How to Keep Emotions from Running Your Life

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A recent article on Raptitude, talked about how the majority of of difficult experiences in David’s life resulted from his desperate need to avoid difficult experiences. This need to avoid difficult situations, caused him to live a period of his life led by the need to avoid rather than confront or embrace.

Emotions can drive our behavior, at times without our conscious awareness. In this post, the focus is on the behavior of avoidance, and its driver – emotional experiences that were distressing. Thinking, which is called ‘rumination’ in this piece, is captive to the emotion – a post hoc rationalization, that is unproductive. Becoming aware of these patterns can lead to freedom – freedom to change. This can be in the form of therapy (behavior therapy specifically targets avoidance) or other approaches preferential to the individual. The important start is recognizing what is happening, leading to the option to change.

eMindLog™ is a tool to know where you are, so you can choose what to do. You can  use eMindLog™ to track your daily experiences allowing you to see trends and triggers over time which can help you make better informed decisions about your life. To start using eMindLog™, sign up here.

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5 Strategies to Relieve Anxiety

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Anxiety is a frame of mind that everyone experiences at one time or another. For some it is an uncomfortable feeling that will be dealt with as best a possible. This form of anxiety is likely to plague everyone at some point in their life whether it’s a major life event, transition, or big decision. For some people, anxiety is a more constant companion, coloring much of everyday life and for others anxiety feels like torture, controlling every waking moment and wreaking havoc all the time.

When it doesn’t feel torturous or  isn’t consistently coloring the fabric of everyday life, anxiety can be seen as a red-alert of sorts. It’s a reaction that tells us that something is wrong and requires attention but won’t kill us (no fight or flight response in this case).

Whether anxiety is something that you experience rarely, something that colors your everyday life, or is a controlling factor in your life, below are five strategies that can help you deal with anxiety.

  1. Challenge anxious thoughts.
    A lot of thinking is negative and irrational. You may be so used to thinking about the worst-case scenario presenting itself that thinking any other way has become alien to you. You need to stop and challenge what you believe to be true about what you fear and what negatively occupies your thoughts.

    In other words, you need to retrain your thinking to learn to process what happens to you in a different way, instead of jumping into the usual patterns that feed your anxiety. Ask yourself: How do you know your anxious thoughts are based in reality? How likely is it that what you fear will actually happen? Is there perhaps a more realistic way to think about what could/will happen? Can you visualize a more positive outcome?

  2. Recognize some negative thinking patterns that foster worry, fear, and anxiety. 
    Be careful about seeing things as either/or, should/shouldn’t, right/wrong, or black/white with no shades of gray. Be aware of the tendency to exaggerate the negative and diminish the positive. Understand your tendency to jump to catastrophe as the outcome. Be aware of diminishing your own capability to successfully get through a situation. And challenge the imagined scenario of being humiliated, criticized, and judged because you feel you are incapable of rising to the occasion and conquering your fears and anxieties.
  3. Cultivate optimistic thinking.
    Psychologist Martin Seligman believes that people can learn how to think optimistically. It begins with teaching yourself to keep thinking about the specific, rather than the general — how your worry or fear fits into the bigger picture of your life, rather than becoming the bigger picture of your life — because your life is much, much bigger than any worry, fear, or anxiety will ever be.

    The suggestion is that by creating a thinking strategy that explains a problem or issue, you are better able to make a plan to do something about it. In other words, de-personalize the problem; take yourself out of it so you can do something about changing the situation, rather than being part of the problem, where you may feel helpless and powerless to control the situation. Think about situations or problems as temporary and changeable, rather than long-term or permanent. That way, they can change. Taking even baby steps can lead the way to constructive solutions rather than feeling overwhelmed, defeated, or stuck.

