Starting a Business With A Disability & Deciding On A Domain Name.
If you are starting out or already established you should get domains that are an exact match of searchable keywords or phrases. The reason for this is people will more likely to click on an exact match keyword than an acronym or brandable site (made up word) furthermore it is far easier to index and rank using keywords. If you are set on a brandable or acronym you must take into account that it will take you a lot longer to be visible on the first pages of search engines unless you do extensive, advertising. marketing and pr.
If you already have one website you should consider setting up an SEO link wheel and drive traffic from different directions especially if you offer more than one service. A person looking for marketing may not think to check your web design website. Or if you are a hairdresser but also offer beauty therapy, a customer may search for a beauty therapist rather than hairdressers, you could capture traffic using another site linked to yours.
I will keep this post short but we have listed some domain names which are at auction on Godaddy. You can also find them on Afternic.
Obviously, if you are starting out you have to decide if you are going to be a sole trade, partnership, or limited company. You have to make a business plan and work out your finances. You have to decide on the products and services you will be selling and you have to learn all the legal stuff, such as licenses, permits, and trademarks. You have to sort out branding and marketing. For the full spec of things to do the following link will give you a low down: https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business If you are unemployed or disabled you must contact HMRC, they may even give you tax credits. Remember PIP is not means-tested so regardless if you are working or not it makes no difference but you still have to mention it in your tax returns.
The list of the featured domains can be found here:
If you are interested in another niche industry location just shoot us an email and we will send you some recommendations, if your domain is available on the registrar’s marketplaces we will not buy them and then cyber-squat them. We will just tell you what is available and our recommendations including what we also may have on our books that may help you. We won’t find a domain name, buy it for $10 and slap a hefty price tag on it unless we are using a domain for our own purposes such as affiliate marketing and advertising. In some cases, we may point domain names to articles we have written such as www.germawareness.co.uk and www.ocd.cymru.
If you are looking for a domain and it is not available we also offer an acquisition service.
Reckitt Benckiser the manufacturer of many household brands like Dettol, Cilitbang, and Gaviscon has been accused by the Office of Fair Trading of creating a monopoly in the market for its heartburn drug Gaviscon.
Reckitt could be fined tens of millions of pounds. In Reckitt’s defense, they released a statement stating they believed that it competed fairly in all of its operations. The OFT moved against the company after a whistleblower made the allegation to BBC’s Newsnight in 2008.
However, if you go beyond all the smoke, mirrors, and jargon this is at the expense of the consumer who has to suffer whilst the giants play a game of monopoly on their health.
The former senior Reckitt executive claimed that the makers of Gaviscon maintained an effective monopoly on the market for years after the stomach medicine came off patent. So if that was the case where are their global shortages?
As someone who suffers from heartburn and Dysphagia, I am sick to the back teeth of excuses. I would buy anything to ease the discomfort regardless if it was a famous brand or not. What Reckitt Benckiser are doing is stopping the manufacturing of their cheaper product in favor of the dearer one to make more profits at the expense of the people that rely on the drug.The pharmacies that say they do not know why they are having shortages are trying to basically fool the consumer. They know full well why this drug is in short supply, but choose not to say.
A senior official at Reckitt Benckiser suggested certain people within the organization plotted to create obstacles to stop rival manufacturers from selling cheap generic copies. The whistleblower alleged the firm had “cheated the NHS” and could have saved it “millions of pounds”.
Reckitt Benckiser (RB) said in response to the OFT announcement: “The OFT has stressed that no assumptions should be made at this stage. RB believes it competes fairly and within the letter and spirit of the law in all of our operations, and has co-operated fully with the OFT throughout its inquiry. So if that is the case why is the UK NHS suing them?
“Gaviscon Advance is a second generation product, superior to ‘Gaviscon Original’. I was on the ‘Original’ for many years then had the upgrade to ‘Gaviscon Advance’ which was launched to provide patients with effective and long-lasting relief from heartburn and indigestion, thus replacing the cheaper version which was taken off the market.
“RB will now review the OFT statement and respond accordingly.” According to ‘RB’ Gaviscon was hit by a global shortage due to one key ingredient, a product that many people around the world rely on but cannot get. So you are telling me you can not farm algae anywhere else than Norway? These seaweed species are used to create medical-grade sodium alginate, which is the key ingredient in Gaviscon. “The shortage is a consequence of poor weather conditions and low harvest yields,” the company said in a statement. “Only alginates derived from a specific species have the precise characteristics to be used in the manufacture of effective heartburn and indigestion products such as Gaviscon.”
There should be other rival pharmaceutical companies that can produce better and cheaper alternatives and once they find themselves on the market I will be buying from ‘RB’ competitors because no one should have a gun pointing to their head that says buy from us or else. If the covid vaccine was invented in record time a dupe alternative for Gaviscon could also be invented.
Knowing what I know now I will be looking to buy less from this company across the board for all my household items.
Reckitt informed both customers about the shortage of sodium alginate and informed them they were working with supply partners to put products back on shelves. “Due to global supply chain challenges, we are experiencing shortages with some Gaviscon products. We are continuing to monitor supply and are working with our suppliers to improve availability,” a Coles spokesperson said.
Gaviscon said that “as a responsible company” it recognized its duty to produce unconstrained access to its product but, unfortunately, the shortage of medical-grade sodium alginate was impacting this. “We are working diligently with our supply partners to secure as much production as possible and will do our best to ensure our consumers, patients, and healthcare professionals have access to the heartburn and indigestion treatment they love and trust,” Gaviscon said.
