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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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Hello, Ive suffered from physical symptoms of depression almost

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Hello, I've suffered from physical symptoms of depression almost 30 years. One of the symptoms is when I get my blood pressure taken my heart races and it ends up being high. I've seen a doctor for ten years and take venlafaxine, he never took my blood pressure until recently. I ran out of med. and saw a doctor on call and refused to get my pressure taken. That doctor reported to my doctor. My pressure was taken and the same thing happened as 30 years ago. Is there something else I can take to relax as it really bothers me when that happens?
Hi there
Thank you for writing in here.
Let me ask you a few questions before I offer an answer:
Do you have any medical condition such as hypertension and thyroid problems?
Do you have major trauma in the past?
Please reply. I will be back with my answer after I hear from you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


No major trauma in the past. I came down with depression in high school but it wasn't diagnosed. I was a nervous kid and when I applied for the reserve they told me I had high blood pressure. When I saw my doctor at the time I was nervous and my heart raced and he put me on blood pressure med. I was never treated for depression, so I continued having high blood pressure and nervousness. I had my first panic attack after attending my cousin's funeral and went to the hospital because I couldn't breathe. Over the years I had every symptom in the book: heart palpatations, pounding of the heart, hyperventilation etc.


After the death of my cat I couldn't stand the symptoms anymore and saw my doctor and went on venlafaxine. It helped for many years but I find it doesn't help as much anymore. As for thyroid problems, I was never tested. I don't know if it was just the times in the 80's but the doctors I saw never thought of depression.

Hi there
Thank you for waiting.
It sounds like you have had symptoms of depression and anxiety.
You have had no major trauma in the past. You stated you were nervous and had signs of anxiety as a child.

You may have had anxiety disorder and/or hypertension since childhood.
If your parents also have depression and/or anxiety, you may be genetically vulnerable to such mood disorder.

A variety of medical condition may cause depression.
Also, symptoms of anxiety overlap those of depression.
Is Venlafaxine helping you?

Let me explain:
Depression can disrupt the nerve impulses that carry a constant stream of orders from the brain to the muscles. When the depressed brain slows down, so do the signals to all parts of body. Depression affects MEMORY, problem-solving ability, language, perception and is accompanied by nervous tension, anxiety, and profound fatigue. It can generate pain and aches. Medical reasons for Depression may include thyroid hormone abnormality, Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Chronic pain, Stroke (Brain injury), Alzheimer’s disease to name a few. Malnutrition/brain damage can dull mood further. Excessive alcohol use may aggravate depression. Some medication can cause or contribute to depression. Your doctor should know all the medication that you are taking.

First, I would advise you to get a physical check-up from your primary care doctor to detect and rule out any medical condition such as hyper or hypothyroidism that may cause or contribute to your feelings of anxiety and nervousness.

If you are physically fine, I would advise you to see a psychologist to get advice and support, practice stress reduction or relaxation techniques to cope with panic attacks WEEKLY. A combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are considered to be effective to treat Depression and anxiety. Cognitive-behvaior therapy (CBT) will work for depression and anxiety.

You may ask your doctor for a psychologist/psychotherapist that you can work with weekly. Or you may call your insurance company and get a list of providers (licensed psychologists or psychotherapists) in your area.
Or, you can search a licensed psychologist on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to (http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ppc/prof_search.php?iorb=4764) and enter your city in Canada and optional category of specialty such as depression. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy and Depression and anxiety. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that you want to work with – Male or female? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So you can see it as an informational meeting. You can ask any question and negotiate psychotherapy fee.

Also, a heart-healthy diet like Omega 3 fatty acid may improve your brain functioning and mood. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. Hydrate yourself during daytime.

Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This may help improve your mood.
In addition, yoga, biofeedback, acupuncture, and massage therapy may be helpful to decrease the intensity and frequency of anxiety.
Other recommendations are:
Avoid excess use of alcohol and drugs.
Sleep in complete darkness and try to be out in bright light during the day.
Spend time in nature weekly
Try to have pleasurable activities with friends and family.
Choose to listen to sounds that have positive effects on your mood.

Please let me know if you have more questions. Best regards,
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