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Category: Neuroscience

Stress & Depression are the root cause of OCD.

Up to ½ million people in the UK have work-related stress often resulting in illness. Up to 5 million people in the UK are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed through work. ‘Stress, depression, and anxiety are the second most commonly reported work-related illnesses. https://www.stressuless.com/stress.html

Stress & Depression are the root cause of OCD.

Depression may be related to the personal stress developed at home or work. Depression may result after the onset of OCD as in the article below but Depression can also be the result of traumatic events in a person’s life such as Grief which causes a Domino Effect.

Depression | OCD-UK (ocduk.org)

The Link Between OCD and Major Depressive Disorder (verywellmind.com)

Renata’s Online Journal Health Update.

I will talk about 5 things relating to me and how they are impacting my life and what I am doing in terms of therapy.

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Intrusive Thoughts
  • Depression

Stress

I am under a tremendous amount of stress for the following reasons:

  1. I have an ongoing dispute with British Gas and it is currently being investigated by the ombudsman.
  2. I have clients dropping like flies because they no longer can afford to pay for their websites due to the price rises of the cost of living.
  3. I am concerned about the stability of a brand new computer that the manufacturer refused to replace or give a refund for. (I am tired of all the arguing I am having to do).
  4. The uncertainty of what the future holds,

I wrote a letter 15 pages long to my GP (Doctor) after I received a letter to make an appointment for my annual medication review, but they could not send me a letter when I wrote to them (9 pages long) in May 2021. I sent both letters via email and both letters were acknowledged and put on the system with a response that a clinician will contact me…I am still waiting for a reply to my letter.

There is a clue in the 4 points I mentioned that can narrow down to the underlying root of how I am feeling, albeit I am also suffering from the aftermath of the domestic violence I endured on top of the daily stresses.

Anxiety

SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY 

Anxiety may present with any of the following symptoms:

  • Nervousness (I do get nervous when I have to do things I am unfamiliar with relating to work or have to start a dispute to the point I actually feel sick).
  • Being overly and constantly worried (I try to keep myself busy so that I do not have to think too much about my problems).
  • Restlessness (I cannot sit and do nothing, I have to do something, I cannot do idle chitter chatter, I think sitting at a table talking nonsense whilst socializing is a waste of time, I would much rather learn something or turn the wheel to generate business than attend social gatherings -although I cannot at the moment because of my social disconnection issues).
  • Feeling a lump in your throat (If I recall experiencing fear or being in fight or flight mode I have experienced an uncomfortable feeling of finding it hard to swallow).
  • Difficulty concentrating (I have noticed that I cannot concentrate on reading books, it’s as if my mind wanders).
  • Fatigue (I am tired usually when I wake from the interrupted sleeping pattern and a combination of taking my med, so I counteract this by drinking energy drinks that are high in caffeine).
  • Irritability (I am only irritable if things do not go my way).
  • Impatience (I have a short fuse, I do not have patience and I can be rude at times although I usually do apologize I get irritable of people play me to be a fool. people should be careful to insult my intelligence).
  • Muscle tension (Not that I have noticed other than back pain or electricity shooting in the back of my neck but that could be related to Epidural Analgesia).
  • Insomnia (I take medication to send me to sleep otherwise my mind would be racing all night long and I would not be able to sleep).
  • Excessive sweating (Not that I have noticed personally)
  • Shortness of breath (If I have a panic attack, if I am extremely anxious, or if something has really upset me to the point I am becoming a nervous wreck I have been known to have a shortness of breath especially if I have been in a fight or flight mode due to domestic violence).
  • Stomachache (My mother suffered from stomach problems I always thought she was intolerant to certain foods but as I reflect my stomach is normally fine).
  • Diarrhea (Energy drinks do that but the way I relate to this it helps to flush all the toxins out and helps with weight gain).
  • Headache (If I get really stressed my head will thump).
  • Appetite changes (I have not noticed an increase or decrease in appetite but sometimes crave chocolate, but don’t we all).

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that causes distress to the sufferer, it may be a recurrent pattern of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) such as germ contamination that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) such as to disinfect and quarantine. Obsessive thoughts are uncontrollable fears, ideas, sensations, or impulses that trigger extreme distress.

Because I am stressed my OCD is more visible. I may have to change my clothes multiple times in the day if I think I have brushed past something by accident. I am unstable in keeping my balance (cerebellar atrophy).

I go through about 500 pairs of disposable gloves a day and find it hard to touch things with my bare hand without disinfecting them straight after with Dettol. It has to be Dettol as the other brands I cannot get my head around that they will do the same job even though they claim they do, maybe it is my OCD that makes me think this way.

I have a quarantined area where no one can step foot apart from me, not even my daughter can touch anything that I deemed to be sanitized. I am really sad that I cannot give my daughter a hug, I really wish I could but something stops me. I know it is not her it is me and one day I will be in a better place because in the 30 years I have suffered with OCD I have managed to control it to the point it was not so prominent until I had an onset of traumatic events that caused it to come back again with a vengeance.