Lemsip, which is also manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser, contains paracetamol and phenylephrine and is used for the temporary relief of symptoms of colds and flu, including body aches and pains, sore throat, headache, and nasal congestion. “Unfortunately, we are also currently experiencing supply chain issues for Lemsip, which means customers might not be able to find this product on our shelves. We understand the frustration for customers and are working hard with our supplier to improve availability as quickly as possible.”
Is that because the special lemon only grown in a certain area in Spain is not producing enough lemons because there are not enough bees?
The truth behind big supermarket shortage. NHS sues Gaviscon maker Reckitt Benckiser.
The NHS in England has launched legal action against Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of heartburn medicine Gaviscon.
According to High Court documents, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is leading the action on behalf of health authorities and primary care trusts. The Department of Health refused to comment on the subject of the suit. Reckitt Benckiser was fined £10m last year for abusing its dominant market position in the supply of heartburn remedies to the NHS. A spokesman for Reckitt said the company could not comment as it had not been served with any papers. Papers lodged at the High Court show Reckitt is being sued collectively by all 10 Strategic Health Authorities and 144 Primary Care Trusts in England, as well as Andrew Lansley as Secretary of State for Health.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said in October last year that Reckitt had restricted competition in the supply of heartburn medicines.
The household products maker withdrew the original Gaviscon from the NHS in 2005 and patients were transferred to Gaviscon Advance Liquid. This happened after Gaviscon’s patent had expired, but before a generic name had been assigned to it, the OFT said. That meant that prescriptions were issued for Gaviscon Advance, rather than pharmacists being able to choose a cheaper generic alternative. The OFT’s inquiry followed an investigation by the BBC’s Newsnight program in 2008.
Gaviscon is one of the most heavily prescribed medicines within the NHS. Confidential papers leaked to the program by a whistleblower showed it was also very profitable, with a gross margin of 77% in 2003.
The chief executive of the OFT, John Fingleton, said at the time: “This case underlines our determination to prevent companies with a dominant position in a market from using their strength to seek to restrict competition from rivals”.In response to the OFT’s fine, Reckitt said that it had believed it was acting within the law at the time and respected the watchdog’s findings.
NHS sue Gaviscon maker £90 m, ‘rip-off’ after costlier heartburn forced on doctors.
Andrew Lansley will claim compensation at the High Court for the millions allegedly overpaid The makers of Gaviscon are being sued for nearly £90million for overcharging the Health Service for the heartburn treatment. Reckitt Benckiser allegedly charged doctors for a more expensive version of the drug when a cheaper one was available.
The firm, which also produces the Nurofen, Clearasil, and Durex brands, has already been fined £10.2million by the Office of Fair Trading after admitting to breaking UK and EU competition law over its sale of Gaviscon to the NHS.
Now Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, ten strategic health authorities, and 146 primary care trusts are suing the pharmaceutical giant at the High Court for the millions they say were overpaid. The alleged abuse centres on Reckitt Benckiser’s Gaviscon Original treatment, one of the most commonly prescribed branded drugs on the NHS. The product’s patent was due to run out in 2005, allowing rival firms to produce copycat versions, known as ‘generics’, for a vastly lower price.
But Reckitt took steps that appeared to block this process.
It removed Gaviscon Original from the NHS-approved list of drugs, but it did not propose a generic name for the drug which would have helped a cheap replacement version to come onto the market.
Instead, it put forward a more expensive Reckitt Benckiser product, Gaviscon Advance, which was still within the patent. Doctors wishing to prescribe a treatment for heartburn had no other option available. Yet Gaviscon Original remained on sale and could be picked up over the counter in pharmacies.
The person who leaked the documents said at the time: ‘Reckitt cheated the Health Service. ‘It could have saved the NHS millions of pounds. I felt it had to be exposed.’
Gaviscon is one of the most prescribed drug brands in Britain The NHS spends a fifth of its annual £110billion budget – around £22billion – on drugs. The Commons public accounts committee has estimated the NHS could save £200million a year without affecting patient care by GPs prescribing lower-cost but equally effective treatments.
Surely there has to be an alternative rather than letting patients suffer?
Reckitt Benckiser said it was ‘shocked’ by the allegations, adding: ‘Reckitt Benckiser is a responsible company.’ If it was responsible why are people suffering at the expense of this pharmaceutical company?
Although it denied cheating the NHS, it admitted anti-competitive behavior and said it was ‘unhappy with some of the language and the sentiment … in the [leaked] internal correspondence, which is inappropriate.
The amount of money sought from Reckitt Benckiser – £90million – coincidentally matches the pay and rewards package of its boss Bart Becht, one of the best-rewarded chairmen of an FTSE100 company. Becht, a Dutchman, has led Reckitt Benckiser since the company was formed in 1999 through the merger of Britain’s Reckitt & Colman and Holland’s Benckiser. He once said that his company makes ‘very stupid products.
Becht is famous not only for his huge salary but also for his generosity to charity. In 2009 he gave stock options worth £110million to good causes.
If he is reading this he can donate here considering I rely on the drug and am in discomfort.
** This post is primarily for the UK. I have written several articles about my GP (Doctor) Negligence and Doctor-Patient Confidentiality in recent times. I am for my own records posting evidence they have only confirmed my letters have been put on the system but both times have not been actioned. Furthermore, I have been in communication with several people, not only relating to this particular surgery but others around the UK also encountering similar problems. I have now discovered why GP (Doctor) Surgeries are backlogged… read more…
Local doctors’ surgeries across the UK are either closing or their clinicians are retiring early.
