hyde moments. It has been worse since I became a live-in caretaker for my dad, who’s paralyzed, and MUCH worse now that he has Alzheimer’s, but it still only manifests as a bad temper, never sadness or teariness or anxiety or anything else. I kind of wonder if my one-note negative emotional range is normal, but my positive emotional range is expansive, so oh well.
 
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:
It’s funny, I am like almost probablematically unemotional, but I don’t feel like I repress or lock stuff away...possibly I just had an excessively idyllic childhood and no major issues, IDK.



I'm thinking part of it is upbringing, and part also personality. My brother and I were raised the same, and we had a very stable, loving upbringing and were always treated justly and the same by my parents. My brother is very even-keeled. He's always been "Meh" about most everything. Never really excited, never really sad. Always very stable. My mom is the same. My dad and I, though, are roller coasters! When I'm sad, I'm bawling. When I'm happy, I'm ecstatic. I've mellowed out as I've gotten older and more tired, but before I had kids, I really never had a stable middle ground. I was either UP or DOWN. The ONLY time I ever saw my brother hyper was when he was on vicaden after his wisdom teeth were removed, LOL! In many ways, I wished for my brother's ability to just be okay. We'd get in debates (for fun) and I'd always end up mad and frustrated, while he stayed cool and collected. Things never really phased him. He enjoys life, in a very calm, content way, and I think that's just plain awesome! He can roll with life's punches a whole lot better than I can.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Nicole,

Ooh, yeah, arguments and debates are a big one! My mom is a pretty emotional person, and I really enjoy debates, arguments, even downright intellectual fights, and I don’t take it personally, so I used to draw her into arguments for fun and then end up baffled when I reduced her to tears (sometimes tears of rage). Making your mother cry for your amusement—classy! So I learned not to do that, although not as quickly as I might have liked.
 
Dave Burton
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Hehe, yeah, it really helped put everything into perspective when I went on a walk this Friday with a friend of mine, during one of the few warm bright sunny days that we have had in Missoula, MT as of late.

And yeah... nobody really has to try to string me up. I do a good enough job of that myself, because I think a lot about a lot of stuff that perhaps I could worry less about.

I appreciate people like you, because I usually am a stable point in many of my social circles and am where other people confide in. But then, who do I go to when I need someone to confide to? That's where super calm people, like you, really help me!

That's really interesting, Jennifer, and kind of reminds me when I was much more locked-down on my emotions and was trying mostly masking depression.

Though, I would describe what it was like for me as "eek, violent emotion(s) forming, get a box! Shove it in there! Phew! More negative emotions! get 'er packing!" And well, that helped me feel mostly positive emotions, and I think i mostly just had a disdain for whatever I felt was "stupidity or idiocy," and that's what really triggered me in those years. And every now and then during those years, my little packages of negative emotions would wake up, crawl out of their little boxes in the house I was hoarding them in, and they would all crawl into my room and mob me all at once, which would result in some really serious breakdowns... I forget when it was, but one such breakdown years ago was me riding on my bike back in Houston as far and fast I could, just crying to myself, because I didn't feel I could share all my little evil boxes with anyone. And as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes those little mobs of boxes carried my ethical dilemmas with them and some reasons or others for why I have no rights to live or reasons left to exist. I never followed through with any of them, but I sure thought seriously about some of it, because after all, I had a highway not too far away if I ever really wanted to.

I'm glad you are handling things well!

And I'm glad to know my little boxes can see the light of day, can be aired out, and shrivel into little negative ick-jerky as they get cleansed by the sun and fresh air!
 
Greg Mamishian
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Dave Burton wrote:On that note, Jennifer, I think I have similar indicators of my stress. I've been a lot more touchy-feely, since finishing anxiety and depression therapy, as it has added a whole new dimension to my existence that I had locked away.

And one of the things that happened this week was that I broke down three times this week, sobbing in tears, because it just felt that overwhelming with the two exams, the paper due that week, the paper due in two weeks, Spring Break plans, graduation planning, after college plans, explaining my life plans to family and relatives who haven't seen me in such and such number of years, and then the entire circus inside my head, as well (am I skinny? or fat? have I lived up to my values? am I a good person? do I have a right to my existence? have I done too many wrongs that I no longer meet my own ethics? have I lost all my honor and must cease to exist? does the evolution of my personal ethics damage my integrity? is it okay to change my ethics as I learn new information?... and a bajillion other things I worry myself silly with...)

And on the flip side of the teariness, I was just as ready to snap on people for the slightest bit of rudeness, poor humor, or whatever I wasn't feeling ready to handle at the moment.

And also, being more serious than usual is another indicator for me, too, because I prefer to appear composed and as a rock that people can rely on, and if it looks like I am obviously trying to hide my emotions, then, yeah... I'm probably very stressed.

My outward social indicator more of looks like "I am calm.. (twitch, twicth), You didn't see that! (and a crack starts to form on the porcelain mask that is my face, hand cover face) I'm trying! (mask shatters) Don't look! (tears leaking out one eye, while a fire burns in the other) I'm sorry!"



Dave, have you ever considered going in a completely different direction?