I am 100% convinced if I did not have stress, did not endure traumatic events, and if I did not have depression because of the stress and I was in a HAPPY PLACE my OCD would be under control. I would not say it would be 100 % cured because depending on my stress levels it would never be totally eradicated. Some people can deal with stress better than others. Some people, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and take recreational or prescribed drugs. I only take prescribed drugs for my OCD and they do not work other than sending me to sleep.

I am always on the lookout for different ways I can control my OCD but I have only found hypnosis and meditation to help with the healing process. I am studying neuroplasticity and how to rewire our brains.

In order for hypnosis to work, it has to be done consistently, you will not be cured in a day, week, or month. This has to be a daily occurrence until you start noticing a change. I have completed my diploma for hypnosis and yes I did hypnotize myself successfully but I need to do it every day and with work commitments and everything else that is going on in my life I am too tired and end up falling asleep. You should do hypnosis just before you do to sleep or when you wake up. Other times you can do it during the day without distractions and religiously around the same time of the day.

Although I can do hypnotherapy I do not practice it and have never tried to do it on anyone else.

Renata Hypnotherapy Diploma
Certificate of Completion.

https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/

Intrusive Thoughts

I live in rented accommodation and have lived in the same property for 24 years. Although I have had money in the past to buy a property I was never focused and did not understand the consequences of my actions in planning for the future. I lived in the moment and never planned my life ahead.

My intrusive thoughts are:

  1. Will my abuser return to the UK to pay me a visit? (That is part of the reason why I have not left my home because I am scared he may be lurking around.
  2. Will I crash and burn and lose everything? ( I got robbed a few years ago and all my valuables were stolen. I have replaced the majority of things and do not want to lose them again.
  3. Will my daughter’s health deteriorate (she suffers from multiple sclerosis)?
  4. Will my health ever improve?
  5. Will I ever be happy and in a happy place?
  6. Thoughts that cause triggers like the death of Queen II, and although the news is sad and I know a family is grieving, it has however revived memories of my parents and my brother passing which has made me have thoughts such as if our loved ones are watching over us are they disappointed in me or are they happy that I am doing everything I can to turn my life around?

Depression

Symptoms of Depression are:

  • Continuous feelings of low mood and/or sadness (I try to keep myself busy so that I do not have time to dwell too much on all the things that have gone wrong in my life).
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless (Yes I do feel hopeless at times but I always try to find the energy to fight until I reach my goals -yes I have set goals, you have to, you need to have a plan).
  • Having low self-esteem (When I wake it is like one of those movies where the person dies and comes back again and nothing has changed, well it is like that for me, I eat, sleep and repeat and nothing changes).
  • Feeling tearful constantly (I cannot say I am tearful it takes a lot to push my buttons although British Gas (Energy Supplier) did drive me to tears, so I reported them).
  • Feelings of guilt (I feel guilty for squandering my money. Had I been focused and taught how to manage my money I would be in a different place now, but you learn the hard way I have many regrets and if I could turn back time with what I know I would have done things differently knowing what I know now. I feel guilty for being stupid with my finances and the people that I trusted). I also feel guilty for distancing myself and perhaps not contacting people sooner that have now passed away (old people).
  • Feeling irritable (I only get irritable if things do not go my way or if I have to deal with stupid people)
  • Having no motivation or interest in hobbies and interests (I have plenty of things to keep me occupied, the websites that I own and manage for my clients keep me busy, never mind my content writing. I am motivated because I have gotten this far so I am not going to give up even though when I wake it takes me a minute or two to tell myself that today may be the day that things change for the better, so I carry on).
  • Being indecisive (I sometimes procrastinate over things such as whether should I start a certain project or not, or if can it wait and I end up putting it off again and again).
  • No real enjoyment in life (I live on the internet my physical self is just a vessel that keeps me going. I do not think of my life in the physical sense I have socially disconnected from the outside world other than for the couriers and workmen that come to the property and I am happy this way. Would I do things differently if I did not have OCD or feared ever crossing paths with the people that caused me harm, I don’t think so. I am happy in my own company)
  • Feeling anxious and/or worried (My mother was a worrier and I must take after her, she also had undiagnosed OCD. Yes my intrusive thoughts do sometimes get in the way, hence I keep myself busy so that I do not have time to think).
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or suicidal feelings (This is furthest from my mind. I was at my lowest and for a millisecond it did cross my mind when I endured all the physical and mental abuse from my abuser but I told myself if I quit he would win so I turned my thoughts around to show him that everything he said was wrong and that I would be successful and he would live to regret treating me the way he did).
  • Loss of appetite – although sometimes can see an increase in appetite (I see food as energy when I am hungry I will eat, I do not watch my calories and try to eat healthy most of the time, I have no problem with my appetite, in fact, I should really lose a bit of weight considering I do not exercise because (a) I do not venture out (b) My knee pain would be too excruciating to walk very far).
  • A general lack of energy (Because of my medication, I feel so tired when I wake so I counteract that by drinking energy drinks that are high in caffeine which causes a domino effect and causes me to have an overactive bladder)
  • Low sex drive.
  • Trouble sleeping (I do have trouble sleeping but that is alleviated with the prescribed medication, however with the interruptions to my sleep because of my overactive bladder I find when I wake I am very tired so have to drink energy drinks to keep me awake).
  • Avoiding social interaction (I have social disconnection issues and I prefer my own company)
  • Difficulty maintaining family relationships (I do not have any close relatives living in the UK other than my daughter and we have a close bond, my brother and all his children live in the USA, I guess it must be very hard for their mother who lives in the UK).

