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Ask Norman M. Your Own Question
Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I'm on lustral for depression and anxiety for about 11 weeks

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i'm on lustral for depression and anxiety for about 11 weeks now. i have been thinking about my breathing beacause of the anxiety. however i have developed this horrible and scary obsession that my breathing is going to annoy and distress me so much that i wont be able live anymore because of it. i feel distressed and scared all the time and think about suicide constantly and hate feeling my breathing. i feel traped in my own mind. is this just anxiety or could this really happen because it seems so real. will the antidepressions make it go away?
Chat Conversation Started
NormanM :

Are you ready to chat - I'm Norman.

Customer:

hi yes

NormanM :

I'm sorry - seem s to have been a hitch. Still there?

NormanM :

Great. Why do you think your breatning is a real problem

NormanM :

Ah - looks as if ther has been a system problem, because this chat is open in 2 windows. Never mind. Why do you think your breating is a real problem?

Customer:

i dont know i'm not sure why i think this

NormanM :

OK is it because you think your breathing might suddenly stop?

Customer:

sometimes i think it will but i'm more worried about the annoying bit

NormanM :

If it does stop, let me tell you what happens. You'll faint - and it will start again automatically. Guaranteed!

NormanM :

Now then, I have a pretty good idea what would help you a lot, but it will take me about five minutes to type it all out. Can you stay online that long?

Customer:

yes

NormanM :

I'll be back then asap!

Customer:

ok

NormanM :

Part of the problem is that you may be, indeed seem to be suffering from mixed anxiety and depression - depression is causing you to feel bad, and the other part is that your negative thinking about your life situation is just adding to that.

Both these things can be dealt with by a combination of proper medication and a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

Medication, in itself, is often not enough. A lot of your problem is caused by your high anxiety levels, and CBT is the best way to alter those. When you begin to understand your fears and confront them, your whole life changes.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/treatments/cbt.aspx

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/cbtstep1.htm

Make the first step NOW – get an appointment with your Doc, and you can start to get better.

You’ll also find some very good help here:

http://www.depression.com/


NormanM :

With me so far?

Customer:

yes but will this go away

NormanM :

Yes - it will, but you have to stick with the medication AND get some CBT!

Customer:

there is a a waiting time of three months for cbt on nhs

NormanM :

I know! If you cannot afford to go private, at least use the online free self help site I told you about to get started. How about that?

Customer:

ok thanks

NormanM :

Is there anything else I can help you with? If I have been able to assist please click on Accept so that I can be paid for my time.

Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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