Benefit of Antidepressants

Through the course of pregnancy, a woman has to take considerable care and precautions so that neither the health of her nor the developing fetus is compromised in any way. Besides going through an emotional roller coaster, a pregnant woman needs to take the necessary nutrients, choose a health care provider and avoid consuming hazardous substances.

If a pregnant woman is experiencing the symptoms of a mental disorder during her pregnancy, the challenges of delivering a healthy child compound. If she is seeking treatment for any psychological disorders, she needs to consider the repercussions of drugs on the health of both her and the baby.

Given that various antidepressants are considered unsafe or may have serious side effects, their consumption during pregnancy remains controversial and debatable. The consequences of antidepressants for the treatment of mental disorders during pregnancy has been widely debated among medical practitioners and experts. As a result, many health care providers remain doubtful and uncertain about the best way to approach pregnant patients suffering from mental disorders.

On the one hand an untreated psychiatric disorder negatively affects the fetus and mother by causing complications due to higher body mass index (BMI), low adherence to prenatal care, poor nutrition and decreased rates of breastfeeding; on the other hand the risk of relapse is believed to rise during pregnancy when antidepressants are abruptly discontinued, particularly during the first trimester.

There have been studies focusing on analyzing the effects of medications like benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants and complications of psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, etc. on pregnant women have underlined the importance of continuing the medications under the supervision of an expert. Moreover, untreated mental disorders like major depressive disorder (MDD) are associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, impaired mother-child bonding, impaired cognitive-behavioral skills in children, etc.

Consequences of medications manageable in nature

While the symptoms of anxiety disorders are commonly witnessed during pregnancy, the decision to treat pregnant women using antidepressants is not easy. It involves taking into account the safety of the unborn child due to the in utero exposure to medications and the risk of health complications to the mothers due to the misuse and discontinuation of antidepressants.

Interestingly, a recent study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry discovered that the benefits of using benzodiazepine-based antidepressants for anxiety disorders during pregnancy outweigh the risk of experiencing adverse birth outcomes. This cohort study comprising 2,654 pregnant women followed up the effect of mental disorders on maternal and neonatal outcomes and the impact of certain benzodiazepines and SSRI antidepressants, such as Zoloft, Paxil, etc. The study found that most of the medication exposures occurred early in pregnancy.

Moreover, the use of these medications entailed minuscule risks. Besides the need for respiratory support after birth and the shortening of pregnancy, some other implications of antidepressants are as follows:

  • C-section deliveries, low birth weight and use of ventilator support for the newborn were more common among women on benzodiazepines.
  • Hypertensive diseases, preterm birth and use of minor respiratory interventions were associated with serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
  • While benzodiazepine treatment reduced the duration of pregnancy by 3.6 days, the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors decreased pregnancy by 1.8 days.

The study authors allude that pregnant women, particularly the ones grappling with anxiety disorders and panic disorders, do not need to stop taking antidepressants during pregnancy, as they do not affect the development of the fetus as adversely as untreated psychiatric disorders.While there are still some apprehensions among health care providers and expecting mothers about the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, the study suggests that the antidepressant treatment is linked with some adverse outcomes that are easily manageable and non-threatening in nature. However, pregnant women experiencing mental disorders must consult their health care providers to achieve the optimum treatment outcomes with the lowest possible doses of such medications.

Consult experts before popping pills

The symptoms of mental disorders, particularly anxiety disorders, are quite common during pregnancy. They have debilitating effects on women when left unaddressed and under diagnosed. Since mental disorders are highly treatable, even an expecting mother should not hesitate from seeking medical intervention.

Tips To Deal Visit Hospital and Doctors

One of the most common fears is the anxiety one experiences over the prospect of seeing a doctor or going to a hospital. It is generally known as “White Coat Syndrome” and the symptoms of this anxiety always diminish and disappear after the visit is over.