Further Reading:

My Dreams, Aspirations & Goals

My dreams, aspirations, and goals are one day to be in a happy place living a happy life, be financially free and most of all not suffering from OCD, Stress, Anxiety, or Depression. I want to one day when I retire travel the world and photograph everything I see. I want to one day be able to document my journey and leave a legacy.

I want to motivate and inspire people so that they can be led on the right path.

I will continue to do what I am doing because I sense where I am supposed to be, is the right place to be. By continuing writing and researching I not only help myself I also help others. This online journal is my therapy because it gives me a platform to voice my knowledge, thought and opinions.

My dreams are to reach my goals.

#stress #anxiety #intrusivethoughts #ocd #obsessivecompulsivedisorder #depression

How To Deal With Intrusive Thoughts

How To Deal With Intrusive Thoughts

WHAT’S IN THIS ARTICLE:

  • What are Intrusive Thoughts
  • Types Of Intrusive Thoughts
  • What You Can Do
  • Related Mental Health Disorders
  • When to Get Help

Overview:

The majority of us from time to time experience worry, anxiety, stress, depression, grief, and fear. If you are reading this and do not agree that you have never experienced any of the above, you are not being true to yourself.

Sometimes we experience unwanted thoughts like did we shut the door behind us or did we turn off the stove. This annoying thought may get stuck in our heads until we put our minds at ease. Usually, you can ignore it and move on. But sometimes, it just keeps returning.

What are Intrusive Thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts or negative thoughts are thoughts that either lingers on your mind or pop in out of nowhere. They are part of our coping mechanisms. However unwanted lingering thoughts stem from stress, fear, and anxiety. People who have suffered trauma can affect their beliefs about the future via loss of hope, limited expectations about life, fear that life will end abruptly or early, or anticipation that normal life events won’t occur (e.g., access to education, ability to have a significant and committed relationship, good opportunities for work). All these events can manifest intrusive thoughts.

Understanding the Impact of Trauma – Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

Nearly everyone experiences Intrusive Thoughts from time to time”.

So why do these thoughts happen and what causes them?

An intrusive thought is not always related to an underlying condition. It may be caused by:

Intrusive thoughts either linger on one’s mind or simply come in out of nowhere.

These thoughts are unpleasant and unwanted and manifest in our minds, sometimes without warning or other times if we dwell on something for long periods that is worrying us.

These thoughts can sometimes be violent, sexual, or simply harmless worries.

Intrusive thoughts usually heighten when you feel, stressed or distressed, typically having an intrusive once in a while is just part of life.

It only becomes concerning if your thoughts because dangerous and uncontrollable.

In most cases, intrusive thoughts do not have any particular meaning. As long as you recognize that these are only thoughts and are controllable and harmless and that you have no desire to act on them, intrusive thoughts are usually not harmful.

However, if they’re happening often, causing significant concern, or interfering with your daily activities, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor.

I must admit that I do suffer from intrusive thoughts occasionally, especially when I am stressed or depressed but would never act on them other than if they were related to OCD Germ Contamination. Through my learning journey, I am trying to heal. In fact, I have completed my Diploma in Hypnotherapy, and am studying Neuroplasticity.

Intrusive thoughts can range from random images to disturbing and violent ideas like punching someone in the face or hurting yourself.

(Yes I have had thoughts of punching someone in the face, but I would not go through with such a ludicrous idea because (a) my OCD germ contamination thought would kick in of actually physically touching someone, and secondly (b) it is simply a stupid thought).

Other intrusive thoughts are: did I cross-contaminate (did I touch something by accident) and does my thought warrant me to act on my compulsion such as changing my clothes because my daughter’s cat brushed past me? Usually, I try and fight the urge (CBT). Depending on how stressed I am will depend on how successfully I can resist the thought. Most of the time my germ contamination thoughts overpower me, like I said it all depends on my anxiety and stress levels.

I am aware that with OCD sometimes it is hard to fight your thoughts and you succumb to the urge. Hypnotherapy and meditation help with the process of healing.

Survivor of Domestic Violence

Whilst I was enduring emotional and physical abuse, the thought of harming myself crossed my mind, but again I knew I had to prove to the abuser that I would not be broken, no matter how many times he tried and kept saying to myself what does not kill you make you stronger. I decided no matter how low he made me feel I would not give him the satisfaction and would not give up. I decided to focus on building this site and working really hard. He eventually left with his tail between his legs because he knew he was defeated and no matter what he did or said to me was no longer working. I felt rejoiceful that he had lost his battle to destroy me and I concentrated on moving forward by suppressing all my thoughts and all the bad memories by putting the past behind me.

(I am a survivor of domestic violence, the abuser has left the country).