  4. Take a timeout. 
    Give your brain a break. Take a mental vacation with mindful meditation or a walk in nature. Relaxation and leisure are essential to a full, balanced life. If this is alien to you, it’s time to start scheduling some R&R into your weekly calendar. Yoga, listening to music, self-nurturing (e.g., massage), anything that takes you out of your head and incessant worrying is beneficial to your all-around well-being. And, of course, focus on living a healthy lifestyle — eating well, exercising daily, getting enough sleep, and anything else that helps you express your healthy, whole presence in the world.
  5. Create an anxiety toolbox. 
    An anxiety toolbox is a set of practices you can take with you wherever you go and use them whenever the need arises. Some items in you toolbox should be:

    Asking questions – When anxiety hits ask yourself these questions: Am I blowing the situation, and my anxiety, out of proportion? On a scale of 1 to 10, where does the situation and the accompanying anxiety realistically sit? Have the catastrophic consequences and the worst-case scenario I always worry about ever come to pass? Even if something is really wrong, am I capable of finding a healthier/more satisfactory solution? Use these questions to create a better reality and outcome based on your successful responses to past experiences.Taking action – this may include going for a walk, meditating, listening to music, exercising, calling a supportive friend, attending a worship service, journaling, or using helpful affirmations or mantras. Use what you’ve learned from past experiences to help calm yourself and bring back your sense of control.

    Controlling physical responses – how do you handle physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat, hyperventilating, numbness and tingling of hands and feet, or even fear of passing out? If these are components of your anxiety, you can employ various techniques — breath work, relaxation techniques, guided meditations — on your own or with a practitioner, so that when symptoms arise, you are prepared to utilize what you’ve learned.

eMindlog™ can also become a resource in your anxiety toolbox. You can utilize it to measure your daily levels of anxiety and worry, allowing to you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and reactions to certain situations. By using eMindLog™ over time, you’ll be able to see trends in your behavior or thinking and you may also be able to pinpoint events or situations that trigger your anxiety.

Make eMindLog™ a part of our toolbox by signing up here.

 

These strategies were originally posted by Abigail Brenner M.D. on In Flux.

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WHO: Depression Top Cause of Disability

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 4 percent of the world’s population live with depression, and women, youth, and the elderly are the most prone to its affects.

As of 2015, an estimated 322 million people suffered from depressive disorders, a rise of 18.4 percent in a decade, as people live longer, the United Nations said in a report.

The global economic loss exceeded $1 trillion a year, referring to lost productivity due to apathy or lack of energy that lead to an inability to function at work or cope with daily life.

“Depression is the single largest contributor to years lived with disability. So it’s the top cause of disability in the world today,” Dr. Dan Chisholm of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse told a news briefing.

He further went on to note that depression is 1.5 times more common among women than men.

A further 250 million people suffer anxiety disorders, including phobias, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive behavior and post-traumatic stress disorder, the report said.

80 percent of those stricken with mental illness live in low- and middle-income countries. As Chisholm said, “That puts paid to the notion of these disorders being diseases of the rich or the affluent, that is not the case. In fact in many countries people who are affected by poverty, unemployment, civil strife and conflict are actually at higher risk of certainly anxiety disorders and also depression.”

There are three age groups that are particularly vulnerable to depression:

  • Youth
  • Pregnant or post-partum women
  • The elderly

“The pressures on today’s youth are like no other generation perhaps,” Chisholm said.

“Another target group is women who are pregnant or have just given birth. Depression around that period is actually extremely common, around 15 percent of women will suffer not just ‘the blues’, but a diagnosable case of depression.”

Retirees are also susceptible. “When we stop working or we lose our partner we become more frail, more subject to physical diseases and disorders like depression do become more common.”

An estimated 800,000 people die from committing suicide each year, a “pretty horrifying figure”, Chisholm said. “It is more common in males in higher income countries but more common in females in lower- and middle-income countries.”

The WHO is running a campaign to tackle stigma and misconceptions called “Depression: Let’s Talk”.

“We feel that is a key first step, that if we want to bring mental health, depression and other mental disorders out of the shadows, we need to be able to talk about it,” Chisholm said.

eMindLog™ measures stress, anxiety, and depression using self-reporting and allows patients to connect with their providers to engage in better informed care and to create a dialog between patient and provider enriching the diagnosis and treatment process. Users / patients can sign up here.

World Health Day is April 7, 2017. To learn more about World Health Day and Depression: Let’s Talk, visit WHO.

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eMindLog™ Provides Quantitative Self-Measurement of the Mind for Value Care Outcomes in Stress, Anxiety, Depression

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GREENVILLE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–eMind Science Corp.’s new mobile health platform, eMindLog™, is helping people take control of their mental wellbeing by empowering quantitative self-measurement of the vital signs of their minds.

