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About Junie

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  1. Welcome Beccy! I, too, suffer from panic disorder with agoraphobia (among other disorders). It's most definitely a challenge that can seem to take over a person's life. It's so wonderful that you are here, and I hope that you do find some suggestions and ideas that will be helpful for you. You will find so many people here that are going through many of the same struggles that you are faced with.
  2. Hi Linna, welcome. This is a wonderful place to be. I've learned so much from other members, and I've learned that there are so many valuable resources that are available for so many topics!! I wish you the best!!
  3. Hi aesolskin, I just read your post about interviewing people with agoraphobia. I was "officially" diagnosed with agoraphobia in 2008. I'd be more than happy to answer questions you may want to ask me with regard to my experience with the disorder to help shed some light for your book.
  4. Hello JonDRapp, It was so wonderful getting the chance to chat with you. I hope that Diane is feeling some positive effects from her Ketamine Infusion. I was just thinking about the both of you, and I'm sending well wishes your way!!
  5. Oh, I get cold sores too! It's not fun. For me, I've found that stress, not enough sleep, and/or too much sun can trigger a cold sore. And that "tingle", I dread it!! A friend told me to take 2 tablets (1,000mg) of L-Lysine, an amino acid that you can buy over the counter, when I feel that first tingle. So far, it seems as though it did help either prevent the cold sore at first tingle, or it reduced the size and duration of the cold sore if it did in fact show up. Hope this helps!!
  6. Hi JonDRapp, I'm so sorry to hear of your family's struggles with MDD! I can certainly relate to that feeling of desperation with regard to finding a solution in managing and reducing the intensity/duration of the depressive episodes that would overwhelm me. Thus far, I have received 7 Ketamine Infusions over the past 10 months. I received my last treatment in mid May. Without a doubt, the quality of my life has drastically improved, in large part, to the Ketamine Infusions. I've done lots of research on the treatment, and I've talked to my 2 psychiatrists about how I've responded to the Ketamine throughout my journey. Prior to the infusions, I remember thinking to myself, "Ugh, I have nothing to lose by trying this." Later on, around my 5th infusion, I remember crying for hours because my thinking had changed completely..."I HAVE EVERYTHING TO LOSE!!" One of the most beautiful changes that I have experienced with the Ketamine is that I have felt more "hopeful" from the very first procedure; even if I find myself back in an MDD episode 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months later...there is still a spark of hope and more determination to keep trying. So much has happened since my original post. I have made significant changes with my meds since then. I apologize, but it's too difficult for me to track what I was taking over the last 10 months (or 10 years, for that matter), but I can tell you that I have been able to reduce my meds so much. I no longer take any benzos (which I have been taking for about 10 years), and I never thought that the day would arrive when I didn't have a prescription for Xanax or Ativan. I've been doing well with mood stabilizers (Lithium and Trileptal) and BusPar for anxiety. In addition, one of my doctors suggested that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome about a year ago. In my stubbornness, I initially ignored that possibility. CFS is a tricky disorder, but, I've been taking an anti-viral for about 5 months now, and I'm grateful to say that the treatment has proven to be successful. I'm still getting used to having more energy, smiling, laughing, feeling, doing things (some of the simplest things are the best)...I feel like I've found my life again, and it takes some getting used to. I'm so, so, soooo thankful! It's very difficult for me to find the words to give to you that would adequately describe how I feel today, and how the Ketamine alone has contributed to my life as we speak. Feeling differently definitely does "take some getting used to.", more so when I found myself feeling better. Once I started the Ketamine, reduced my meds, stabilized on a combination of meds that worked well for me, and ruled out and/or treated co-existing disorders, I seem to remember things just sort of falling into place...but, I'm struggling with my less depressed feelings in my life because I'm rusty and out of practice when I'm not so depressed. I feel so much pressure in getting better - and staying better. This pressure is born out of the fear