WBEZ | anxiety http://www.wbez.org/tags/anxiety Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Bloggess is determined to be "Furiously Happy" http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-05/bloggess-determined-be-furiously-happy-113184 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1005_the-bloggess-624x407.jpg" title="Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness in “Furiously Happy.” (Courtesy Maile Wilson)" /></div><p style="text-align: justify;">Jenny Lawson&nbsp;is the creator of the wildly popular blog &ldquo;<a href="http://thebloggess.com/" target="_blank">The Bloggess</a>&rdquo; and author of the bestselling &ldquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Pretend-This-Never-Happened/dp/0425261018?tag=wburorg-20" target="_blank">Let&rsquo;s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir</a>.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img 2015="" a="" about="" alt="" book="" by="" class="image-original_image" flatiron="" funny="" furiously="" happy:="" horrible="" jenny="" lawson.="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1005_furiously-happy.jpg" style="height: 304px; width: 200px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="(Cover, &quot;Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things&quot;, by Jenny Lawson. 2015 Flatiron Books.)" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">In her latest book, she writes that clinical depression, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, mild OCD and trichotillomania (the urge to pull one&rsquo;s hair out) are all part of her life. But Lawson is determined to be what she calls &ldquo;furiously happy&rdquo; in the moments when things are fine and to find joy, in spite of her illnesses and ailments.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In being open not only about her moments of joy but also her moments of terror and depression, Lawson has found a community on the Internet that&nbsp;supports her and each other.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Jenny Lawson joins&nbsp;Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s Robin Young to talk about her book &ldquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Furiously-Happy-Funny-Horrible-Things/dp/1250077001?tag=wburorg-20" target="_blank">Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things</a>.&rdquo;</p><h4>&nbsp;</h4><h4><strong><em>Book Excerpt: &lsquo;Furiously Happy&rsquo;</em></strong></h4><h4><strong><em>Excerpted from the book FURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson. Copyright &copy; 2015 by Jenny Lawson. Reprinted with permission of Flatiron Books.</em></strong></h4><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_91459" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/283704871/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="615"></iframe></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/05/jenny-lawson-bloggess-furiously-happy" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-05/bloggess-determined-be-furiously-happy-113184 Club drug ketamine gains traction as a treatment for depression http://www.wbez.org/news/club-drug-ketamine-gains-traction-treatment-depression-113087 <p><div id="res443482399" previewtitle="Ketamine"><div data-crop-type="">A mind-altering drug called ketamine is changing the way some doctors treat depression.</div></div><p>Encouraged by research showing that ketamine can relieve even the worst depression in a matter of hours, these doctors are giving the drug to some of their toughest patients. And they&#39;re doing this even though ketamine lacks approval from the Food and Drug Administration for treating depression.</p><p>&quot;It became clear to me that the future of psychiatry was going to include ketamine or derivatives of ketamine,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://psychiatry.ucsd.edu/About/faculty/Pages/david-feifel.aspx">David Feifel</a>, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, who began administering the drug to patients in 2010.</p><p><img alt="" ap="" class="image-original_image" photo="" special="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_97010103697.jpg" style="float: left; height: 218px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="This is a vial of the drug ketamine hydrochloride, better known in the drug culture as &quot;Special K.&quot; (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho)" victoria="" />Ketamine was developed as an anesthetic and received FDA approval for this use in 1970. Decades later, it became popular as a psychedelic club drug. And in 2006, a team from the National Institute of Mental Health published a landmark&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16894061">study</a>&nbsp;showing that a single intravenous dose of ketamine produced &quot;robust and rapid antidepressant effects&quot; within a couple of hours.</p><p>Since then, thousands of depressed patients have received &quot;off-label&quot; treatment with ketamine.</p><p>One of those patients is Paul, 36, who lives in San Diego and is a patient of Dr. Feifel. We&#39;re not using his last name to protect his medical privacy.</p><p>Paul&#39;s depression began with anxiety. &quot;I was an extremely anxious child,&quot; he says. &quot;I would always make choices based on fear. My life was really directed by what was the least fearful thing that I could do.&quot;</p><p>As Paul grew up, his extreme anxiety led to major depression, which could leave him unable to get out of bed for days. &quot;I lived in pain,&quot; he says.</p><p>Paul managed to get through college and a stint in the Peace Corps. But most days were a struggle. And Paul has spent much of his adult life searching for a treatment that would give him some relief.</p><p>He tried just about every drug used for depression, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, and even electroconvulsive therapy, which induces a brief seizure. But nothing worked &mdash; at least not for very long.</p><p>Paul says he was increasingly haunted by &quot;this comforting thought of pressing a cold gun against my forehead where I felt the pain the most.&quot;</p><p>Then one day, while investigating depression on the Internet, Paul discovered the research on ketamine. &quot;It was clear to me that this was real,&quot; he says.