For anyone else experiencing intrusive thoughts, they are usually harmless as long as they can be under control. But if you obsess about them to the extent that it interrupts your day-to-day life, this can be a sign of an underlying mental health problem.

Intrusive thoughts can be a symptom of grief, stress, anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Types of Intrusive Thoughts

OCD thoughts.

OCD thoughts depending what type of OCD you have. There are Nineteen Characteristics of OCD. With OCD the sufferer that has intrusive thoughts usually actions the compulsions to ease the discomfort of the thought lingering in their head, this could be from checking the door handles and switches to counting or avoiding certain numbers, objects, or people. This is a defense mechanism to protect the sufferer from their fear that if they do not carry out the compulsion something bad might happen.

Sexual thoughts.

Sexual thoughts are usually natural regardless of gender. An Intrusive sexual thought however when it becomes uncomfortable with or shocked by the thoughts and images to the point you are fixated on something, you should talk it over with a professional.

Experts say it’s best to remind yourself that these are just passing, automatic thoughts. They don’t define you in any way.

Violent thoughts.

Violent thoughts of punching someone in the face are harmless as long as you do not act on them.

Sometimes violent thoughts may have dark meanings like harming yourself or someone else. Usually, these thoughts are harmless, even repetitive as long as you have no intention to act on them. These thoughts are very unpleasant and if you feel you cannot cope you should speak with a professional or phone the Samaritans. You can also contact us and keep yourself anonymous if you prefer. These thoughts usually pass in time. But if you find yourself planning to follow your thoughts through, you need to speak with a professional to help to manage your emotions. Talk to a doctor or a therapist.

Negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts can be multiple ideas. An example you have imposter syndrome, you feel like a failure or if you think about something negative will happen because you essentially are manifesting it in your life. The more you think negatively the chances of whatever you are thinking will come true. It is best to rewire my mind. These thoughts should fade as your situation changes. But if they become overwhelming, you could have depression or anxiety. Talk to a mental health professional about how to control your symptoms.

However, science teaches us that In 1949, psychologist Donald Hebb laid out his compelling “assembly theory” of how the brain achieves this feat. It is best summarized by the mantra “neurons that fire together wire together.” Meaning what we reap is what we sow in other words if we continually think negatively eventually what we are thinking will happen. The idea is that neurons responding to the same stimulus connect preferentially to form “neuronal ensembles.”

What You Can Do


The best way to heal is to learn about the brain and our thoughts, learning about our conscious mind and our subconscious mind helps us understand the supercomputers we have (brain), yet, we only use a total of 5% of our entire human mind Keeping ourselves busy and distracting ourselves is a strategy to heal.

At the end of the day, most intrusive thoughts are just thoughts.

The only time they become a red flag or a signal that you actually want to do the disturbing things you’re thinking about is when you feel you are no longer in control.

If they bother you, you can take steps to cut down on their frequency and intensity.

You Can:

  • Evaluate your life and what is troubling you.
  • Recognize your thoughts and label them for what they are.
  • Distract yourself from your thoughts, watch a movie, read a book or do some scripting and write your thoughts down on paper in a journal or online.
  • Release the tension and share your thoughts with others. (There are groups and forums you can join or if your thoughts are overwhelming contact a professional like your doctor or phone the Samaritans.
  • Accept that they will pass eventually.
  • Listen to empowering motivational speakers like Jake Ducey or Dr. Caroline Leaf. Check them out on YouTube.
  • Give yourself time for the intrusive thoughts to fade away.
  • Be prepared for your unwanted thoughts to come back.
  • Learn about your mind and neuroplasticity and how your thoughts can be controlled.

Do Not:

  • Do not act or engage in dangerous thoughts, for example hurting yourself or someone else.
  • Do not be too hard on yourself. Try to question yourself and why you’re having them in the first place.
  • Do not just do nothing in the hope your thoughts will go away. Often distracting yourself from a situation will get your mind occupied with other things and your thoughts become suppressed.

Related Mental Health Disorders.

Sometimes, thoughts go beyond being intrusive.

Related mental health disorders associated with repetitive unwanted intrusive thoughts, could be a sign of OCD. This type of anxiety disorder causes the sufferer to have recurring, unwanted thoughts that they may not be able to control. This may be the compulsion to repeat certain behaviors or actions over and over again.

In contrast, delusional paranoid thoughts, such as thinking someone is always watching you or wants to hurt you, can be a sign of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

If you have these thoughts, talk to a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment options.

When to Get Help

If your intrusive thoughts become unmanageable and start to take over your life, you need to seek professional help or as I am doing am learning online, keeping myself busy all the time, and doing extensive research. I will not claim to be the next Paul Mckenna of this world and one day I would like to meet him, but I do believe hypnotherapy and meditation play an important part in the healing process. The issue with hypnotherapy and meditation is you have to keep at it, you cannot just do it once and expect miracles it does not work like that.

Although I have completed my Hypnotherapy Diploma and have hypnotized myself I have not done it enough times to actually see much of a difference hence I re-iterate that you need to be consistent with it.

The way I deal with intrusive thoughts is by scripting and using my online journal. I feel much better after I have released my energy and often anger either on paper or mostly online.