“Stress, anxiety and depression are pervasive in today’s world, and they take a heavy toll on our health, productivity and personal relationships,” says Michael Heffernan, president, CEO and cofounder of eMind Science Corp. “We developed eMindLog™ as an easy-to-use, secure digital tool for tracking behavioral health, with the option to share results with a healthcare provider for early diagnosis and treatment.”

Using eMindLog™ on a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer, patients and other users can accurately and precisely self-measure their stress, anxiety and depression daily and weekly by answering questions about their emotions, thoughts and behaviors. The questions take about three minutes to answer. Algorithms produce scores and graphical indexes for anxiety, anger, sadness and lack of pleasure.

If they choose, users can securely and confidentially share the resulting data with their doctor or therapist through the platform’s graphically rich reporting dashboard. The data can support better-informed diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care beyond the office visit.

“Diagnosing and treating depression and anxiety in the primary care setting has always been difficult, mainly because of time limitations in the office and lack of data over time,” says Fredrick Teixeira, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Vidant Health in Washington, N.C. “This health platform gives us actionable data over whatever time we choose, in a way that makes for more accurate and quicker diagnosis. It also allows for better ways to see if our treatments are successful with a glance of the graphic data.”

eMindLog™ merges mobile health technology with the latest insights from neuroscience and psychology about how the brain processes daily subjective experiences into the emotions, thoughts and behaviors that largely determine mental wellbeing.

The platform empowers patients and users with knowledge of their own minds and a vocabulary with visual reports that help them express quantitatively how they are feeling. More informed patients lead to better relationships with healthcare providers.

“User data can indicate important mental health trends including potential thresholds for clinical anxiety and depression,” says Philip T. Ninan, M.D., the company’s co-founder, chairman and chief scientific officer. “When the data is shared, it can give healthcare providers a wealth of quantitative information for optimal diagnosis, treatment and monitoring for better health outcomes.”

eMindLog™ is free to patients and other individual users, who can establish accounts at www.emindlog.com. The platform includes two other fee-based applications: eMindLog Pro, a portal connecting healthcare providers with patients, and eMindLog Enterprise™, a version for self-insured employers to offer as part of their benefits and wellness programs.

eMindLog Pro™ is intended not only for primary care physicians and therapists but for specialists treating major accidental injuries or chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Patients in these situations often experience fear, stress and anxiety, leading to depression that can in turn hinder their physical recovery.

Heffernan says the eMindLog™ platform can add value to the healthcare system by providing behavioral health data that supports early intervention, reducing emergency care, hospitalization and other treatment costs downstream.

“Our goal for eMindLog™ is to engage patients, healthcare providers, employers, healthcare systems and insurers in a robust ecosystem that encourages data-driven behavioral healthcare for better mental wellbeing,” Heffernan says.

eMindLog™ is a private, secure, cloud-based system, and only users can see their personalized data, unless they opt to share it. The system is compliant with HIPAA standards and meets current healthcare reporting requirements.

At least 75 million adults in the United States are estimated to have high or extreme stress and/or anxiety or depressive disorders. Untreated mental illness costs the U.S. at least $105 billion in lost productivity each year, according to a Harvard University study.

Mobile-health technology solutions like eMindLog™ are a potent antidote because an estimated 3.4 billion people worldwide have smartphones or tablets, and half of them have downloaded health applications, representing an addressable health-app market of $1.5 billion.

Contacts

eMind Science Corp.
Michael Heffernan, 404-435-4060
President and CEO

See the full release at Businesswire.

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Why is monotasking so important?

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Do you ever get interrupted and forget what you were working on or lose your train of thought? Well, you’re not the only one. In an age where we spend the majority of our time in front of a computer or device (and in lots of cases, many devices), it’s easy to get distracted and lose all focus. We live in a world where being able to multitask is a sought after skill. While being able to multitask is great, it’s often the case that the tasks at hand don’t receive the full focus necessary to complete them well.

Multitasking is like being a jack of all trade but a master of none. It definitely has it’s place in our lives but true focus on a single item at a time is fading from our everyday lives as we are increasingly distracted by the fast pace at which new information is presented. Monotasking is important because it allows to to fully focus on what we are working on and making sure it is completed.

You’re probably wondering, “What is monotasking?”

Monotasking also known as single-tasking, is the practice of dedicating oneself to a given task and minimizing potential interruptions until the task is completed or a significant period of time has elapsed.

