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Your Mental Health Treatment in 2023: Where have we been? Where are we going? Part I

Welcome back to Consider Yourself Hugged! Click here to listen to Episode 117. OR click YouTube below to watch! (***Disclaimer: I provide these notes as a skeleton for the show - nothing fancy 😄)

I’m so happy to be with you this first Wednesday of 2023! You might notice a wee change in my background, and that’s because I moved my studio into my office! My fabulous photographer hub, Tim, hasn’t worked with me yet to create a backdrop and lighting, but it’s coming!

First, my apologies for missing last week. I’m going to be completely transparent with you: I posted on social media that we had some health and travel issues in our family. Actually, we were all sick. I got up Wednesday morning, feeling crappy, and was having my coffee. I always set a a reminder for 5:00 am to make sure I get the show notes posted. It was only when it went off that I realized I hadn’t recorded an episode! That’s how discombobulated the week was.

SO…. How were your holidays? I do hope they were everything you hoped they would be! My last child just left this morning, so it’s back to just Tim and me. And I am PUMPED about 2023! Part of the reason we moved my studio is because soon I’ll be announcing a brand new class I’m creating, and I hope you’ll sign up and join me!

I struggled a bit with what I wanted to talk about today. Mostly because I have SO much I want to talk about and we missed last week together. So I decided to make this a 2-parter! Today I want to share a little bit about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I want to go in 2023. I hope you’ll be thinking along the same lines for your mental health. I also want to share a bit of history with you, which will help us process where we are in time.

Let’s look at my history as you think about yours:

  • As a child, I had severe anxiety and panic attacks. That was in the 70’s, and my only real prescribed treatment was to breathe into a paper bag (which, by the way, is life-changing for a panic attack!)

  • Growing up with anxiety just wasn’t something we talked about. So… no real treatment.

When the panic and anxiety became debilitating and I could no longer function, several steps took place. Let’s revisit the ole medical records from the hospital stay, looking specifically at my treatments.

  • On august 11, 1995, I went to my medical doctor for anxiety. He referred me to a community assistance program (not sure what that was).

  • She recommended outpatient therapy – good 😊

  • On 8/14 I went to the counselor – actually twice – because my panic was pretty out of control. His advice? This is over a job?? Why don’t you just not take the job?! Helpful.

  • On 8/15 I went back to my medical doctor because I was, in his words, almost immobilized and had really gone downhill. Admission was recommended, and off I went.

  • Zoloft 0.25 mg ½ tablet daily

  • Xanax 0.5 mg when needed

  • Unisom (over the counter) for sleep

  • Excedrin pm (over the counter) for sleep

After my stay, I remained on Zoloft for a couple of years, continued therapy, and occasionally took Klonopin for more difficult episodes.

For nearly 25 years I was off meds, and then, as we now say, Covid.

I’ve already talked about all that went on during that time, here's a link to that session if you want more background. But suffice it to say that life really changed, and all of my triggers were trigged 😊 I went on Lexapro. Then off. Then back on, which is my current state. Now I’m making a plan for my future.

I have very specific triggers, and I am not anxious enough to be on meds for the rest of my life. What I realized is that I stopped learning. I stopped being curious. I stopped growing in many ways since 2020. That stops now.

I have immersed myself recently in books and podcasts about mental and emotional well-being, and I have learned SO much! Next week I’ll talk about my plan going forward, including my choice to try EMDR (more next week!).

I titled this, Where Have We Been, and I talked about that for me and I hope you’ve thought about where you’ve gone. But before we go, I thought you might be interested in a few tidbits where mental health treatment was historically.

I’ve been listening to an audio book, The Mind and the Moon, by Daniel Bergner. Fabulous book! I plan to get the paperback version because I listen when I walk, and I didn’t take notes. So, don’t quote me on dates or specific details. I’m citing from memory. But it struck me so hard – the history he discussed.

  • Early treatments for mental illness involved chains and restraints.

  • When this became frowned upon, philosophers and doctors began the believe that calm and a serene environment was necessary for healing.

  • This was followed by electric shock therapy to try to calm the spirit.

  • And then we had the fabulous lobotomy, which at one point was performed by peeling the eyelids back and shoving a needle into the brain.

Barbaric, right? What about the drugs that came next? Many of them left (and still leave) the patient with permanent tics and muscle issues. And believe it or not, in the 50’s mental health meds were prescribed for everything from behavior issues to family conflict.

I’m not giving his book the time it needs, but please, if you’re interested at all in some history, some stories, and some thought-provoking information on mental health today and going forward, check it out!

Next week, let’s look at the future. What choices do we have? How do we know what’s best?

Thanks for joining today! As I’ve always asked in the past, please pass the show link along to your friends and subscribe, download, and review wherever you are listening. If you’re a woman and you haven’t joined our private FB group A Place for Women, please do that now! It’ll be your source of encouragement.

And until next time, Consider Yourself Hugged 😘🤗

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