The impact of the aftermath of the pandemic has caused a strain on doctors and other workers in local GP practices which have seen some “struggling to maintain regular services” which has meant some closing surgery doors to all but the most urgent cases.
Playing “Russian Roulette”, with people’s lives is what is happening as each day brings new absences. Those with overall responsibility for general practice, such as NHS England and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), have had “no backup plan”.
A survey carried out by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) found that at least a third of doctors were planning to retire in the next five years, leaving 14,000 fewer GPs than are currently working.
Addressing the Health and Social Care Committee, retired GP Dr. Andrew Green said, “We need to accept that 10-minute appointments are not safe. The only way that you can run a 10-minute appointment surgery on time is by cutting corners.
“Therefore introduce a questionnaire to be filled out by patients who could then write about their ailments for the doctors to review” similar to what I have done, although my surgery is as helpful as a chocolate fire guard. A ten-minute appointment can then be reduced to two or can be done online using encryption software”
According to “herd immunity” policy, which has allowed the coronavirus to rip through the population in successive and ever-higher waves of infection, has placed intolerable burdens on NHS hospitals.
“This is all smoke and mirrors andI believe the herd immunity is working because most people would have received their vaccinations. I believe it is down to the doctors themselves not managing their time properly or insufficient staff quotas”.
Evidence of the emails I received to state my letters were logged on the system.
To recap I wrote a letter which I emailed last year 9 pages long and this year 15 pages long, it was put on the system and both times never actioned.
I have been told previously by my surgery if I do not like how things are run to change doctors (I am not the only one judging by the Google Reviews). It is easier said than done if you have social disconnection problems, run a business, and do not have time to register at a new surgery never mind the shortfall on the prescribed medication, whilst you wait for your registration to be approved and your medical records sent over.
The NHS are playing “Russian roulette”, put it this way my doctor’s surgery, in particular, most definitely is playing with people’s health.
If you are unhappy you should first address your practice manager or write to your head doctor failing that you can complain to the NHS (see links below).
I know I could take this further and I will one day, but at the moment I am dependent on my medication, albeit there is a shortage of Gaviscon.
Domestic Violence is not always instantly visible as a person of violent tendencies, they may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and he/she may look innocent at first. They may try to reel you in with their charm and charisma. You may think you have struck gold and they will wait until your feelings turn to love, before they strike. They will then have ultimate power over you.
Extreme jealousy, and paranoia, often with accusations of cheating, going to the lengths of stalking.
Embarrassing or shaming you privately and publically.
Controlling who you spend time with or talk to.
Consistently humiliating, belittling, criticizing, and putting you down.
Blaming you for their behavior, (everything is your fault after all (NOT)).
Being in denial, plying down their actions, and making out you are exaggerating.
Controls your finances and gives you little or no money at all.
Physically abuses you by punching, spitting, pulling hair, and pushing you. Damages or destroys your valuables and electronics, Hurts you, or threatens to do physical harm to you or other members of the family.
Tries to turn your children against you with manipulation.
When the victim reaches out to you do give them all the support they need. If they just want to talk lend them your ear. Do not give false promises you will phone and then you don’t. Do not try to brush it under the carpet and make it look trivial or avoid talking about it. If a friend or family member is in an abusive relationship, it’s important to know common warning signs and how to help, and it’s important to be a true friend that actually cares.https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/why-people-do-not-care/ . I will give you an example I sent a sensitive email to three people in my close network of family and friends and not one of them although they did acknowledge reading it never once tried to talk or listen. I once reached out to my deceased brother’s partner to give me a safe place and she never contacted me ever to see if I was ok. If I had gone somewhere where I felt secure I would have avoided the beatings I endured while staying in my own home.
Warning signs of domestic violence:
The victim may become more withdrawn and you hardly ever see or talk with them anymore. They may develop social disconnection and fear of leaving their home.
The victim may make excuses about socializing.
The victim may start blocking everyone they know on social media (the abuser usually wants access to the victim’s social media accounts and will control the account.
The victim’s personal hygiene may be affected, where they once cared about how they looked, they now do not care.
The victim’s home may become uncared for and unclean.
The victim will develop mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief, and OCD.
The victim may still be in contact with their partner even when they are not together. For the victim, there could be a glimmer of hope that the abuser may turn over a new leaf but in reality, this will never happen.
Their partner controls many of their actions including finances, or how long the victim can be out of the house or on the phone.
The abuser makes fun of the victim and embarrasses them in front of you.
The victim may make excuses to you and defend the abuser saying that it was really their fault that things escalated. (It is never the victim’s fault and they are kidding themselves if they say it is).
How to help:
Offer help but keep your distance. You do not want the victim to clam up.
Offer your ear and listen without being judgmental.
Do not give your opinion. Unless you are a professional expert in the field of domestic violence, your opinions are not of consequence. Don’t say things like “If I were you, I’d leave!” or “I wouldn’t put up with that behavior.” This could cause your friend or family member to withdraw or not see you as someone who can help. Instead, listen and become someone they confide in.
Do not judge or degrade the abuser. This can often backfire and the victim may become defensive. After all, you do not know the whole story or the abuser for that matter so who are you to judge?
Do not blame the victim for not leaving, in some cases, the abuser could be an unwanted guest in the victim’s home. the relationship. It is sometimes more complicated to leave all your belongings behind to flee to safety.