For monotasking to work, the rule of thumb is to complete tasks sequentially, working through the items at hand one-by-one not moving to the next one until sufficient time has passed or the task is completed. Your brain was wired for deep and innovative thinking, but that’s impossible to achieve if you’re trying to make it go in two or more directions at once.

Three tips for monotasking are:

  1. Give your brain some down time.
    Get some fresh air, for example, or just look out the window. Taking a break will help make room for your next inspired idea because a halt in constant thinking slows the mind’s rhythms to allow more innovative “aha” moments.
  2. Focus deeply, without distraction.
    Silence your phone, turn off your email and try to perform just one task at a time.
  3. Make a to-do list.
    Then identify your top two priorities for the day and make sure they are accomplished above all else.

It’s also important to remember that monotasking should be utilized outside of work, as it will help you in all aspects of your life.

Switching from multitasking to monotasking seems like a big undertaking. Jo Chunyan, Intuition Coach & Graphic Designer, has created a useful like of 13 reminders for single-tasking. Try using some of these reminders to streamline your day. Then see how monotasking affects your mood, creativity, and ability to focus.

13 Reminders for Single Tasking

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6 Ways to Combat Anxiety and Speak Up at Work

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workplace-1245776_1920Meetings at work can be an uncomfortable environment – many professionals feel this way. It may be because you’re shy, introverted, or you absorb more by listening to others in the room. You may also choose to defer to the leaders at the table.

It’s not just the environment, it may also be the situation. Is there someone in the meeting that always dominates the conversation not letting others get a word in edgewise? Whatever the case may be, sitting through another meeting frozen or inactive is a terrible feeling.

In order to get ahead it is often important that your voice be heard. You’ve prepped for the meeting, you’ve done your research, and now it’s time for you to be an active participant. Below are some simple strategies you can implement in your next meeting to help ease the anxiety and make yourself heard.

  1. Banish Pre-Meeting Jitters
    Instead of interpreting your jitters (shaky hands, stomach doing somersaults, etc) as a sign that you’re inadequate, or not up to the task a hand, Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal suggests befriending your stress response, re-framing it as a sign you’re ready for action and prepared to bring your best to the meeting.
  2. Ease Into It
    Rather than arriving right before a meeting starts, head in early to familiarize yourself with the space and settle in. If your meeting is a teleconference, use this time to get comfortable with webinar controls, your mic, and webcam. As colleagues arrive, focus on making conversation with one or two people at a time which can feel socially fulfilling while also being less overwhelming.
  3. Commit to Speaking Early
    It typically gets harder to enter the conversation as a meeting progresses. The longer you wait, the more your anxiety increases. Growth often comes from discomfort, so push yourself to to speak up early. Set a simple strategy to say something in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the meeting. It can be welcoming the attendees, presenting your main argument, asking a question, or offering an opinion on a new business proposal.
  4. Use Your Strengths When Speaking Up
    You don’t have to be the loudest in the room. Even the soft-spoken can still make an impact by backing up a coworker’s comment with a simple, “Great idea! I can see that working really well.”You can also focus on asking powerful questions. Especially if you consider yourself an introvert, you’re likely very observant, which gives you an edge when it comes to posing the kind of thought-provoking questions that haven’t crossed your colleagues’ minds quite yet.

    Another way powerful way to increase your impact and visibility even after the meeting wraps is by following up with an email to your boss summarizing key points raised, or better yet, providing a proposal for a new project sparked by the conversation. You’ll build up a reputation as someone who makes useful contributions and you’ll come to everyone’s mind more quickly when promotion time comes around. More importantly, you’ll gain confidence in yourself.

  5. Be the One to Take Action on “Next Steps”
    Did something come up in the meeting that could use more research? Commit to taking on something for the next meeting. It shows you have initiative and that you’re interested and invested in your organization.This is a great example of employing a pre-commitment device, a habit formation technique you can use to nudge yourself towards behaviors you desire. You’ve committed yourself — now you’ll be more motivated and likely to follow through.
  6. Challenge Your Beliefs About Contributing
    Many people’s leadership instincts may not have been nurtured to their full potential in childhood, and subconscious insecurities can seep into our behavior to this day when it comes to speaking up. So how do you overcome old, outdated scripts holding you back from feeling confident about speaking up? It requires a deep-dive into your presumptions about self-worth and speaking up.

