POWER OVER PANIC/IN SEARCH OF SELF: A TIME OF LEARNING

At times we will feel tired, defenceless and vulnerable. These feelings don’t last. We will begin to know and understand why we are feeling this way. We will get to know quite a lot about our self, in fact, sometimes we will wish we didn’t know so much! It is a time of learning to listen to the inner voice of the self, which is more than willing to help us. If we stop and take the time to listen, the inner voice will be our guide. All too often we do not hear ourselves.

At some points it may mean rearranging things to make life a little more comfortable and a little bit easier while the integration with the self is worked through. Again, it is a time of learning what our needs are, perhaps learning new skills or trying things we have always wanted to do. Rejecting some, embracing others we didn’t know were there.

We have to become aware we do have a choice in everything.
In making the choice we need to be aware of its implications. We can choose and set limits if we need to. We can choose to move at our own pace. It is going to feel unfamiliar, we will feel vulnerable and the fear will be there, but so too is the self s determination to grow.

We must learn to trust our self. Getting to know our self helps us gain that trust. It is taking risks with our self.

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THE ECOLOGY UNIT IN THE DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF ALLERGIES: CHEMICAL TESTING

A more direct form of chemical testing is undertaken with certain common petrochemicals found in the environment which are often incriminated in chronic illness. Outside the double swinging doors of the Ecology Unit is a small room in which testing for chemicals is done. Here patients are exposed to the odor of natural gas, similar to what they would experience in a closed kitchen. The patient inhales this air for about a minute and then records changes in pulse (which he is taught to take himself) and the onset of any symptoms.

On various occasions, we test the patient’s reaction to the odor of fresh carpeting, which is kept stored in jars, or to torn shreds of carbonless carbon paper, which ordinarily reeks from petrochemicals and is increasingly used in business receipts of all kinds.
Patients look for reactions to these chemically impregnated substances and record them the same way they do their reactions to foods.

It has been found that if a patient reacts to one of the common chemicals, he is likely to react to a broad range of petrochemical products. The percentage of patients reacting to chemicals increases year by year as the quality of the environment as a whole declines.

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ANXIETY DISORDERS/WORKING THROUGH THE RECOVERY: BETTY’S CASE

Betty had worked extremely hard on her recovery.
She had been able to return to work three months ago and was really happy to be back in the workforce. Although she’d had the occasional bad day, Betty was able to work through them and she had begun to feel that she had finally recovered. That was until last week. Now Betty was beginning to think the disorder was returning. Her anxiety was increasing and the attacks had returned. She knew that returning to work had been stressful, but she was happy in her job. She couldn’t understand why the anxiety and the attacks were back. To all intents and purposes life was normal. Her husband and children were fine. Although Betty realised it was hard to run a household and work at the same time, she felt it was worth the extra effort. Her father’s death two months ago had been traumatic but she felt that couldn’t be the reason. Betty wondered if it was the argument she had had with her mother and sisters. The issues had still not been resolved and each time they were together the atmosphere was quite tense. She knew the anxiety and the attacks were making her feel tense, but she couldn’t understand why they had come back. Betty thought that she needed to be more aware of what was causing stress in her life!

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ANXIETY DISORDERS: WORKING THROUGH TO RECOVERY

The working-through process

Recovery is not as simple as we would like it to be. In the beginning, it feels as though we take one step forward then two steps backwards. This is why so many people feel they are never going to recover. It is also part of the reason why so many people become discouraged and give up.

We need to understand the step-by-step process of working through the various stages of recovery. Understanding the working-through process is of the utmost importance, yet it is rarely discussed as an issue.

Patience

One of the first things we need to learn is patience. Everyone, naturally enough, wants recovery now. Not tonight, not tomorrow, not next week, but this very second. This creates further stress which keeps the whole cycle going. Whether we like it or not, we all have to learn patience, with the working-through process and with ourselves. Learning to be patient with ourselves is learning to be kind to ourselves. Being kind to ourselves means we are not putting ourselves under any further unnecessary stress.

We need to direct our energy into the determination to commit ourselves, time and again, to the working-through process despite setbacks.

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TREATMENT FOR THE ACHING MISERIES: DIURETICS AND TRANQUILLIZERS

I’m afraid I have not such good news for those who suffer from the miseries. There are medical treatments available, but they are not anywhere near so widely available as the Pill, and you are not so likely to be able to get them through your GP. Luckily this is now starting to improve.

Diuretics-Some GPS try to relieve the bloat by giving their patients diuretics but they admit that diuretics don’t have any effect at all on any of the other symptoms like depression, fatigue, headaches or pain.
And because they are an artificial way of making your kidneys excrete more, they can also force them to excrete too much potassium, which has a bad effect. So they need to be used with some care, but not too often and always under medical supervision.

Tranquillizers-Some GPS prescribe tranquillizers for period pain and pmt. Although they might make you feel less anxious they can’t relieve any of the other symptoms. They certainly shouldn’t be taken unless they’re absolutely necessary because they, in their turn, will upset the hormone balance of your body. And if it’s the hormone balance of your body that is at fault, you will not want to upset it any further.