Do let the victim know you are concerned for their safety and you will be there no matter what, regardless of what time of day or night it is or what you’re doing. If the victim is in danger then it is an emergency and you have to drop everything and take action, whether it is phoning the police or rescuing the victim and taking them to a safe place.
Connect the victim with local resources who will be able to provide support.
Children Trapped In The Middle of An Abusive Relationship With Their Parents.
Domestic violence, research has shown that children who have witnessed domestic violence have the same life-long mental health effects as if they had experienced the abuse directly. UNICEF reports that over 275 million children worldwide have witnessed domestic violence.
Children who have witnessed domestic violence often experience long-term physical and psychological effects. Research has found they have 40% lower reading levels. They are at increased risk for PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Children who witness domestic violence are also at risk for physiological effects later in life, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the Surgeon General of California, discusses this link between childhood trauma and toxic stress and the ongoing physical effects in her book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity and says even sleeping infants can experience negative psychological effects of being in prolonged toxic stressful situations.
How can a child recover from experiencing or witnessing domestic violence?
Help children feel safe, give them 100% of your attention and make them feel special.
Talk with your children and teach them the abuse is wrong it was not their fault or yours, and that what they experienced or witnessed was the fault of a very unwell person that may need help.
Have children talk about what happened with a trusted adult and a professional therapist.
If you or anyone has been affected by Domestic Violence and wants someone to talk to just drop us a message using the form below. If you do not want to give your real name, that’s OK too, we do not ask questions we are just here to listen.
**Please Note: If you are reading this and are looking for ways to get out of the situation you are in but are not in any immediate danger, devise an emergency backup plan. have a bag ready with all your important documents and valuables and try to save some money for a taxi or busfare. Have a burn phone, just in case your abuser destroys the one you use. Back up all your contact details of all your friends and family and keep it all in the cloud. Make duplicate copies of all your important documents just in case the originals get found and get destroyed. If you can save more money and have a place you can go such as a hotel for a few nights, you should do this until you can secure some permanent shelter. Tell your friends and family what is going on in your life, they may be able to provide support. Have a secret code to notify them that you need help and if you are in imminent danger call the Police or get your support network to do it for you. I have heard ordering a pizza on the emergency services number will notify the Police there is something wrong and they should send out patrol cars.
Coping With Mental Health As A Survivor.
As a survivor of domestic abuse, I know full well how it has affected my life after the aftermath where I am now left to pick up the pieces. What I have learned through self-help therapy is to put it behind me, it was in the past, it is not part of my future and he cannot hurt me if he cannot find me.
My abuser has actually left the country and gone back home to Poland. Ideally, to feel 100% safe I would like to be sure our paths will never cross ever again and I would like to live somewhere where I can rebuild my life rather than have constant reminders of all the physical damage he had not only done to me but also to my home.
I know one day he will re-ignite his hatred of someone else, but then it will be someone else’s problem, I know that sounds selfish and harsh but my hands are tied because he no longer resides in the same country as me). The authorities would not be able to do anything unless he returned, (a leopard does not change their spots, believe me, they do not, I learned that the hard way). Yes, I had plenty of opportunities to press charges but I was afraid and just played the waiting game for him to leave and he did. I have blocked him on all social media and have begun removing my carbon footprint. It stands to reason if he was ever to return he would come to the place he believes I live in, but when I move he will never find me.
He is pure evil and I do not believe he will ever change.
I have learned by keeping myself busy and journalling that I am healing in my own way and am paving a new path.
I cannot deny that it has affected me mentally and physically and I cannot things like I used to but I am learning how to rewire my mind and my thoughts through hypnosis, meditation, and scripting.
I know it will take a lot of time and intervention but I am confident I will get there in the end.
My experience can help others who are dealing with domestic violence and are recovering, either way, there is hope.
How does Domestic Violence affect mental health?
Domestic Violence Is Associated With:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
After the perpetrator is no longer in your life the constant reminders of the destruction are still there. We can erase some of the memories through hypnosis and meditation. But the duration of the abuse will affect you mentally. You may start to believe everything that the abuser said to you are true because you may feel useless because he/she made you feel that way.
Domestic violence is associated with depression, anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is evidenced that individuals suffering from mental health as a result of domestic abuse may experience disturbed sleeping patterns, commit or attempt suicide and develop substance misuse issues.
The ultimate way is to keep reminding yourself that if you give in he/she would have won.
You are stronger than that, you can show them and make them live to regret raising one finger to you.
Children who witness the events are found to suffer from mental ill health, later on in their lives, and where they see this happening may not differentiate right from wrong. They may see it as normal and may even adopt the same traits.
16% of domestic abuse victims have considered attempting suicide as a result of the abuse (National Legal Service).
64% of domestic abuse survivors experience PTSD (Office of National Statistics)
60% of psychiatric inpatients had experienced severe domestic abuse (Office of National Statistics).
Individuals may find it difficult to seek support for their mental health, however, help is available.
What help can a survivor of domestic violence get?
First of all the victim needs to reach out to their GP (Doctor) to get the medication to help them sleep, ease their depression and get a referral to counseling services.
Some counseling services like CBT Therapy or psychotherapists are provided by the NHS (UK) free of charge. Hypnotherapy can be accessed online. There are also many free courses and therapy sessions that can be accessed via the NHS https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/.