If you are finding life too difficult to bear and you are getting contact with intrusive dangerous thoughts, contact your Doctor or Emergency Services.

A doctor may refer you to a behavioral therapist, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment.

Personally, for me, this is my own process of healing, learning, and passing my knowledge to others.

“An Investment In Knowledge Pays The Best Interest” – by Benjamin Fraklin

Remember we have a useful links page and depending on where you are in the world you have your Doctor you can contact or emergency services (112) this is the international number. In the UK we have (999) and for nonurgent (111).

Further Reading

My Daily Mental and Physical Self-Care Routine & How I Manage My Menta – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

Debunking the Serotonin-Depression Theory (with Psychiatrist & Profess – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

The Difference Between the Nonconscious, Subconscious & Conscious Mind – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

The Great Psychiatry Fraud – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

#intrusivethoughts #ocd #negativethoughts #neuroplasticity #neuroscience #hypnosis #meditation #learning

The Serotonin Theory

The Serotonin Theory.

I have been a sufferer of mental health for the best part of 30 years diagnosed to include depression and OCD. During this time I have tried CBT Therapy, seen a therapist, and have been given medication that has altered over the years from Prozac, Sertraline, and Mirtazapine. These drugs have literally done nothing for me other than make me feel zombified. I am now researching neuroplasticity and how hypnosis and meditation can help me heal through my own self-help therapy. So learning that some mental health disorders have nothing to do with a chemical imbalance does not surprise me. If anything dopamine the happy feeling we have when we are engaged in something we like may help us overcome disorders. Although I joke around, if I was happy living on cloud nine, I reckon I would not have as many issues as I have now (the reason I say this is I have hit highs and lows and when I am happy without a care in the world my symptoms start to subside).

Dopamine is a medication form of a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It works by improving the pumping strength of the heart and improving blood flow to the kidneys. Dopamine injection (Intropin) is used to treat certain conditions that occur when you are in shock, which may be caused by a heart attack, trauma, surgeryheart failurekidney failure, and other serious medical conditions. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. That’s why it’s sometimes called a chemical messenger. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our uniquely human ability to think and plan. It helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.

Doctors are starting to rethink that ‘chemical imbalance’ does not cause depression. Psychiatry has known for some time that the “serotonin theory” of depression, the notion that too little of the brain chemical can be a cause of depression, is a decades-old hypothesis and deeply entrenched trope in society that helped promote a class of antidepressants taken by millions is wrong, says Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris.

Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris: “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.”© Christinne Muschi for Postmedia/File “You want to know why it took so long for the truth to come out,” Paris, a professor of psychiatry at McGill University, wrote in an email. “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.” Drug companies encourage doctors to prescribe often, and heavily, he said, and have “paid many academic psychiatrists to promote their products.”

Two months after a major review found no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations, and no convincing evidence of a “chemical imbalance,” the paper is still stirring controversy. Its authors say they have been ridiculed and attacked and accused of dog whistling far-right commentators who have groundlessly linked antidepressants to mass shootings. Responses from psychiatrists have been oddly contradictory, ranging from “nothing new here, of course, we knew it was never serotonin, it was never that simple” to criticisms that it’s premature to toss out the serotonin theory outright and that the authors missed some studies and interpreted others incorrectly.

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, a consultant psychiatrist, and professor of critical and social psychiatry at University College London told the National Post. Specifically, drugs known as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been said to work by correcting abnormally low serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps move messages between brain cells and that’s thought to play a role in how our brains process emotions. Moncrieff’s study didn’t look at the efficacy of SSRIs, just how likely they are to do what people have been told they do, and she’s been accused of seriously over-stepping the data. “It seems the main criticism is that antidepressants work,” Moncrieff said. “It doesn’t matter how they work. It doesn’t matter that the original idea, the original theory for how they work is unproven. They work, and that’s all that matters.”

Contrary to any arguments or beliefs and being a sufferer for more than 30 years I know that anti-depressants make you feel zonked out, they do not allow you to function properly and make you tired and lethargic. So although I take Mirtazapine and although it is meant to be for depression, and OCD, all it does is send me to sleep, and when I wake I have to drink energy drinks to help me function during the day”.

To Moncrieff, it matters. “Because whether they work or not depends on how we understand what they are doing.” And if they are not correcting a serotonin imbalance, or reversing some underlying mechanism of depression, what are they doing? “We have to consider other possible ways that they may be ‘working,’ inverted commas, which include the fact they are drugs that change normal brain chemistry.”

The serotonin “bombshell” caused an international media frenzy, though was largely ignored in Canada, with many headlines along the lines of, “How were so many duped?” Some psychiatric opinion leaders dismissed the study as “old wine in new bottles,” arguing that no serious psychiatrist today believes depressions are due to a tidy, simple imbalance in brain chemicals or “serotonergic deficit.” Apparently, no one told the public. One survey of Australian adults found that 88 percent believe in the “chemical imbalance” hypothesis of depression. A British Columbia government website says the SSRI escitalopram “works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain.” Forbes Health quoted a Vanderbilt University psychiatrist explaining that SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and their generic equivalents work by boosting serotonin activity in the brain.The idea is that if you have more serotonin in your synapses (regions in the brain where nerve impulses are sent and received) the better your mood will be.”