Symptoms of “White Coat Syndrome” may be any one or multiples of the following:

– Racing Heart

– Spike in Blood Pressure readings

– Sweating

– Anxiety

– Panic

– Trembling

– Dry Mouth

– Advance worries thinking about it

– Stomach Upset

– Dizziness

– Loss of Appetite

– Sleep Difficulties

It’s important to remember that any fear induced experience is always triggered by your thoughts concerning the event. It is dependent solely on what you are telling yourself. Maybe as a child you experienced a difficult time at the doctor’s office or inside a hospital background. This alone might have created a strong impression or imprint on your mind. Whenever you thought of going to a doctor or hospital, the memory was enough to trigger a fear reaction. Therefore, this became your behavior, your reaction to a thought surrounding the possibilities of the event. This makes perfect sense but just because your mind claimed this early behavior, does not mean it is too late to change and eliminate it. One always has the opportunity to change learned behaviors and replace them with more positive ones.

Breaking Habits, Changing Behaviors

This is how one goes about making that change and deliberately creating a positive experience to overwrite the negative one:

– Always eat a protein based meal before going to your appointment. This will create balanced blood sugar levels to create a less reactive mind and body.

– BREATHE: This is one of the most important steps to overcoming fear in any stressful situation. Most people either hold their breath or overbreathe when upset. Take one slow breath in through your nose, hold it a few moments and take a long slow exhalation through your mouth. When you do so, envision all the burdens of fear you’ve been carrying on your shoulders lift with the exhalation. You’ll immediately feel as if a heavy weight has been lifted off your mind, as you become much lighter and relaxed.

– Watch your inner dialogue: Make sure you are viewing this situation from the correct perspective. You are going to a medical facility to improve the way you feel. Never allow this goal out of your focus. It’s about moving towards good health, not creating a negative experience.

– Know that most medical procedures are painless nowadays, including dentistry, so you will most likely avoid any pain or physical hardship.

– Remind yourself of the fact that if it was such an awful experience no one would ever go in the first place.

– Remember that doctors are people. You can talk to them, tell them your fears and even engage in normal conversation to lighten the experience. Engaging with your doctor as another person always easing the tension.

– If you feel the tension building into a panic episode, let it go by welcoming the feelings rather than pushing them away. Anxiety is a paradox. By running from it, you increase its power. By accepting it, even welcoming it, you drain its strength which is fueled by adrenaline and released in response to your fearful thoughts.

– Know that most every visit to a physician’s office or hospital are quite different than what you may have experienced years ago. They are virtually painless and pleasant since the widespread use of the newest instruments and procedures. Even recuperation is more rapid and with much less discomfort due to the high tech and modern approach to most procedures.

Also, understand that the more you do something, the easier the experience becomes. If you have not visited a doctor’s office or hospital recently, the experience might seem daunting to you. Going on a day when you have a simple or non-emergency reason to be there will often help you relax and build up your emotional muscles about the experience.

Many have found that volunteering at hospitals helps them a great deal. They become familiar with the surroundings and the experience settles into more of an every day, casual event. They share friendships with others who work there (professionals and staff), enjoy a stronger connection with their surroundings and prove to themselves that there is nothing out of the ordinary to warrant undue fear about the experience.

Bottom line, you are not alone. This is a difficulty that many go through and have to deal with at some time in their lives. With the proper approach these fears can be overcome and easily remedied. So much depends upon your perspective and thoughts concerning the experience. Learning to make a few simple changes in the way you approach these situations can easily replace the unpleasant memories of previously stressful appointments with a noticeably pleasant experience.

Understanding Depersonalization and Substance

Anyone who is prone to feelings of depersonalization is also quite reactive to outside stimuli, and therefore must be aware of the reactions one might experience after substance use and why full clarity of mind is dependent upon avoiding certain substances, for good reasons.

It is helpful to know just how reactive you may be in order to counter this reactivity and avoid having to face intrusive symptoms of depersonalization, derealization, anxiety and other physical and emotional interferences.