    Growing up, what were you told about standing out? Were you given the message by your parents, teachers, and community that you could be whatever you wanted, or did you internalize concepts such as, “People won’t like you if you try to stand out”? If you find yourself easily devastated by real or imagined negative feedback when you express your ideas, consider that you may be reverting back to an immature identity when your self-esteem was more contingent on other people’s (especially that of authority figures’) opinions.

    When you have a point to make yet find undermining thoughts creeping in, thank your inner-critic for trying to do it’s job by keeping you protected. Fear can signal you’re saying something of significance. Seize the moment. Stop playing small. Remember, you’re part of your organization because you’re qualified, you’re effective, and you matter.

    You’ve got a lot to offer — now it’s time to let everyone know it.

This content was originally published on The World of Psychology by Melanie Wilding, LMSW

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3 Ways Music Creates a Positive Mood Change

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Have you ever felt stuck in an emotional state that you couldn’t break free from? Music may be able to help you change your mood.

Think of your mind as a radio. Sometimes we might get stuck on a certain song or station, hearing the same thing over and over. If you’ve experienced this kind of rumination or thought-looping before, you know it is an unwelcome and negative cycle. When this happens, anything that helps us to switch to a different channel can provide emotional relief.

music-791631_1920
We may start listening to negative messages that have been internalized and deeply ingrained within our minds, (consciously or unconsciously) playing them on repeat. The good news, however, is that we actually have the power to shift our thinking. We have the ability to bring ourselves away from the destructive noise of our own cognitive distortions and into the sweet sounds of serenity.

Music can be a useful tool in helping to turn down volume on the (often irrational) song or story that’s being played incessantly. While muting the unpleasant tracks we’re so accustomed to hearing in our minds and boosting the sound on some uplifting tunes, our favorite music automatically becomes a natural mood enhancer.

  1. Plug Back In: When we feel disconnected or burnt out, listening music can help us to feel more grounded and aligned — physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. When we feel inspired or uplifted by the sound or the lyrics of a song, it can result in a truly profound experience. When we are moved by the music we hear, we gain a greater understanding about ourselves. With that comes the ability to foster a better sense of connection to other people and the world around us.
  2. Flip the Switch: Much like meditation, putting on our favorite song or playlist can take our minds out of the vicious cycle of regret, worry, or fear, and help us to refocus our attention on the sound and rhythm of the song, even if just for a short while. Almost instantaneously, we have the ability to bring our minds away from the trap of its constant mental chatter, and into states of present moment awareness and enlivened being.
  3. stage-1531427_1920Feel the Beat: The mind and body are connected. Music often makes us want to move, inspiring us to dance or exercise. This helps release endorphins and serotonin in the brain, so we feel better and adopt a naturally more positive outlook. Combining music with movement is a potent way to improve your mood with the potential for long lasting effects.

Each of us may have different taste in music, but we all crave many of the same things, including happiness and belonging. Music can help us strengthen the bond we have with ourselves, and ultimately, with each other. While listening to our favorite music in solitude may be the perfect antidote, some people find that the energy and vibrations that abound at live music shows are powerfully therapeutic. No matter where you are, it’s important to remember, that if you’re feeling a particular emotion, you are surrounded by human beings everywhere who have felt that same emotion before.

Find the music that works for you and put this to the test.

 

This article was originally published in World of Psychology by Julia Lehrman, LCSW, RYT

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New Research: How Mindfulness Can Help Reduce Worry

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nothing-1820481_1920When you’re worried, concentrating on anything can be difficult.

A new study suggests that specific forms of mindfulness techniques can be particularly useful for reducing repetitive and intrusive negative thoughts that frequently occur in anxiety and depression.

Conducted by the University of Southampton, UK and Bournemouth University, UK, the randomized study of 77 participants examined the impact of three types of mindfulness techniques on the frequency of intrusive negative thoughts and measured subjective anxiety levels.

The most effective technique for reducing the frequency of negative thoughts was a guided acceptance-based mindfulness meditation. The general principle behind acceptance-based meditations is that you allow thoughts to come into your mind, observe, acknowledge, and make room for them rather than attempt to struggle with them. This principle of acceptance has been formalized into a type of therapy called acceptance and commitment therapy. You can practice acceptance techniques at home on your own through guided meditations that encourage acceptance. The following script was used for the acceptance based guided meditation in the study:

Direct your attention inwardly…notice thoughts, emotions, physical sensations…any other kinds of experiences as they show up in the field of your awareness…sitting and noticing what’s here, right now, for you…Each time you become aware of a private experience, such as a thought, or a feeling…turning your attention towards it, acknowledging it, maybe labeling it…and as best you can, letting things be as they are…making space for your experiences.