There are many social media groups on Facebook that you can join to be part of a community and help one another to motivate and empower. If you have a story you wish to share and perhaps help someone then we invite you to write on our site.
Protecting your mental health when affected by Domestic Violence?
There are many ways to protect your mental health.
I have found that whoever I talk to in my personal network does not really want to support me and they do not want to hear all the gory details, they usually try to change the subject or try to brush it under the carpet by saying its in the past and you should not dwell on it, (easier said than done).
Unless you have been on the receiving end of domestic violence no one has the right to judge or give an opinion unless they are an expert in the field such as psychologists or mental health practitioners.
One of the ways to protect your mental health by far is to reach out to a medical practitioner or GP (Doctor), they can advise the best course of action and put you in touch with organizations that can help.
Remember talking to someone is a good thing although some people simply do not care, so be mindful of this and it is best to reach out to your doctor first and foremost or any professional body.
Taking back hold of your life.
Make an appointment with your doctor.
Start a diary, this could be a personal book or an online journal.
Join social media groups specifically focused on Domestic Violence.
Join social groups and start making friends.
Start to go out, for a coffee, drinks, or dinner even by yourself (You have your smartphone, tablet, or book to keep you company).
Plan your new life.
Manage your finances.
Set goals (have a bucket list and reward yourself every time you reach one of your goals).
Learn something new each day (there is plenty of information and courses online and some are free).
Start a hobby or something you have always dreamed of doing but never had a chance to.
Look after yourself and start to love yourself again.
Practicing mindfulness and exercising, even just a walk in the fresh air has been proven to support wellbeing. Further ideas can be found at https://www.mind.org.uk/.
Start a blog and share your experience and knowledge.
Teach others (this could be about something you are passionate about or talk about your life and how you are a survivor.
Motivate and Empower people.
Show the world you are a survivor where you got kicked down, got back up again, and are more stronger than ever before.
If you have children that have witnessed the destruction and physical and mental abuse, make them your priority and show them that you all are in a better place, spoil them, take them out to all their favorite places and talk to them that what happened was wrong and should never be repeated by anyone. Teach them about kindness and respect so that they do not go on to do what their father or partner did. Children have a tendency to pick up bad habits that they see their parents doing.
Leave a Legacy.
If you want to reach out or share your story either anonymously or using your real name we can give you your own space where you can log in and update as little or as often as you like. Just drop us a line using the form below:
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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).
I have always known that large corporations do not care about people. If you look at the bigger picture, if you or I murdered someone we would go to jail regardless if we did it ourselves or hired someone to do it for us. So why is it that world leaders can start wars and get away with murder?
The whole point of wars is to raise inflation, people tend to panic buy, by worrying about price rises. But for organizations such as utility providers that are on a gravy train getting compensated by the federal reserve, they do not care about your well-being either.
It is all about the sheer greed for money and power.
OFGEM the ombudsman for energy suppliers is the government. The energy suppliers and the governments work hand in hand. Ofgem is supposed to work with people and not against them: However, Samantha Allen, chief executive of the NHS in the North East and Cumbria, hit out at Ofgem for halting energy supplies for vulnerable people who haven’t paid. Risks to clinically vulnerable people (northeastnorthcumbria.nhs.uk)Do you see that OFGEM is on the side of the energy supplier and not the people?
It will be interesting to see if what I say is true, because I have reported British Gas to OFGEM and I have until October 14th, 2022 to get a response.
The MPs are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer.
So it is no surprise there is an investigation going on how MPs have claimed taxpayer’s money to pay for the energy bills.
Ministers’ claims for gas, electricity, and water came to just over £195,000 in 2021–’22, according to an analysis of data from IPSA.
It also showed since 2019 that MPs have claimed just over £692,000 to cover these utility costs, with £538,000 alone going on heating bills.
Suella Braverman, favorite to be named home secretary if Ms. Truss wins the leadership contest, has claimed £7,160 for household utilities since the 2019-’ 20 financial period.
Education secretary James Cleverly, predicted to become foreign secretary, billed taxpayers £4,142 in energy and water bills at the same time.
Among senior Labour MPs making the claims was the party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, who has been handed £2,318 to cover energy and water bills since 2019.
You have to bear in mind that these people in power have never experienced poverty for themselves, they have never had to worry about keeping a roof over their heads or putting food on the table let alone finding money to pay bills.
It is ironic that the same people go around preaching how someone should budget their money and send you to places like stepchange .org when you already have a clear picture that you do not have enough money coming in to cover your bills. So how can these charities help other than to give donations?
It really rattles me that the people at the top preach to the rest of us about money yet they are the ones causing us to get into debt.
Note From The Editor
Think of it this way the world is overpopulated, and the governments are forking a shed load for vulnerable people and people with disabilities. The governments (UK are in trillions of debt to the EU for Brexit, so where is the money going to come from to clear the UK debt?
I am now on par with managing my money after months of sheer heartache with British Gas. This cost of living, British Gas, and my creditors have caused me to dive into a deep state of depression and some days find it hard to function properly. If Covid was not bad enough and I lost a lot of business now I am having clients dropping like flies because they cannot afford to run their websites any longer. I do not see the government helping small businesses, do you?
I do try to keep myself busy and I try to learn something new every day. Talking to people does not help (not for me anyway), what advice can someone give, if they are not more qualified than me, or know my personal circumstances?
“Knowledge is Power“.
I am not saying do not talk to someone, in fact, I advise you to talk to a friend, family, or colleague, especially if life is becoming unbearable. Even go as far as talking to your GP (Doctor) but if it can’t wait phone A&E or ER.