of getting sick again, the fear of letting others down (again), the worry that treatment will not work in the long term, and the guilt of wanting to give up. This is like a no-win situation at times because I'm having trouble enjoying and appreciating the life that I can see again due to the worry, fear, and guilt - or - I'm overwhelmed with worry, fear, and guilt from a depressive episode that I'm familiar with because it has been been a huge part of my life for so long. How do I best cope? To help with tackling obstacles as I continue to maintain my life, I can tell you that there is much work to be done in order to not only see that life is worth living, but to feel as though it is a fulfilling life. I still see someone for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy regularly. I set goals for myself now, because accomplishing even the simplest goal builds my confidence and strength. I do exposure therapy to manage agoraphobia, I leave my home and interact with another person face-to-face at least 4 times each week to help prevent me from isolating, I've slowly made changes to my diet to help maximize the nutrients that I am ingesting when I do eat/drink (this might be one for you and your wife to start with), I visit with my team of doctors regularly and I work on not feeling guilty about calling them if I need to. I communicate with those closest to me to update them on my victories, concerns, or conflicts that I encounter so that they know where I am...I've realized that when I change, I am responsible for helping others learn who I am...other people are not psychic, and they are still used to treating me like I'm sick. My latest venture is exercise, I just started to exercise again. I could go on and on, and it seems like so much, but remember that it just comes one day at a time, and as my depression lifted, I didn't just jump right back in. It doesn't work that way. When I started to see light, started to feel alive, you would think that I'd be so happy. Not true. I was/am full of fear! I was/am afraid that I wasn't ready to get better! I get glimpses of the littlest things that I needed to push myself to do if I want to continue to feel better, and I am afraid that I can't do it...but, so far, I'm doing it!! Maybe I don't have a lot of time under my belt, but it is a start. It can be uncomfortable at times, but I will not lie...It's totally worth it!!
  7. Hi Nate, I, too, and very sorry that your are struggling with Agoraphobia. I also have Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, and I just couldn't explain the way I felt to anyone - unless they, too, suffered from the disorder. I lost some friends, because they didn't understand what I was dealing with, and they took my absence personally. I experienced numerous panic attacks in public, and my world would get smaller and smaller, because I would start to associate the environment that I was in with the panic attack....one by one, places, events, and extracurricular activities were crossed off of my list!! I did lots of CBT, and tons, tons, tons of exposure therapy. Just take a drive around the block, I felt safer in my car, than if I were walking alone, say, to check the mail. On a brave day, I would get some gas for my car, mind you, I would drive around until I found a service station where I would be the only customer. Sometimes, I would succeed, and sometimes I couldn't accomplish the goal I'd set for myself walking outside. I remember really struggling with feelings of worthlessness, being a failure, and feeling weak and ashamed. Any failure in not completing something was just reinforced by that "committee" in my head who were just experts at making me feel worse and worse. I found that my path of getting a handle (not eliminating the Agoraphobia), started with taking effective meds. Then I would go out, not to accomplish a predetermined goal, but to seek out a place that felt safe to me. I started to accumulate various safe places, for example, a beautiful cemetery to walk in, I found it to be safe, soothing, beautiful, relaxing, and I was able to get some fresh air and exercise. I would also try to really be in the moment when I was out in a safe place, so that I could remember the positive feelings of accomplishment, strength. For most a simple walk is just like breathing, but for us, taking a simple walk alone is a HUGE challenge...in my case a walk outside whether it be 5 minutes or 60 minutes was a victory! I hope you will be able to get to a point of being able to manage your Agoraphobia, Nate. I wish you all the best!! Don't give up, Tiger!
  8. Thank you so much!!!! Yes, indeed, I'd forgotten about the horse tranquilizers section!! lol I'm more than thrilled to share this amazing experience with the whole world! I hope many people enjoy it!