 
Dave Burton
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Yes, and I am finishing the birthing pains of leaving the original path that I started when I began college. I am going to be doing permaculture, homesteading, holistic management, agroecology, and similar endeavors, because that is where I am finding my soul lies. I am not finding my soul in my college work, which is what I am finding difficult in the last little bit of college.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Dave Burton wrote:Yes, and I am finishing the birthing pains of leaving the original path that I started when I began college. I am going to be doing permaculture, homesteading, holistic management, agroecology, and similar endeavors, because that is where I am finding my soul lies. I am not finding my soul in my college work, which is what I am finding difficult in the last little bit of college.



Good.
The emotional stress of trying to live up to the expectations of others can only ruin a life.

Government education isn't the be all and end all god everyone believes it is. It's just one path of many, and doesn't necessarily fit everyone. I didn't go to college. My calling is fixing things, so I work in construction as an electrician where I acquired enough skills to build our own house.

Everyone has a calling... a purpose compatable with their being by which they can be of service to others to make their lives better. If you find your calling... something that you can do to serve others which they cannot do for themselves, they will throw money at you, and you will live a happy meaningful productive financially independent life.
 
Dave Burton
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I may have underestimated the strength of weather and the seasons on my mood, because now that we are getting lots of sunshine in Missoula, and it is getting warmer during the day, stress and my to-do lists are starting to feel a lot more manageable than they felt. I went walking along the Kim Williams Nature Trail after I had brunch, and it made me feel magnitudes better about how I feel about life.
 
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I've found that being conscientious is an effective way of combatting stress and anxiety, and negative emotions overall. There is a basis for this in psychology, that conscientiousness can temper the feeling that arise from higher levels of neurosis. I don't know if this appies to you, but for me when I learned about this I looked around at my surroundings and realized I was behind on cleaning and yardcare. In other words the orderliness, organization was slipping. And because of that it was also harder to get stuff done, which is the industriousness part of conscientousness. I can't really explain why this impacts thought patterns, except to say well, after my tiny house was cleaned up and yard cleaned, I was able to walk through that yard feeling a bit of pride in the work, and just enjoying the surroundings more. And doing that simple work took my mind out of the loop of worrying. Even though I still needed to think about my next business plan, instead of worrying and feeling anxiety about recently quitting another job... I was able to relax and just see the process more clearly. Maybe it's partly because the steps to do bigger things like start a new career, or solve financial problems, is not that different from cleaning a yard. It's still just a series of steps. Everything is a series of steps in life, and if we are feeling confident we can take steps and keep going that helps us feel good.

It might also be the weather :) I've spent 2 winters in New Brunswick (originally from west coast) and both have been filled with a lot of dark days, literally and mentally. I've started questioning if it's worth it to endure the climate, which has enabled me to own land and build a tiny house. Yet I've started thinking well, maybe for my mental health I'd be better off paying the high rental fees of Vancouver just in order to see more sun and more warmth.
 
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I deal with it by posting here and discussing problems with people on here, I figure if my rants get too whiny they just wont read.

Dave Burton wrote:I think this is worth discussing.

How do you all know that you are being impacted by stress, anxiety or grief? And how do you deal with it? Do you get physical manifestations of your grief or stress, too?

My voice is kind of the central essence of being, and I have found that this is where my body manifests physically my stress, anxiety, and grief.
I found this out two years ago. This was a year after one of my family members passed away. A year after they passed, I had trouble using my vocal cords and fought o even speak for about a year. Then, I must have finished grieving internally, because I eventually got my voice back for another year. Now that I am finishing college, approaching the adult world, and facing the challenges of being myself and doing what I believe is right and decent for myself, despite how different it is from society, I am struggling to speak again. My voice does not want to be available.

Another manifestation of my internal emotions physically are my eyes. After I had finished therapy for anxiety and depression this last spring, there were so many more emotions to be felt and a whole new depth to the world I had not felt before. And empathy became stronger, too. This summer, there were a few mass shootings, and I heard about them constantly on the news. First, I had burst into tears after hearing news reports for a couple days, and then for about a week and a half, just one of my eyes was constantly leaky and shedding tears. And that was how my body was expressing the grief I felt about these events. One half of my face was always wet.

 
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I wonder how many people have problems with their Thyroid/Adrenal Glands/Pituitary Gland?

I know I am very irrratable, but in order to surpress the cancer, I have to have high-doses of lythroxine. To get that, I have to take (2) pills on Sunday, and only (1) pill every day of the week other than Sunday. I have noted that I am extremely irratable from Sunday to Wednesday when it starts to wear off. When I start to wonder why I want to rip the throat out of the guy who cut me off, I think, "oh yeah, it is Monday and I am tanked up on lythroine:. Once I know what causes my anger, it goes away.

Interestingly enough, now that I am taking high doses of lythroxine and testosterone, I no longer have seizures and have completely taking myself off the medications with no lapses in seizures. YEAH!
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:I wonder how many people have problems with their Thyroid/Adrenal Glands/Pituitary Gland?

I know I am very irrratable, but in order to surpress the cancer, I have to have high-doses of lythroxine. To get that, I have to take (2) pills on Sunday, and only (1) pill every day of the week other than Sunday. I have noted that I am extremely irratable from Sunday to Wednesday when it starts to wear off. When I start to wonder why I want to rip the throat out of the guy who cut me off, I think, "oh yeah, it is Monday and I am tanked up on lythroine:. Once I know what causes my anger, it goes away.

Interestingly enough, now that I am taking high doses of lythroxine and testosterone, I no longer have seizures and have completely taking myself off the medications with no lapses in seizures. YEAH!



That's great to hear, Travis.  
 
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