What I find is venting my thoughts on this site helps. It not only helps me but can help someone else like me.
You do not have to use your real name just set up a Gmail email and register on here to also vent. In fact, I have even got categories called “Online Journal General” and “I Need To Vent”.
My final recommendation is not to stop paying your bills altogether, but instead, pay what you can afford while at the same time reducing your energy usage. This will hurt the energy suppliers’ profits. I have elected to pay monthly by bank transfer rather than direct debit, this gives me greater control over my bank and does not give energy suppliers a license to help themselves.
PIP Personal Independence Payment Delays And The Repercussions On Mental & Physical Health.
Disclaimer Scotland: People in Scotland will no longer be able to make a new claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from August 29 when the benefit will be replaced by Adult Disability Payment (ADP) in all 32 council areas across the country. At present, 13 local authorities are now offering ADP to adults over 16 and under State Pension age living with a disability, long-term illness or a physical or mental health condition.
Most people don’t like complaining and will not make a formal complaint about anything let alone the DWP, because they believe it would be a waste of time and could cause a knock-on effect on their other benefits. For those that do complain and, after many months of pursuing, end up giving up. The ones that are determined come away with a pathetic apology and feel they have hit a brick wall. They accept the mediocre admission by the DWP or Atos, Capita, that these organizations made a mistake and nothing else happens, their mental health is simply disregarded without a second thought.
ANN ABRAHAMS – REPORT
However, the most recently released report reveals that a tiny number of people pursue their complaints further and end up being awarded large sums in compensation. The report is called ‘Small mistakes, big consequences’ and is written by Ann Abrahams, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Ann Abraham should be a name that should stand out as well as your local MP.
“Remember nothing happens quickly after all these people are not in a hurry to find money to put food on their tables, only you are”…
Your illnesses and disabilities should be corroborated with medical evidence and letters from GPs and consultants. This payment is to help with your daily living and is not an alternative to being a benefit bum and living off benefits. This payment is for people who truly deserve the extra money because of their disabilities. The reason why the Government is clamping down is because of too many fake, lazy individuals that see this as free money.
Citizens Advice said: “PIP, which can see people with an illness, disability or mental health condition receive up to £157 a week, is a lifeline for millions of people, yet the government is playing with people’s lives and their health.
There are currently around 327,000 Disabled people on the waiting list, with an average waiting time of five months. Citizens Advice projects this means £300 million of payments that would be awarded are being held up, after all the government needs to look after themselves first before thinking about the other half of the population. You are not their priority, although you should be.
“Waiting for this payment is having a huge impact on people’s lives. Delays in assessment mean that support is held up, forcing people into impossible choices as they try to make ends meet.”
People are facing humiliation as 1 in 5 people have needed to go to a food bank in the last 3 months who have also had an issue with PIP. Many of those waiting for a decision will also be eligible for the £150 disability benefits cost-of-living support payment but are unlikely to get it before October’s mammoth energy price hike.
There are more people coming to Citizens Advice for help with PIP than with any other issue in fact an astonishing 41% more than any other issue.
Around 150 people are contacting advisors at Citizens Advice every hour for one-to-one help, and its webpage on “How the DWP makes a decision on PIP claims” had 27,700 page views last month, up 56% year on year.
Citizens Advice is calling on the Government to take urgent action to relieve pressure in the system and help get money to people who desperately need it. It is calling for an emergency plan from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urgently tackle this backlog, including reducing the number of claimants required to have a medical assessment, which is the main reason for these delays – and extending the award period so people have to reclaim less often.
In March, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how the backlog of disabled people waiting for a PIP assessment had more than trebled in the last five years, from 88,500 in October 2016 to nearly 312,000 by December 2021.
DNShas also reported on similar problems with the Access to Work system, with DWP figures showing the number of disabled people waiting for decisions on their applications has more than quadrupled in a year from just 4,890 in March 2021 to 20,909 in March this year.
One of the ways the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is dealing with the lengthening PIP assessment backlog is by providing temporary (3 months), short-term extensions to PIP claimants who are waiting for their benefits to be reviewed.
Editors’ Opinion –“Do they not have enough unemployed people to do a bit of paperwork? How about outsourcing the work would be another idea and finally only appraise the people that have medical evidence to corroborate their illnesses”?
The Government is purposely dragging its heels in order to save money.
“This is Evil, a Disgrace, and a Shambles”.
Vicky Foxcroft, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people said:
“With the cost-of-living crisis hitting disabled people particularly hard, it is shocking this government has not got a grip of the PIP backlog, which has been going on for months now”.
“Short-term fixes aren’t enough anymore. Disabled people deserve so much better than this; Tory ministers need to get a grip on this backlog, especially given the impact it is now having on other benefits for disabled people.
“A future Labour government would invest properly in disabled people, ensuring they had the support needed.”
A DWP spokesperson said:
“We closely monitor the progress of PIP cases awaiting assessment and take all steps possible to ensure claimants receive the vital support they require”.
“We can and do make in-house decisions on award reviews without referral to assessment providers where necessary and use a blend of phone, video, and face-to-face assessments to ensure support is given as quickly as possible.”
People Who Suffer From OCD
Daily Living Descriptor 6– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The Upper Tribunal has recently made a decision (CPIP/3760/2016) about how people with OCD can claim points under PIP.
Therefore there has been some confusion about people with OCD, who usually can do an activity perfectly well, but have to do it over and over again or in particular ways or at particular times.