“Here is my take on this, if someone was to give me £1m and said it was mine to do what I want and never have to pay it back, my mood would change. Serotonin also found in chocolate has done nothing for my health other than make me gain weight” If you could erase all my bad memories and heal by starting a new life so would my mental health become better. I have known for years the medication I take does nothing for me other than send me to sleep or make me really drowsy and I have been on a fair few in my time. I know if I was happy, I would see an improvement in my mental well-being without a shadow of a doubt, because I have seen for myself how my moods change.

“It may well be the case that psychiatrists have a more ‘sophisticated’ understanding of the role of serotonin than the lay public,” Moncrieff and one of her co-authors, Dr. Mark Horowitz later wrote for Mad in America, “but psychiatrists have failed to correct this misunderstanding.”

I, therefore, challenge anyone and want to prove my theory. I know when I was happy my OCD was less noticeable (if anything it was 95 % eradicated, I still had the odd intrusive thought here and there, and tried to fight the uncomfortable feeling with CBT). Through traumatic events over the last two decades, I am back to feeling unhappy and have had to start healing. Only a drastic intervention can cure me now”.

I did not have depression, because I was happy”.

The serotonin theory seemed promising when first introduced 60 years ago, “but was soon discarded,” said Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University who led the task force that created the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1994.

The association was weak and often didn’t replicate. “Depressions are so remarkably heterogenous, there can’t possibly be any unitary cause,” Frances said. “Further study revealed just how ridiculously complicated in brain structure and function.”

SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft account for 44 percent of the leading prescribed drug class in Canada — psychotherapeutics.© Joe Raedle/Getty Images

But the “chemical imbalance” theory was a marketing godsend for drug companies, following the benzodiazepine crisis in the 60s and 70s when the highly addictive tranquilizers were “doled out by the bucketload” to people, particularly women, who were unhappy “just to numb their unhappiness,” Moncrieff said.

In the 1980s, when the first SSRI, Prozac, was launched, “the pharmaceutical industry knew it couldn’t market them in the same way (as benzos) because numbing someone’s unhappiness had got a bad rep with the benzodiazepines, Moncrieff said. “So, it had to convince people that they had an underlying disease and needed to take the drugs for an underlying disease.”

“If you think something is wrong with your brain and a drug is going to put it right, of course, you’re going to take it.”

For their “umbrella” review published in Nature’s Molecular Psychiatry, Moncrieff and her co-authors reviewed high-level studies in six major areas of research spanning 56 years that together involved tens of thousands of people. While there’s no such thing as a “normal level” of serotonin, Moncrieff said, the studies involved indirect measures of serotonin activity, looking at, for example, serotonin and its breakdown products in people’s blood or cerebral spinal fluid, and comparing those levels between people diagnosed with depression, and people not diagnosed with depression, the healthy “controls.”

The researchers found no overall difference in levels of serotonin between the two groups. Serotonin is made from tryptophan, an essential amino acid that comes from the diet. When healthy people were put on diets lacking tryptophan, it didn’t make them depressed. When the researchers looked at studies of genes involved in the brain’s serotonin system, again there was no consistent difference between depressed and healthy volunteers.

“I think people need to think carefully about why they are taking (SSRIs) and what they think the drug is doing for them,” Moncrieff said. “If they are taking the drug because they think it’s correcting an imbalance in their brain, I would suggest that they could re-evaluate whether they need to take it,” she said. “They should, of course, not stop it suddenly,” she said. “They should do that slowly and gradually,” under a prescriber’s care.

What’s often lost in the loaded and polarized controversy over chemical imbalance and depression, Frances said, is that mild depressions are usually triggered by stresses in our lives and don’t require medications. “Instead, they improve with time, support, reduced stress and/or psychotherapy,” he said. Severe depressions do require meds and rarely respond to anything else, he said. “No one size fits all.”

However, “Continued attacks on the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ by anti-psychiatrists are beating a long dead horse and have the harmful unintended consequence of discouraging people with severe depression from taking the meds they desperately need and won’t get well without,” Frances said.

But if psychiatry knew the chemical imbalance theory isn’t real, they had a professional duty to tell people, said Marnie Wedlake, a psychotherapist and assistant professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University.

“If they knew this was a false narrative, as the self-proclaimed and publicly recognized primary experts, they should have been out there saying, ‘No, no, no. Correction.’ But they did not. They just let it go.’”

Still, while it would be easy to pile all blame on psychiatry and the drug industry, “that’s too tidy,” Wedlake said.

We’ve allowed a “pathologizing” of our human condition, she said. “If I’m feeling happy and peaceful, that’s great, but anything else has become a symptom.” When high school kids talk about their emotions today, “they use language that medicalizes their thoughts and feelings,” she said. “It’s just my OCD,” obsessive-compulsive disorder. “I was a shy kid. Kids in my class now in university, they’ve got social anxiety disorder.”