</p><p>Ordinarily, there would have been no legal way for Paul to get ketamine. He didn&#39;t qualify for most research studies because of his suicidal thoughts. And doctors usually won&#39;t prescribe a mind-altering club drug to someone with a mental illness.</p><p>But the studies of ketamine have produced results so dramatic that some doctors, including Feifel, are bypassing the usual protocols.</p><p>By the time Feifel began hearing about ketamine, he had become frustrated with existing depression drugs. Too often, he says, they just weren&#39;t helping his patients.</p><div id="res443483905" previewtitle="David Feifel, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, has treated about 100 people with ketamine."><div><p>A major&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2253608/">study</a>&nbsp;on antidepressant medication published in 2008 seemed to confirm his suspicions. It found that current antidepressants really aren&#39;t much better than a placebo.</p></div></div><p>Many psychiatrists criticized that study. But not Feifel. &quot;I was kind of like, I&#39;m not surprised,&quot; he says. &quot;These really don&#39;t seem like powerful tools.&quot;</p><p>Feifel remembers feeling &quot;professionally embarrassed&quot; that psychiatrists didn&#39;t have something better to offer their depressed patients. Something like ketamine.</p><p>He knew the drug had risks. It could be abused. It could produce hallucinations. And it didn&#39;t have the FDA&#39;s OK for treating depression.</p><p>But he also knew that doctors had a lot of experience with ketamine. It&#39;s been used for decades as an anesthetic that can rapidly stop pain without affecting vital functions like breathing. And ketamine&#39;s safety record is so good that it&#39;s often the painkiller of choice for children who arrive in the emergency room with a broken bone.</p><p><img alt="David Feifel, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, has treated about 100 people with ketamine." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/25/david-feifel-a840fba065cef2c5a1f9b02b005f823b760acd55-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="David Feifel, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, has treated about 100 people with ketamine. (Courtesy of David Feifel)" /></p><p>So in 2010, Feifel decided he wanted to offer low doses of the drug to some patients. The decision put him at odds with some prominent psychiatrists, including Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. &quot;While the science is promising, ketamine is not ready for broad use in the clinic,&quot; Insel&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2014/ketamine.shtml">wrote</a>&nbsp;in his blog a few months ago.</p><p>&quot;There are a lot of pundits who remain skeptical or feel we need to research this ad infinitum before it&#39;s ready, which doesn&#39;t make sense to me,&quot; Feifel says. It&#39;s hard to take the wait-and-see approach when you&#39;re treating patients who are desperate for help, he adds.</p><p>Paul was one of those desperate patients when he was referred to Feifel in March of 2014. The referral was from a local psychiatrist who had run out of ideas, Feifel says.</p><p>And Paul jumped at the chance to try ketamine. &quot;If there was even a 1 percent chance that this worked, it would have been worth it to me,&quot; he says. &quot;My life was hanging in the balance.&quot;</p><p>And for Paul, the benefits of ketamine became obvious soon after one of his early injections.</p><p>&quot;I remember I was in my bathroom and I literally fell to my knees crying because I had no anxiety, I had no depression,&quot; he says</p><p>For the past year, Paul has been getting ketamine every four to six weeks. He feels an altered sense of reality for an hour or two after getting the drug. The effect on depression and anxiety, though, lasts more than a month.</p><p>Ketamine doesn&#39;t always work that well, Feifel says. After treating more than 100 patients, he&#39;s beginning to understand the drug&#39;s limitations.</p><p>One is that its ability to keep depression at bay can fade pretty quickly. Feifel recalls one patient whose depression would disappear like magic after a dose of ketamine. But &quot;we could never get it to sustain beyond maybe a day,&quot; he says.</p><div id="res443485663"><div>Also, ketamine treatment is expensive because patients need to be monitored so closely. Feifel charges about $500 for each injection and $1,000 for an intravenous infusion, which takes effect more quickly. Insurers don&#39;t cover the cost because the treatment is still considered experimental.</div></div><p>Even so, ketamine clinics are popping up around the country and they have already treated thousands of patients willing and able to pay out of pocket. Some of the clinics are run by psychiatrists. Others have been started by entrepreneurial anesthesiologists and emergency room doctors, who are familiar with ketamine but may not know much about depression.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;ve seen ketamine clinics open up as pure business models,&quot; Feifel says. &quot;I&#39;m a little bit concerned about that.&quot;</p><p>Feifel fears something bad will happen to a depressed patient at one of these clinics. And that could set back efforts to make the drug more widely available.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/28/443203592/club-drug-ketamine-gains-traction-as-a-treatment-for-depression?ft=nprml&amp;f=443203592" target="_blank"><em>via NPR Shots</em></a></p></p> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 12:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/club-drug-ketamine-gains-traction-treatment-depression-113087 Morning Shift: Dealing with first day jitters http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-26/morning-shift-dealing-first-day-jitters-108520 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Parent-child - Flickr-stephanski.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Monday marks the first day of school for CPS students, some of whom will be at new schools for the first time. We check in from various schools around the city. And, we discuss strategies for dealing with the anxiety of the first day of school.