(Assessors who are not specialized in diagnosing OCD or any other illness should not have any input about the claim – just because they have passed e-learning does not make them any more qualified than you or me).
The PIP descriptors and the regulations didn’t deal with this sort of situation very well and so lots of people with OCD lost out on awards. Now the Upper Tribunal has looked at the issue and made a judgment that will help people with OCD to earn points for PIP.
WHAT THE UPPER TRIBUNAL DECIDED
The Upper Tribunal case was about a person who took a very long time to get dressed because their OCD meant they had to repetitively try on lots of different outfits until she found one she was happy to wear. The DWP argued that this long time didn’t count for the purposes of PIP because it was just the person’s choice to try lots of clothes on. The Upper Tribunal, however, held that because the person’s hesitations and repetitive behavior were ‘the consequence of her health condition’, she was entitled to points because it took her more than twice as long as a non-disabled person to dress. But the UT did say that if the longer time had not been a consequence of her health condition, she would not have been entitled to points.
This decision is important because the principle that delays in being able to complete a task because of the consequences of a mental health condition like OCD can be applied to all descriptors, not just dressing. So a person with OCD who can eat perfectly well but who takes an hour to eat because of obsessive rituals about arranging the table, or a person who can wash perfectly well but who does so eleven times three times a day, could claim points under those PIP descriptors.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
If you have OCD for example and have obsessive rituals or other behavior which means that you take much longer to do activities of daily living like cooking, eating, dressing, and so on, then you now can use this Upper Tribunal decision to strengthen your argument for claiming PIP.
Note that you will still have to be able to show that you have been diagnosed with OCD or a similar mental health condition and you do in fact have behavior that means you take much longer than a non-disabled person to complete daily living activities. Good strong evidence from people who know you will be needed.
You will also have to show that your behavior is a consequence of your mental health condition and not just your own preferred way of doing things. Showing that you can’t change the way you do things even if it is against your interests will be useful – eg that you miss appointments because you can’t get there in time owing to a dressing ritual.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF OCD
OCD is a very complicated illness it is not just about washing or checking or taking too long to shower, dress or cook food. It may be the fear of germ contamination (as I have). I know logically we are surrounded by germs but the thought of contracting something or being harmed through direct contact with an unsanitized area does not bear thinking about. I am cocooned in my own surrounding where I can keep my intrusive thoughts under control as best I can. My disabilities are not just OCD, they are Depression, Social Disconnection, and Cognitive Impairment (Cerebellar Atrophy) to name a few.
As with everything, it all takes time and you are not a priority.
Upper Tribunal decisions take time for your claims, mandatory reconsideration, and appeals, and it may take some months before DWP and assessors finally make the decision.
Unfortunately for you, this causes considerable stress on your mental health and pressure on your finances. You can either suffer and do nothing other than wait or you could complain.
If your appeal is taking longer than expected you have grounds to contact the ombudsman.
If you have been treated unfairly and given the DWP and Tribunal time to respond and they have not within the timeframe then you need to start getting all your evidence together to build a case. You can take it even further and take it to an Ombudsman (Last Resort).
The PIP system is flawed, it employs people who are not qualified in the field of the illness (one needs to be a specialist in the field and should undergo years of training as well as qualifications to determine what the claimant is suffering from). The system is designed to degrade people and to make them unwell. The more people that become unwell the more money Big Pharma makes and that is how the world goes round.
Making a Complaint
Do exhaust all avenues of complaint procedures before contacting the ombudsman and do collate as much evidence as you can. If you have a blog or social media page share it with the people I have mentioned in this article. People usually take notice if you have a professional site and you know what you are talking about.
If you want our help and need a letter we can send you a template with all users, names, and addresses and you fill in the blanks. Our template letters are £5.00 and you will get a download link once the payment has been processed, if you want us to write the letter for you it will cost £25 per 1000 words. Your privacy and data will be safeguarded with a non-disclosure agreement.
PIP Mailing Address is:
Personal Independence (2), 2 Mail Handling Site (A), Wolverhampton., WV98 18B
0800 121 4433 ( be prepared to wait 45 minutes to be put through)
** Just to explain when I spoke to PIP today over my daughter’s award the woman said that my daughter or I would have to submit evidence by post. Knowing they had an email I said could it not be done electronically (I bit my tongue about saving the environment) and the woman I spoke to blatantly lied and said there is no email address.
The amount of time I had to wait to be put through could easily cause someone who has multiple sclerosis or any other auto-immune disease and suffers from bad stress and anxiety to easily relapse. Furthermore, I do not know who they employ because I had to spell ‘Alemtuzumab‘ out even though I clearly told the woman the word can be found on www.lemtrada.com.
I am not looking forward to the assessment my daughter is due to have because if they make my daughter perform like a circus monkey that will mean I will have to intervene. My daughter documents her health in her online journal on this platform. I am not looking forward to having to deal with these people.
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, surgery, heart failure, kidney 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 psychiatristDr. Joel Paris.
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.”
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.”
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.
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 | LucidWe have the ability to rewire our minds, through hypnotherapy, meditation, and positive thinking.
So to recap on the 27th of July 2022 I was put on a payment plan.