It’s hard to sit with despair she said, even though our human condition includes a heavy dose of it.

“As a species, we don’t know what to do with despair anymore. Ideally, we would say, ‘Okay, I’m feeling somewhat despairing, it’s just part of my life, the full colour spectrum of who I am. Sometimes I’m angry, sometimes I’m sad…. But it has been pathologized, and we don’t know what to do with it.’”

And SSRIs are being prescribed not just for depression, but for social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, phobias, and the list ever expands.

Meanwhile, the mental health system is failing, “miserably,” Wedlake said. “We’ve got Apps and 10 sessions of group CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) you might have to wait for a year-and-a-half for. If you’ve got someone living with extraordinary internal distress, 10 sessions of group CBT are like a band-aid on someone who has been in a car wreck.

“We don’t have the psychotherapeutic resources we need to meet the needs of those who need to deal with their distress.”

If people can’t afford private psychotherapy, if they can’t function or work, “the only option that’s available to them is the Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, or Celexa that their GP is handing out,” she said. “People are stuck.”

Moncrieff, the co-founder of the Critical Psychiatry Network and author of The Myth of the Chemical Cure and other books, said she is “definitely not anti-drug. I see myself as being a very cautious person in relation to drugs.” She uses them in her own practice for people with severe illnesses like schizophrenia. Sedatives like benzodiazepines can be helpful in a crisis, short term, she said. “But I think that drugs that affect the brain, we should be cautious about.”

There’s no evidence they’re reversing an underlying brain abnormality, she said, but “they are doing something to the brain. And by doing that they change our normal mental states.”

SSRIs have been widely reported to cause an emotional blunting effect, a blunting of both positive and negative emotions. “Maybe there are some people who feel that is a useful effect for them. Some people will just decide they want to carry on taking antidepressants. That’s fine. I just think people need to have this information.”

Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris: “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.”© Christinne Muschi for Postmedia/File Is she anti-psychiatry? “I question the idea that mental disorders are usefully thought of as brain disease,” Moncrieff said.  I don’t think they’re the same sort of thing as having a brain tumor or multiple sclerosis.

That doesn’t mean there’s not something going on in the brain, she said. “Of course, there is.” Serotonin is just one chemical that’s been implicated. “But that doesn’t help explain the situation. And we probably never will be able to quite pin down what it is, anyway.”

Paris, of McGill, agrees that SSRIs are overused. “The old adage is that if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Clinicians want to do something for their patient, and these days that will usually be a prescription, given that psychotherapy is so poorly insured in Canada.”

The result is over-prescribing, and “polypharmacy,” giving people multiple medications, “but you can’t blame that on an incorrect theory.” Even though we don’t know how antidepressants work — some have suggested neurogenesis, the formation of new neurons, might be at play — “they do work for a lot of people,” Paris said. “Like so many treatments in psychiatry, and in medicine as a whole, to be fair, the effects are entirely empirical,” said Paris, who offers antidepressants if there are good reasons to suspect they will help.

Note From The Editor.

I am starting one course at a time and have already completed my diploma in OCD & Hoarding Hypnosis and I am starting to research and study neuroplasticity.

Renata Hypnotherapy Diploma

From what I have learned so far, always think in the present tense, when you are thinking about your dream job, dream, home, or dream vacation. Always be grateful for what you have and always say thank you to your God or the Universe. Believe you already have this and meditate just as you are falling asleep or when you have just woken. Visualize you already have what you desire. Never say (if (if I had it) when (when I get it), or any negative thoughts out loud). Our mind has five states beta, alpha, theta, delta, and gamma. They are distinguished by brain activity and predominant brain wave signals. This speed and frequency are measured in ‘Hertz’ and the figures are obtained using an Electrocardiogram (EEG) machine. Your 5 Brainwaves: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma | Lucid We have the ability to rewire our minds, through hypnotherapy, meditation, and positive thinking.

Further Reading:

#serotonin #dopamine #neurotransmitter #neurons #neuroplasticity #neuroscience

Change Your Attitude With Gratitude 2022

Change Your Attitude with Gratitude New Years Resolution 2022.

Whenever we celebrate a New Year we mark it with New Years Resolutions. We celebrate out with the old in and with the new, we say to ourselves we will go on a diet, lose weight, eat healthier, hit the gym, or quit smoking. We aim to do all the wonderful things we dream of, but it is so often the case our resolutions fall through after a month or two because half the time we lack willpower and motivation, we do not have it embedded in our subconscious minds that what we want we can manifest. Essentially we need to brainwash ourselves to believe we can do anything and have anything we desire.

Practicing Daily Gratitude

10 Ways to Practice Daily Gratitude 

One of the most powerful ways to rewire your brain is to re-wire your thoughts. Having a positive attitude will bring more positivity and abundance into your life. Being constantly worried and having negative thoughts will only bring on more stress and worry. Therefore in order to change your attitude to life be grateful for what you already have and be positive that more great things will come to you providing you change your way of thinking.

