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ShakeyJerr   
ShakeyJerr

I have been doing some research into the biology of anxiety. We're all here familiar with the cortisol spike and adrenaline, and how those biochemicals are key components of the anxiety we all feel during our recovery from antidepressant use.

 

A friend put me on the trail of the limbic system - where these chemicals do some of their worst work. I did not know anything about the limbic system. Or why my spell-checker insists that I am spelling it wrong when I know that I am not. (Think of the spell checker as a metaphor for our damaged limbic system - it's lying to us).

 

Here is a short definition of the limbic system:

 

The primary structures within the limbic system include the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, and cingulate gyrus. The amygdala is the emotion center of the brain, while the hippocampus plays an essential role in the formation of new memories about past experiences.

 

Of key concern to us is the amygdala - that's where the "fight or flight" instinct is stimulated by cortisol and adrenaline. 

 

And ours are broken.

 

Now, there is no medicine or supplement to heal the amygdala - or any other part of the limbic system (though it should be noted that the hippocampus can be stimulated by aromas, and some people have had success with aromatherapy; I myself use lavender as a calming aroma).

 

So stop looking for a magic bullet solution.

 

However, the amygdala can be "healed" - along with the rest of the limbic system. And the way to heal it is to remind it of your good memories and form new good memories through experiences.

 

It sounds simplistic. It almost smacks of "fake it until you make it."

 

But I have been putting this into practice, and I am in my first real window of recovery.

 

The way I did it was by contacting old friends and asking them to write me emails filled with the good times of our youth, of the times where the notion of "anxious" could never be applied to me. Where I was a hopeful, outgoing, fun person. In other words - the time before I ever took one psych-med.

 

I have added to that the practice of not avoiding doing things with friends and family. I go out, I engage, and a float through the anxiety if it comes (thank you, Dr. Claire Weekes - go get one of her books now!).

 

I will leave things there for now and end with links to some of the articles I read that put me on this path:

https://www.unlearninganxiety.com/amygdala

 

https://www.thebestbrainpossible.com/how-to-help-depression-by-healing-your-limbic-system/

 

Be well. Live. Make new memories.

 

SJ

 

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Dez   
Dez

I've listened to Dr Claire Weekes during some of my worst times. That woman is amazing! Also going out and doing things despite how you feel really does help a lot. It's better to live the best you can while going through this rather than sitting around struggling through the days. It's still a struggle, but at least you don't have to sit at home ruminating constantly. Rumination is the worst thing! Thanks so much for posting this!

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ShakeyJerr   
ShakeyJerr
3 hours ago, Dez said:

Rumination is the worst thing!

 

Amen to that! I find that I just cannot stop my mind from thinking anymore, and that every thought revolves around or relates back to recovering from withdrawal.

 

What do normal people think about? I seem to have forgotten! Sometimes I would just like to turn my mind off. I'm open to suggestions on how to do that!

 

SJ

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Dez   
Dez
19 hours ago, ShakeyJerr said:

 

Amen to that! I find that I just cannot stop my mind from thinking anymore, and that every thought revolves around or relates back to recovering from withdrawal.

 

What do normal people think about? I seem to have forgotten! Sometimes I would just like to turn my mind off. I'm open to suggestions on how to do that!

 

SJ

It's so awful! I'm so sorry you're going through it! When I stared thinking in endless circles of negativity I kinda just start singing or talk myself through it, or play games to distract myself. Sometimes it helps but other times you just have to hang in there! Lately rumination has been kicking my butt! I'll think "this is never-ending," "I'll never heal from this," "these sensations feel wrong, what if it's something horrible," "what if I have a stroke or a heart attack or a blood clot," "I miss my antidepressants." On and on. Doesn't help that my temp went up to 99.5 tonight. I've noticed that when I start feeling really bad my temp is over 99. It's weird.

 

All we can really do is push through and keep trying. We'll never know if we can heal unless we move towards that goal with determination. It's hard, but we must try! Wishing you quick healing!

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ShakeyJerr   
ShakeyJerr

Good advice!

 

I actually had several times yesterday where I was thinking about other things and not relating them back to recovery! I did eventually realize it, and bragged to my wife!

 

SJ

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ShakeyJerr   
ShakeyJerr
6 hours ago, Dez said:

All we can really do is push through and keep trying. We'll never know if we can heal unless we move towards that goal with determination. It's hard, but we must try! Wishing you quick healing!

 

I actually had some success yesterday breaking free from this! I found myself thinking about other things, completely not related to recovery or tied back in some way to recovery.

 

And according to how to heal the limbic system - this will lead to more success in this area.

 

SJ

 

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Dez   
Dez
20 hours ago, ShakeyJerr said:

 

I actually had some success yesterday breaking free from this! I found myself thinking about other things, completely not related to recovery or tied back in some way to recovery.

 

And according to how to heal the limbic system - this will lead to more success in this area.

 

SJ

 

That's great!! I'm glad you got a break in your waves. Keep hanging on!!

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

Here's a trick for rumination.

 

Make fun of it!

 

Here's my most frequent rumination:  "I shouldn't have said that!"  (oh my, there's 6 hours lost down a rabbit hole)

 

So - make a childish sing-song:  Ring around the rosy - I shouldn't have said that.  

 

Use silly voices - say it out loud.  Realize HOW RIDICULOUS you are and in an ideal world, dissolve the rumination into laughter!

 

It's when we attach seriousness to the rumination - it feels like life or death - that it gets really sticky and dangerous.  Finding ways to laugh at it, makes it possible to let go.

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ShakeyJerr   
ShakeyJerr
9 hours ago, JanCarol said:

Here's a trick for rumination.

 

Make fun of it!

 

Here's my most frequent rumination:  "I shouldn't have said that!"  (oh my, there's 6 hours lost down a rabbit hole)

 

So - make a childish sing-song:  Ring around the rosy - I shouldn't have said that.  

 

Use silly voices - say it out loud.  Realize HOW RIDICULOUS you are and in an ideal world, dissolve the rumination into laughter!

 

It's when we attach seriousness to the rumination - it feels like life or death - that it gets really sticky and dangerous.  Finding ways to laugh at it, makes it possible to let go.

 

This is an awesome idea! It should actually lead to healing for the limbic system, because it creates a new good memory!

 

SJ

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

Thanks Shakey - I forgot to mention there's a "Sing it Like an Opera" version of this, too.  :P

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powerback   
powerback
1 hour ago, JanCarol said:

Just read a great article about reprogramming your approach.  It's not exactly about rumination, but can be applied that way:

 

http://ideas.ted.com/the-right-way-to-be-introspective-yes-theres-a-wrong-way/

 

 

Great article jancarol .I've read some of it ,I've saved it for when I'm much better [in a bad state lately].

 

I did counselling the same week I started meds and I've been doing introspection since ,and the last 2 years in this withdrawl ,I think my brain has eaten itself alive ,especially  since Christmas [Breakdown said no to Zyprexa and hospital ].

I'm afraid I'm stuck in a serious addiction to thoughts and thinking /rumination  [Eckhart tolle speaks of this addiction ]

 

by no means do I think I'm the only one in such misery ,but I've dropped the behaviours of covering up my feelings and making up excuses ,but in withdrawl its so hard to find the line between taking a step back to relax and then the   sitting with emotions and feelings you would of normally buried in the past .there's a good chance I could loose everything because of decisions ile have to make myself better .[connection to family and partner ]

 

I think introspection and meds are linked ,especially when we wake up and realise the meds are just toxic for us ,so the article is welcomed to show us the better way to approach introspection .

thanks

PB

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