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Archive for the ‘medication’ Category

First off, Johnson & Johnson (or Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a subsidiary of J&J) has recently been entangled in a number of lawsuits over the drug that I was taking, Risperdal. The claim is that J&J exaggerated the drug’s effectiveness, while downplaying it’s harmful side-effects–specifically, the risk of developing diabetes. None of this surprises me. I’m sure the majority of pharmaceutical companies do the same thing. And the way that med makes you crave carbs and sugar, it’s no wonder people develop diabetes while on it. All of this just makes me more determined to find a way to manage my anxiety without medication. And so far, I seem to be doing just that. It’s not perfect by any means, but it seems to be getting better.

Meditation: I’ve been pretty good with the meditation resolution. I don’t get to meditate on the weekends, and, caught up in my nerves about teaching, I forgot to meditate on Monday. Right now my meditations are very short, but I’ve also been trying to work Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique into my days (twice a day if I remember).

Schedule (maintaining work/life balance): I’m nearing the end of week two, and this seems to be going okay, but I am already running up against not having enough time (a common lament, I’m sure). Week one without student papers to respond to and with prepping only introductory material is easy. Now comes the hard part: lots of reading, students papers, and intense prep. What I am trying to become better at though is compartmentalizing. When I decide my work day is over (and I’m trying to keep this kind of standard 8-4, 9-5, 7-3), then I try to really shut work out and focus on the things I enjoy: currently working on a puzzle that I got for Christmas, crocheting, and my guilty pleasures: American Idol and Biggest Loser.

Last week, I didn’t have time for an hour of organizing and didn’t even finish cleaning the house this weekend. These things kind of aggravate me, but I’m trying not to let them get me down. I did, however, spend about 20 minutes organizing some paperwork, and I spent about the same amount of time with my Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. I think that focusing on the things that I have accomplished is probably a better approach than cataloging those that I haven’t.

I also scheduled a massage for my first Thursday afternoon “hooky” session which is coming up next month.

The next couple of days and upcoming weekend are feeling pretty unmanageable to me at this point. There is just not enough time to get everything done that I want and need to do. This is why life is all about prioritizing. I am determined to cook some healthy food on Sunday, because I haven’t been doing so well with the dietary improvements.

So nearing the end of the first month of 2012, and I’m still getting along and focused on these goals and resolutions. Let’s see what February has to offer.

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Two years ago I was promoting meditation as the best form of medication. This was all part of years spent trying every possible method of “alternative” methods to quell a problem with generalized anxiety and panic attacks. I have been firmly opposed to medication on many levels, but primary out of the belief that it is over-prescribed and/or prescribed after a too short evaluation ending in a possible misdiagnosis and out of a fear of long-term and side effects. I find the pharmaceutical industry to be almost as corrupt as the financial sector of our economy. And so, after experiencing my first panic attack during my Junior year of college (that would be…um…14 years ago), I have read myriad self-help books, including the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook; I’ve learned and practiced a great many breathing exercises; I practice yoga; I’ve had acupuncture treatments; I’ve tried reiki, shiatsu, and swedish massage; I started meditating; I’ve tried Chinese herbs; I’ve done talk therapy. All in all, I’ve tried nearly everything to deal with and change my anxiety and panic attacks.

This summer my anxiety seemed to be reaching a new level. I had made a decision to leave my office job and return to teaching, which has, for years, been one of my primary triggers around my anxiety. I also felt that I was falling into a mild depression — life just didn’t feel the same to me anymore. For example, I could rationally and objectively tell when it was a beautiful summer day outside, but I didn’t feel the beauty. I wasn’t connected to it in the way I’d always been when it came to the outdoors. This, coupled with the impending Fall semester and my return to the classroom, pushed me to the point of seeing a psychiatrist.

I am now doing meditation and medication, and this blog might be taking a different direction than I had originally intended, but I’d like to begin documenting that now altered (chemically) spiritual journey. I still have many mixed feelings about the medication part of my life, and I want to explore through writing how the two mesh (or don’t).

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