  1. One of the things I love doing is writing and although I have a physical journal I also write my thoughts on my online journal. By keeping a Gratitude Journal one can write our thoughts, dreams and desires with a daily routine in which we can remind ourselves of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things we enjoy. Remembering moments of gratitude associated with events past and present, your personal attributes, or people you admire gives you the potential to interweave a sustainable life of gratefulness.
  2. Write down at least 10 things you are truly grateful for and on the next page write down in the present tense as if you have already manifested it what you are grateful what has come into your life, rather than what is coming.
  3. Spending 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes before you fall asleep to visualise your aspirations will help to hypnotise yourself and change your subconcious mind. Brainwash yourself before the world brainwashes you. Find a quite relaxing place where you can meditate and relax and focus on what you truly desire.
  4. Research and learn from motivation speakers who mention about the law of Attraction and The Secret. (Bob Proctor, Jake Ducey etc). Watch the film “The Secret”.
  5. When ever you hear someone talk praise them for their achievements. Share Your Gratitude with Others. Research has found that expressing gratitude can help strengthen relationships and bring us closer together. People are more inclined to warm to you if you express gratitude and pat them on their back. The next time you see a female compliment them. The next time your partner, friend or family member does something you appreciate, be sure to let tell them how proud you are of them.
  6. Remove all negitivity in your life, this means anything that reminds you of something bad that has happened in your life to halting all contact with any negative person that does not praise you, does not encourage you or only has snide remarks to say about you. If they are judgemental as in my case someone in my inner circle that thinks she is better than me because she lives in a new build mortgaged house whislt I live in Grade A Listed rented appartment that is falling apart. What she does not realise my digital assets are worth more than her house will ever be. But I have shown gratitude to her children.
  7. Always have either flash cards that you carry in your pocket, purse or handbag. Have your reminders on the homescreen of your phone and also on your desktop. Have a vision board of what you want to achieve, so it is staring you in the face. Stick your reminders on refridgerators. . Use visual reminders because the two primary obstacles to gratefulness are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness, visual reminders serve as cues to trigger thoughts of gratitude.
  8. Be consistant and do it daily. I usually stick a video on youtube or listen to some hypnotherapy audios. Research shows that changing our thought patterns to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that the action will be executed. Set an alarm everyday to promt you to execute your meditation.
  9. Be kind and mindful of others. If you disagree with someone do not fuel the fire with your negativity. The best practice is to be kind, patient and understanding. Be grateful for what others have done for you.
  10. Gratefulness includes smiling, using etiquette, saying thank you, when someone does or says something that is kind and thoughtful, writing letters of gratitude, including emails. By being consistently grateful, you will trigger the emotion of gratitude instantaneously and have it embedded in your subconsious mind.

What I am grateful for.

I have listed below the things I am most grateful for, you could personalize it to suit your own circumstances.

  1. I am grafeful I have roof over my head.
  2. I am grateful I have food to eat.
  3. I am a grateful I have drinking flowing water.
  4. I am grateful I have hot running water.
  5. I am grateful my home is warm.
  6. I am grateful I can pay my bills.
  7. I am grateful I have internet and a good connection.
  8. I am grateful money comes in on a regular basis.
  9. I am grateful I own digital assets (digital real estate).
  10. I am grateful I am creative.
  11. I am grateful I have a good imagination.
  12. I am grateful I am an entrepreneur.
  13. I am grateful I can write and have a platform to write on.
  14. I am grateful people find my writing inspiring and motivational.
  15. I am grateful people find that I have a wealth of knowledge and can help them.
  16. I am grateful I am a publish author.
  17. I am grateful my books are selling.
  18. I am grateful I have wisdom.
  19. I am grateful I have clients.
  20. I am grateful I have a beautiful, intelligent daughter.
  21. I am grateful I have my own websites.
  22. I am grateful I am driving traffic to my websites.
  23. I am grateful I can offer many services.
  24. I am grateful people are buying my services.
  25. I am grateful my domain names are being sold.
  26. I am grateful I can help generate traffic and leads.
  27. I am grateful that I can keep my prices low and be competitive in the industry I am in.
  28. I am grateful I have the ability to teach people and mentor them.
  29. I am grateful I am getting regular subscribers and am expanding my network of connections and followers.
  30. I am grateful most of my websites are on the first page of Google.
  31. I am grateful that the websites which are not on the first page of Google will be soon.
  32. I am grateful I am multi-talented and can re-invent myself.
  33. I am grateful I have learned about hypnotherapy.
  34. I am grateful that I have enough knowledge and content to write a book about neuroplasticity and empowering the disabled entrepreneurial mind.
  35. I am grateful I am self-healing and starting to heal my emotional wounds.
  36. I am grateful people trust and believe in me.
  37. I am grateful 2022 will be a prosperous year for me.
  38. I am happy and grateful I am a spiritual multi-millionaire.

Further Reading.

Jake Ducey Hypnotherapy Audio and Videos can you accessed here.

https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/self-hypnosis/

https://www.mindful.org/an-introduction-to-mindful-gratitude/

If you found this article helpful, please take a moment to comment, share and subscribe.

Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year 2022.

#gratitude #selfhypnosis #hypnosis #bobprocter #lawofattraction #thesecret #jakeducey #napoleanhill #thinkandgrowrich