You have to bear in mind when the price rose earlier this year I tried to move my payment date and that is when the problems started in February although I did have a payment plan in place at the time but was told the only way I could move the date was if I set up a Direct Debit with the increased tariff. I wanted to move the date inline when my inbound payments were coming in. (The original payment plan which was at the time £65 and then rose to £90). Soon after I canceled the direct debit because I was not comfortable giving British Gas access to my bank account, this is when they refused to put me on a payment plan where I manually could pay by bank transfer, standing order, or directly on their website.
This has been going on for the best part of six months (Feb -August 2022).
I eventually was put on a payment plan after several phone calls and meter readings proving I was not using much Gas, somewhat five months later.
On the 4th of August 2022, some bright spark (woman) stopped my payment plan because she said I would not be able to pay online if I had a magnetic card, I told her I would pay by bank transfer and she said it was not possible even though I have the bank details to do that or simply pay on their website. There have been many agents that have said this causing contradictions to what other agents say, that I am able to pay online.
I phoned back on the 5th of August and was put back on the payment plan yet AGAIN.
I then got a letter yesterday dated 6th August that British Gas has not heard from me even though I am phoning practically every day.
I proceeded yesterday to go on their chat and set the transcript to email me at the end of the chat. You can guess I never received an email.
So today I phone up and I was met with a hostile agent who spoke to me in a very controlling manner. I told her about the letter and I said that I did not cancel the payment plan on the 4th, no sooner I had said this she put the phone down on me.
I then decided to have another go with the chat and not trusting British Gas as far as I can throw them, Istarted the chatagain but remembered what my daughter said and that was to screenshot the chat just in case I did not get a copy of the transcript. The agent assured me I would get an email (as per the screenshot)…wrong I had no such email but I did do the screenshots that confirmed I am on a payment plan and that my account has not been passed to debt collections.
Technically speaking I should be working but this company has made me so unwell I barely respond to emails and do the occasional update. The amount of time I have wasted with this company is beyond unbelievable.
Moving Forward and My Usage.
I eat sandwiches and salads maybe use the cooker 10 times a month. Come winter I am going to buy oil-filled radiators.
I would rather pay a little bit extra to the electricity supplier EON Next than give a penny more to British Gas.
“British Gas needs to have empathetic agents, not people that think they are so high and mighty and above you. They should be held accountable for their actions”.
This has been going on for six months and the number of calls I have had to make, emails I have sent, and chats are enough to test anyone’s mental health strengthand state of mind.
I have reported this to the ombudsman and will be sending them another update today.
In my opinion it absolutely disgusting how they treat people.
I am rattled today because of an email I received from an agency that is run by my local council and they seem to separate themselves even though they are one. They are basically saying that they are not the local council and are passing the buck.
I am getting irate because this is costing me time having to argue with them and not to mention it is also affecting my daughter’s mental health and it is also affecting me. We both have disabilities and I fight my daughters’ battles even though it sometimes can also affect me too.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” – Mark Twain
“Trusting someone’s opinion over your own is admitting you believe they’re smarter than you are.” – Charles Faraone
It takes a lot to get me rattled but people (sheep reading off scripts) do push my buttons and eventually if one does it enough times “you will see me blow”.
I am normally a calm person but if people purposely wind me up and think I am an idiot to believe the BS, they have another thing coming.
Not only this, the said agency is basically insinuating that Multiple Sclerosis is Not a Disability and they are undermining the results by the Professor of Neurology.
“This post serves as the foundation of the whirlwind I will stir and will happily sing like a canary”.
So despite showing evidence that my daughter has had a relapse this said agency is still in need of more evidence. My daughter’s neurologist is on annual leave should I demand he drop his holiday and everything else he is doing to pussyfoot around these people?
I find the behavior of this agency is causing emotional distress and indirectly discriminatingwhich is against the law. If I have proven my daughter has relapsed and needs help getting around occasionally, as no two days are the same, you would think they would be more understanding but they keep putting obstacles in the way and causing distress.
I am dealing with this as I do not want my daughter to relapse again and I will not allow her to jump on one foot whilst touching her nose and act like a performing seal just to prove a point. I reiterate medical evidence will suffice and she will not be questioned by someone who is not qualified for the role (my daughter’s friend is a PIP assessor with only GCSEs to her name).
Indirect discrimination happens when there is a policy that applies in the same way for everybody but disadvantages a group of people who share a protected characteristic, and you are disadvantaged as part of this group. If this happens, the person or organization applying the policy must show that there is a good reason for it.
A ‘policy’ can include a practice, a rule, or an arrangement.
It makes no difference whether anyone intended the policy to disadvantage you or not.
To prove that indirect discrimination is happening or has happened:
there must be a policy that an organization is applying equally to everyone (or to everyone in a group that includes you)
the policy must disadvantage people with your protected characteristic when compared with people without it
you must be able to show that it has disadvantaged you personally or that it will disadvantage you
the organization cannot show that there is a good reason for applying the policy despite the level of disadvantage to people with your protected characteristic
If the organization can show there is a good reason for its policy, it is not indirect discrimination. This is known as objective justification.
With this said if an organization treats someone with ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ or any other ‘Invisibile Disability’ the same way you would treat a normal able body person, they are in fact indirectly discriminating, which is against the law.
With Multiple Sclerosis you have good days and you have bad days.
The weather can impact your health.
No two days are the same.
The same can be said with someone with mental health issues, one day you can be somewhat fine and other days you could be not doing so well.
There is no way of measuring or predicting if a person will be ok from one day to the next.
Not only this arguing with people (sheep), causes emotional distress which in the case of ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ can cause a person to relapse.
If this continues I will be looking to seek damages for:
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