Lastly, it’s important to learn how to interrupt feelings of depersonalization and derealization so your mind refreshes and clarity and peace of mind return.

Let’s begin with the definition of Depersonalization and Derealization:

– Depersonalization is basically a mind that has become extremely fatigued due to prolonged fearful worry. This tired mind creates feelings of detachment, unreality and disorientation, as if separated from the world and the people in it.
– Derealization is when one’s surroundings appear unusual, different, distant, strange and a bit “off.”

Neither is an illness. What one is experiencing is the results of an exhausted mind which is basically a learned behavior/habit that may simply be treated and remedied when approached in a very specific manner.

Anxiety usually accompanies this sensation and helps to fuel the symptoms.

The mind is basically waiting to refresh as soon as one learns to move out of their own way. Learning to make the proper corrections concerning the way one thinks along with specific nutritional changes, enables one to interrupt the symptoms and learn to step out of their own way, allowing the mind to refresh and clarity to return.

Substances Adding to the Feelings of Depersonalization, Derealization and Anxiety:

Marijuana: This seems to be one of the strongest triggers of depersonalization as it simulates the sensation of detachment and fogginess at the same time. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC properties, which enhance the euphoric high, are not regulated and might range from small amounts to much higher percentages. The problem is that one is not aware of the percentages and therefore might not experience its affects until they have smoked or ingested large amounts.

Pre-Workout Formulas: These seemingly innocuous and vitamin enriched substances often contain large amounts of chemicals that share identical properties with caffeine. This serves to energize and allow the individual to assume they are building a stronger body, when in truth it is merely a temporary assumption created from the enhanced stimulants in their body. The mind and body become rapidly dependent on these formulas and to add insult to injury, many double up on dosages believing it will speed up the process. Unfortunately this only maintains a greater dependency and physical addiction which culminates in a difficult physical and emotional crash upon discontinuation of the formula. The person is left in an exhausted, low energy frame of mind and body, struggling to make it through the day. Other side effects which accompany use of this substance are anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, hair loss and feelings of unreality (depersonalization).

Alcohol: Many who experience life’s difficulties often begin using alcohol in an effort to self medicate, in amounts that often create more physical and emotional issues. Alcohol is high on the glycemic scale and this large content of sugar creates initial euphoria which always results in a very steep crash. One experiences heightened anxiety, depersonalization, insomnia, sweating and trembling.

Antidepressants and Antianxiety Medications: Remember that the individual prone to both anxiety and/or depersonalization is highly reactive to outside substances. It’s most important to recall that medication is number one on that list. This means that while someone who is less reactive may tolerate an antidepressant or antianxiety medication and feel generally well while doing so, but those who are more reactive may experience many of the adverse reactions (side effects) rather than the benefits of these medications. Withdrawal may also be a problem when deciding it’s time to discontinue use. This often leads to feelings of increased anxiety, fogginess, depersonalization, derealization, headaches, insomnia, and nausea. Dependence may also a problem with these medications along with severe and difficult withdrawal reactions.

Adderall: This medication contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and is primarily used for those seeking help for ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is appropriate when the exact protocol as prescribed by your physician is enforced, but unfortunately many are using these medications in a sporadic manner, for example, during final exams, term papers, and projects that require increased mental stimulation. This is when the mind and body experience withdrawal symptoms and severe side effects such as panic attacks, anxiety, depersonalization, derealization and other generalized anxiety symptoms, as the mind tries to maintain balance.