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Dealing with first day jitters" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-26/morning-shift-dealing-first-day-jitters-108520 Why we could all use some therapy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-05/why-we-could-all-use-some-therapy-107173 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/woody-manhattan.jpg" style="float: right; height: 223px; width: 320px; " title="Woody Allen talks to an analyst in &quot;Manhattan.&quot; (United Artists)" united="" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">While riding on the bus or the &quot;L,&quot; have you ever seen an ad for a psychological center (are you depressed? anxious? etc.) contemplated calling the number, then quickly averted your eyes, embarrassed that you even considered it?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;Do I really <em>need&nbsp;</em>therapy?&quot; you ask yourself, realizing in that very moment that yes, you really do.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Then you wonder, &quot;Am I the&nbsp;only person who has ever wrestled with these crazy thoughts? Am I crazy?&quot;&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The truth is, you&#39;re not crazy, and you&#39;re not alone&mdash;you&#39;re actually one of millions.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">According to the <a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml#MajorDepressive" target="_blank">National Institute of Mental Health</a>, major depressive disorder (which you may just write off as a bad case of the blues) affects 14.8 million American adults each year. 5.7 million Americans have bipolar disorder, 2.2 million struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety disorder affects approximately 7.7 million.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Depression and anxiety are the <a href="http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics" target="_blank">most common</a>; and unfortunately, the most likely to be swept under the rug. &quot;Man up,&quot; &quot;Stop wallowing,&quot; &quot;Stay positive,&quot; &quot;Just eat,&quot; &quot;Go for a run,&quot; &quot;Try yoga,&quot; urge friends and family members, as if a brain can instantly be re-wired with a positive attitude and some downward dog.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">These magic cures may work for some people; but for those with chemical imbalances&nbsp;or deeper issues that a good balanced breakfast and a walk in the park can&#39;t fix, therapy (combined with psychiatric medication as needed) could work wonders.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Does the steoreotypical image of lying on a couch and telling your life story to a wizened old analyst not sound like the most appealing option to you? Fortunately, psychoanalysis is much more complex, involved and helpful than film and television often make it out to be. Also, modern therapy methods can be tailored to your specific issue, whether it be depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, alcoholism, co-dependency in relationships or all of the above.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Therapy also comes in a variety of different forms, from individual appointments to support groups to family counseling sessions, many of which are fully or at least partially covered by insurance. Most therapists also have connections to psychiatrists, nutritionists&nbsp;and general physicians to treat any physical symptoms that may arise.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Stigma around mental health care still exists today; but the more informed people are about the diverse symptoms and proper methods of treatment for mental illness, and how billions of people around the world are affected every day, then they are much less likely to judge.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">If you are physically sick, then you got to the doctor to get well again. So, why feel shame and guilt about seeing a therapist for your mental health?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">If you want to talk to an unbiased professional about whatever you may struggling with&mdash;whether it be a recent breakup, a death in the family or a quarter-life crisis you just can&#39;t seem to shake&mdash;go ahead and make the call. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it&#39;s a sign of strength.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Resources in the Chicago area:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.insightbhc.com/stories/home" target="_blank"><strong>Insight&nbsp;Behavioral&nbsp;Health Centers</strong></a>&nbsp;(specializing in eating disorders, mood disorders and women&#39;s reproductive mental health issues such as postpartum and peripartum depression)</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.lakeviewtherapy.com" target="_blank"><strong>Lakeview Center for Psychotherapy </strong></a>(therapy and counseling for adults, adolescents, children, groups, couples and families)</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong><a href="http://www.urbanbalance.com" target="_blank">Urban Balance</a>&nbsp;</strong>(general therapy for individuals, couples and families) &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp; &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.workingsobriety.com" target="_blank"><strong>Working Sobriety</strong></a> (for a 12-step approach to alcholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, etc.)</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">To find therapists in private practice, visit <a href="http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/state/IL/Chicago.html" target="_blank">therapists.psychologytoday.com</a> or contact the counseling center on your college campus.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Has therapy had a transformative effect on your life?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a> or<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com" target="_blank"> Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</em></div></p> Thu, 16 May 2013 12:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-05/why-we-could-all-use-some-therapy-107173