  9. Oh, one more very important thing....I've experienced zero side effects from the Ketamine Infusion Treatments!!
  10. Hello All! I've been missing in action for some months now, but I have returned with wonderfully magical news to share with each and every person here! I'll start off by telling you my diagnoses: Major Depressive Disorder, Treatment Resistant, Moderate Degree, Recurring Episodes; Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia; Anxiety Disorder, and Trichotillomania. I have tried about 85% of the SSRIs on the market, various Antipsychotics, Benzos, Mood Stabilizers, and Homeopathic remedies; EMDR Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Meditation, Breathing Techniques, Visualization, Self Talk, Self Hypnosis, Soul Retrieval Ceremony (a Shamanic Ceremony), Massage Therapy, Exercise, Heliotherapy, Adjusting my Diet, and Reiki Therapy...I think that covers it. Last month, I was preparing to elect Electroconvulsive Therapy as a treatment resort to help with my disorders. In the nick of time, my Psychiatrist mentioned Ketamine. I'd never heard of it, and so I did research on the method of this treatment. Ketamine is FDA approved for Anesthesia in surgical procedures. There are also studies on Ketamine being a successful treatment for Chronic Pain. In addition, Ketamine is a street drug, Special K, that has a hallucinogenic quality. Finally, as of recent years, there are studies for using low doses of Ketamine to treat Major Depression (although it is not FDA approved to treat MDD). It wasn't long before I felt the strongest sense of hope and desire to undergo this treatment; just thinking to myself, "This sounds too good to be true!" To make my hope grow even brighter, there just happened to be a Psychiatrist about 60 miles away that offered the treatment! The following week, I told my Psychiatrist about my findings, and he gave me the thumbs up to contact the Psychiatrist that offered Ketamine Infusion Treatments. My first consultation was set, I ended up being a suitable candidate, and had my appointment for my first Infusion scheduled!! BAM! I don't have the words to share with you to express adequately how I've responded to this treatment that is available. My very first Infusion..I was freed from the weight, that heavy, dark, lonely, cloud that followed me for so long. I could breath!! And it only continued to get better as the days passed. Thus far, I have had 4 Infusions, and I have one remaining. I found myself again, because of Ketamine; I feel again, because of Ketamine; I laugh now, because of Ketamine; I have more understanding of what I've been struggling with, because of Ketamine; I see things I've never seen before, because of Ketamine; I hear things that I've never heard in my life, because of Ketamine; I'm as goofy as ever (and not afraid to show it), because of Ketamine; I want to LIVE, because of Ketamine Infusion Treatments!! In closing, I must stress that I am NOT recommending anyone to make any attempt, whatsoever, to treat themselves with Ketamine in an uncontrolled, unmonitored environment!!! You want to live, not die!!! Also, there is not such thing as a "Silver Bullet" in treating everyone. I just wanted to share my success story, because if this story help even a single person, then I would be so, so happy!
  11. Junie


    Haha, thanks Jonathan!!
  12. Junie


    Hi JungleJulia and Gilly. Yes, I do see a psychiatrist for medication management and I also have a life coach. It is similar to OCD behavior, and yes, it is a compulsion to pull hair at times....sometimes, it will take hours just to find the "right" hairs to pulling - even if it's only 3-5 strands or if it's 50 strands. Off and on, my hair stylist notices areas that I concentrate on the most with regard to pulling, meaning he sees balding, or thinning areas where I have the greatest tendency to pull. I guess I can say that at the worst moments of this disorder, I pull my hair back into a ponytail or wear a baseball cap to help curb my actions. I posted wondering what others with this disorder do to manage their behavior. I'm glad that I brought up a subject that some folks may not be familiar with.
  13. A refreshing topic, Jonathan! My Mother was born and raised in Japan, in a Buddhist temple, in fact. I certainly appreciate your post.
  14. Junie


    Hi Jonathan! You mean What Now Brown Cow? lol Just kidding. I haven't noticed any topics with regard to the hair-pulling disorder, Trichotillomania. I was diagnosed with it a while back. When I am stressed out or really anxious, I obsess about pulling hair from my head, and it relieves my anxiety. Sometimes I just have to excuse myself from situations to go to the restroom to pull out a few hairs to feel better. I know it sounds weird, but what is normal anyway, right?