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THE MEDICAL HELP THAT’S AVAILABLE: MENSTRUAL CYCLE

By now I hope you will have found that you can use at least some of the tricks and techniques I have been describing to make your periods easier. With luck and persistence you may have found exactly the right blend and won’t be suffering every month. Good! Or if, in your particular case, this hasn’t been your experience, at least you should be feeling that you are on your way to an improvement, watching your periods get easier and easier month by month. The likelihood is that you will have learnt how to cope with your particular stresses and although you’ll probably have recognized that your periods are rarely going to be entirely painfree, at least by now they’ll be relatively easy to manage.

But sadly.
I know that there is bound to be a minority who will go on suffering from far too much pain from the cramps, or far too much discomfort from the aching miseries. It’s also for anyone who’s recognized that an attack of epilepsy, asthma, cystitis, migraine or hay fever may be linked to an approaching period. And for any woman who is afraid that a violent mood swing could be the final straw that could lead her to batter her child.

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EPILEPSY: THE FACTS-ASSOCIATED NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS AND

LONG-TERM OUTLOOK IN ADULTS

The presence of learning difficulties or physical disabilities in association with epilepsy usually carries a poor outlook. However, this does not necessarily mean either that the epilepsy has caused the additional problems, or that these problems have been responsible for the poor outcome. What it usually means is that the underlying abnormality of the brain (of whatever cause) has been severe enough to produce both an epilepsy which is difficult to treat and other neurological problems.

Long-term outlook in adults-The factors which predict a poor outlook in adults are also

well-known. The first is that if the epilepsy is initially difficult to control, then it will usually continue to be difficult to control. The longer that seizures have continued, the less likely they are to stop. Other poor prognostic factors include evidence of structural damage, as manifest by associated neurological signs, the occurrence of partial seizures and the occurrence of episodes of status epilepticus. Exceptions to this general rule are that neurological signs and seizures arising as a result of strokes in older age are not generally difficult to control.

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THE TREATMENT OF EPILEPSY: OTHER TREATMENTS AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES

These include hypnosis, aromatherapy, bio-feedback, and acupuncture. The success of these techniques, for which there is little or no scientific evidence of effectiveness, is variable and limited. However, patients may find them of value in giving a sense of control over their bodies and their lives. A new procedure, long-term stimulation of the vagus nerve is at present being evaluated.

General principles-The treatment of epilepsy extends far beyond the prescription of

anti-epileptic medication. It is, of course, important to correctly identify the type of epilepsy and to prescribe the most appropriate anti-epileptic drug to obtain the best possible control of seizures without side-effects. However, for many patients and their families, social and psychological factors far outweigh the problem of preventing or controlling the seizures. Help may best be given through a multi-disciplinary approach, preferably within a specialist clinic with advice from a number of different specialists, including nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Many patients get practical help and support from voluntary associations such as the British Epilepsy Association, and patients should be informed of their address and telephone number.

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SIGNS OF DEPRESSION: THE FUTURE LOOKS BLEAK

Just as depression tends to cast a grey pall over everything in your world and in yourself, so there is an irresistible tendency to project that gloomy view into the future. The depressed person will always find something to be pessimistic about. And as with one’s view of the present, these gloomy predictions are often without any reasonable basis in reality. And even when there are problems in a person’s life, there are many different ways to look at one’s future. A person with cancer, for example, may have a very optimistic and upbeat view of the future, whereas a depressed person in perfectly good physical condition may be full of gloomy predictions about his health. In fact, in one research study patients who had suffered from both cancer and depression were asked to rate which of their two conditions involved greater suffering. They rated depression as the more painful of the two conditions. In summary, there is not generally a very close correlation between the realistic prospects for a person’s future and how a depressed person is likely to view it. Pessimism is a cardinal symptom of depression.

If the future seems bleak and gloomy to you and this has been going on for more than a few weeks, consider the possibility that you may be depressed.

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SORE THROAT AND TONSILLITIS

Most common in children, the often acute inflammation of the tonsil tissue at the very back of the mouth is caused by either streptococcus bacteria or viral infections. Like the lymph glands, tonsils are designed to destroy germs but, if overwhelmed, they will themselves become infected.

In an attack of tonsillitis, the throat may become so swollen, that the patient will have difficulty swallowing. In extreme cases, breathing can be obstructed and, if distress of this kind is evident, you should seek professional advice immediately. Fever, headache, vomiting and a cough commonly accompany the swelling of the tonsils.

Normally the acute symptoms last just a couple of days. Gargle a mixture of sage, thyme or myrrh, drink plenty of fluids and take garlic capsules to fight the infection. A tonic containing golden seal will help to reduce the inflammation of the membranes in the throat and a tincture of golden seal can be sprayed directly on the glands. Avoid mucous rich foods such as dairy foods and, if eating is difficult, take fruit and vegetable juices until the worst symptoms have eased.

Recurrent tonsillitis can indicate poor nutrition or reduced immunity. Boost your intake of Vitamins B and C and zinc.

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