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Mental Health damaged by strokes?

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Old 09-10-2008, 04:02 PM   #1
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Cool Mental Health damaged by strokes?

I am a new member, who has posted a few times regarding other's health situations, of which I have some understanding, and deep empathy for...but this one is about me- and much harder for me to even put into words.

10-15 years ago, (I don't even remember) I happened to be at the doctors office after stepping on a rusty nail at work, just for a quick tetanus shot. As customary, my blood pressure was checked. To everyones total surprise, it was about 210/100, and I was immediatly rushed to the hospital.

From then on I have had malignant hypertension, which has caused great damage to all my organs, including 4 strokes, kidney disease, retinal strokes, heart attack, RLS, sleep apnea, gout, etc.

Believe it or not, that's NOT my problem. I have actually overcome all that physically, to where I'm ready to get on with my life and return to work. Now I overcome with anxiety, fear, depression, which I havent ever had.

I am taking a major regimen of medications which includes Lexapro (20mg), and trazadone (75mg), and many others. It's hard to tell which does what, because of all the other medications, but I tolerate them all well.

I'm ready to start living, but I feel paralyzed with anxiety. Being so close to overcoming the health thing, I fear the mental health issues that I obviously now have.

WHERE TO START? I know there are some very knowledgeable and experienced people on this site whom I hope can help me get started...Thank you

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Old 09-22-2008, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: Mental Health damaged by strokes?

Well it sounds like you have been through a lot and finally have a medication regimen that addresses many of your issues. I have a brain injury and suffer from anxiety also along with depression and host of other things that I am sure you suffer from with the injuries and damages you have sustained. To assist the medication in completely (I pray!) overcome my anxiety and occassional panic attacks is psycho therapy. I am learning to identify triggers if I don't already know what they are and my list is starting to grow now with guidance from a therapist. As I identify a trigger, we work out a plan on overcoming it. For example, I get really "antsy" around large groups of people, so I practice overcoming or at least deescalating my panic by taking VERY short trips to the mall or a crowded area. It has taken me over 3 years but I am still working on that one trigger and it is better but I do not know if I will ever feel completely comfortable. Another one is continuous loud sounds/noise. Dance clubs are out now for me, but again, the mall is a good place or a home improvement warehouse to be in a noisy environment. As soon as I feel that anxious wave start I head for an exit. Psycho therapy and medicinal therapy work well together and quicker when used together from my own research as well as what my docs tell me. Just my 2 cents worth!
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Mental Health damaged by strokes?

I have a pragmatic approach to mental health: health is health. There's no real difference between physical and mental health.

I've been fighting depression since I was a little bitty kid. But antidepressants are just the first stepping stone. It's a lifelong, whole-body, whole-mind battle.

I take omega-3 supplements like fish oil, high doses of folic acid, vitamin D supplements, Body Balance (has a lot of sea vegetables in it), and lots of water. I try (with SOME success) to avoid poisonous foods like dairy, chocolate, sugar, processed food, and anything cold and icy. I see my chiropractor quite often. All these things help a lot - mentally and physically. I have shut out all my "friends" who make me feel crappy.

Next on my list? More exercise, like yoga. Cleaning my messy house. A clean house is a calm house. Spending more time with my dogs and my friends.

I think what you're going through is normal after what you've been through. But nobody tells you about these things.

P.S. I have moderate kidney disease and I check everything with my nephrologist before I put it in my mouth.

Last edited by Arggg; 09-25-2008 at 12:03 PM. Reason: add something

Old 09-26-2008, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: Mental Health damaged by strokes?

Thank you for your wonderful suggestions. Since I originally posted, I have begun volunteer work at the neighborhood high school, and I am loving it!

In addition to medication and the careful diet, the volunteering fills me with joy again.

Thank you very much for your kind words.

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