The second mindfulness technique studied was an attention-based breath meditation which focuses attention on the breath. Breath awareness was slightly less effective than acceptance based mindfulness but still helpful. Below is the guided meditation used in the study:

Become aware of the sensation of breathing…noticing where in the body the physical sensations of breathing are vivid for you, right now…choosing one place to follow the breath…making a decision to stay with this place…bringing your attention and your curiosity to each breath…Feeling the moment-by-moment physical sensations as you breathe in and breathe out. And each time you notice your attention has wandered, gently bringing your attention back to the breath and the sensations in your body.

Finally, the third mindfulness technique, which was the least effective in reducing the frequency of negative thoughts, was progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Progressive muscle relaxation directs you to focus your attention on different muscles in the body and guides you to tense and then relax these muscles.

There are a couple of important things to keep in mind. First, you might not feel better or less anxious after completing a mindfulness meditation, but it could be helping you worry less. Second, sticking to a consistent practice is important. Studies have shown that regular practice is important for lasting changes and has been proven to lower anxiety.

eMindLog™ can help you track how worried you are over time, allowing you to see if a mindfulness practice is helping and also help you identify worry triggers. Check it out and sign up for your free account today.

 

This article was originally posted on Urban Survival by Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D.

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Why Your Antidepressants Don’t Kick In Immediately

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headache-pain-pills-medication-159211The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Skeptics argue that because it takes four to six weeks for these antidepressants to kick in, they don’t really work or that if they do, it’s not because the patient has low levels of serotonin in the brain.

Let’s start with a little background. Serotonin has multiple functions in the brain, one of which is keeping us calm and content.  It is a neurotransmitter that works most effectively when it is outside of the brain’s neurons; although it doesn’t do anything good or bad if it is inside the brain’s cells. SSRIs work by blocking the serotonin transporter which results in more serotonin being outside of the neurons where it can do it’s job.

If there is too little serotonin active outside the brain’s cells, we become nervous, unhappy, or unable to feel any pleasure. By blocking the the transporter that inactivates serotonin, SSRIs can restore the brain’s active levels of serotonin returning us to a calm and content state. Skeptics of SSRI efficacy will return to the concept that the delayed effect means they don’t really work.

It is rather interesting that SSRIs don’t work after taking just one pill, especially considering that SSRIs are not the only drugs that block the serotonin transporter. Street drugs like cocaine and ecstasy also reportedly block the serotonin transporter. But it obviously does not take four to six weeks for cocaine and ecstasy to take effect.

Rather than assuming that the medication is not working, let’s consider an analogy. If you were to go to a dietitian to set up a meal plan to help you lose weight. You and your dietitian come up with a good plan that is likely to work. However, your refrigerator and kitchen are stocked with the items you already eat. Rather than wasting the food you’ve already purchased, you consume it and slowly begin restocking your kitchen with healthier items. Because of this transition time, your weight remains stable but about a month after you’ve begun, you start to lose weight. This is the time when the old foods in your kitchen have been replaced with healthier options.

More recent research suggests an analogous explanation of why SSRIs don’t kick in right away. The reason suggested is that SSRIs don’t target the serotonin transmitter directly. Although some SSRIs (like Lexapro) bind directly to the transporter, the direct binding is not the underlying mechanism of action. Instead antidepressants target our DNA, in particular the genes that code for the serotonin transporter. They make these genes less active causing there to be less transporter molecules available in the brain. This, the new research argues, explains the delayed action of antidepressants. As our brains already have plenty of transporter molecules when we begin taking antidepressants, it takes awhile for the suppression of genes coding for the transporter take effect in the brain.

When we start taking the medication, our brain is like the refrigerator, full of old food choices. It takes a few weeks to get through the old food and begin replacing it with healthier alternatives that can ultimately stabilize us and make use function normally.

eMindLog™ is a tool that you and your provider can utilize to monitor and track the effectiveness of medication. It can also be used to create a baseline for starting treatment. To learn more and see how it works, create your free account.

 

This article was originally posted on The Superhuman Mind by Berit Brogaard D.M.Sci., Ph.D.

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