Understanding and Solutions

One must immediately realize that they are reactive in nature and begin learning how to make the correct life changes to compensate for this heightened reactivity.
A proper approach to desensitization of an overactive mind and body through a specific program will begin to lessen the affects that substance use has created.
Changing the way one perceives these reactions is imperative and immediate steps taken to correct the new intrusive behaviors.
Avoidance of all the above substances is best observed although stopping cold turkey is prohibited and will only lead to further discomfort. Instead, use of a protocol by your prescribing physician will painlessly help you slowly withdraw from use.
Learn how to follow the specific steps to overcome Depersonalization, Derealization and Anxiety so it is completely and permanently eliminated. This is not difficult but quite specific in nature.
Understand that you will always be reactive to many outside substances and lead your life around this fact. The choice is always yours and experiencing the return of clarity and peace of mind through the proper corrections and approach is well worth the effort.
Also, cut back on Caffeine and Nicotine. These are also chemical substances that interrupt a peaceful existence.
Choose to eat less Sugar as this too can be overstimulating and interfere with a true sense of well being.
Exercise in moderation. Most who are using pre-workout formulas are young and healthy and do not require the extra boost. Trust that your body will know its limits and enjoy exercise rather than pushing it too far beyond reasonable limits.

Most of all, understand that these outside substances carry more of a long term risk than you can imagine. Your body is set up in a natural way to meet all the needs you require. By adding chemical substances you are tampering with the delicate balance of both mind and body, and it often takes quite a while to regain this natural balance.

Do not lose hope as this is a process that must be followed specifically for full recovery to occur. Stick with it and know that every moment you are following the proper steps, making the right corrections, your mind and body will be refreshing, leading to a full return to clarity and complete peace of mind.

How To Deal With Anxiety

The world is filled with so much uncertainty, tragedies, crime, natural disasters, terrorism, and the threat of war… it’s no wonder that so many people are experiencing anxiety. Around 40 million American’s age 18 and older suffer from anxiety. It can cause illnesses, interfere with your ability to perform responsibilities at work and home, and impair your relationships. Often, as debilitating as it is, many people don’t get help and suffer the consequences. There are three ways that you can combat anxiety and prevent it from overtaking your life.

1. Take Care of You. There is so much to be done and so little time that often we put ourselves last. It’s easy to take a back seat when demands bombard us on a daily basis. We may think it’s inconvenient to stop and take a break in between projects or spend time fulfilling our personal needs, but if we don’t, eventually we may become overwhelmed and anxiety can quickly settle within us. We need to take the time to take care of ourselves. Schedule mealtimes to assure you don’t miss fueling your body. Our bodies can become stressed when we are hungry. Be sure to include nutritious food in your diet, especially food that contains vitamin B. Many chemical imbalances occur when our bodies aren’t getting proper minerals and nutrients. Get plenty of rest. When we have deadlines or surmounting piles of projects to complete, it is easy to overwork ourselves and eventually cause burnout. Set work hours for yourself and make sure you give yourself a good night’s rest. You can even take time for a power nap during the day, if needed.

2. De-clutter Your Home. It may seem tedious to some, but de-cluttering your home is a good way to eliminate anxiety. Excessive amounts of clutter can be draining and depressing. If your house is cluttered, it may create a feeling of disorder and lead to stress. When things are orderly, you are more likely to feel a sense of peace and relaxation. Start with one closet or a counter top, or even the space around your desk. You may notice the energy that emanates from a clean desk top, allowing you to feel peace and inspiration.

3. Turn to God. Often, those who experience anxiety do not pray or read scriptures on a daily basis. Often it is said that prayer is the way we speak to God and reading scriptures is the way He speaks to us. Truly, prayer is a powerful way to enlist heaven and angels to silence your fears, assist you in your time of need, and help you cope with difficult challenges. Put it to the test. Kneel down and pray vocally, or say a prayer in your heart while you’re driving to work. Either way, God will hear it. Ask him to calm your anxiety and fill you with peace, and you may discover the tender mercies of a loving Father in Heaven.

Regardless of how many trials you are facing or what frightening things you may hear in the news, you can seek refuge in your home and in your heart by taking some time to do the things that will ultimately bring you peace in a world full of despair. Life is good, and we must believe that we can create peace in our lives and overcome the anxieties of the world.