Archive for Anxiety

Depressed? Anxious? Perhaps eating disordered or feeling overwhelmed by the struggles of being a primary caregiver?

Please read the “full disclosure” notice at the end of this report.

Depressed? Anxious? Perhaps eating disordered or feeling overwhelmed by the struggles of being a primary caregiver to a critically ill spouse or elderly parent– sometimes a form of post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Before you make that all-important call to schedule with a psychiatrist consider:

· “…[T]he percentage of visits to psychiatrists that included psychotherapy dropped from 44 percent in 1996-1997 to 28 percent in 2004-2005. And the percentage of psychiatrists who provide psychotherapy at every patient visit decreased from 19 percent to 11 percent. This decline in therapy was closely correlated with the growth of medication treatment and decreasing insurance reimbursements for psychotherapy.

· “Managed care companies discourage [psychiatrists] from doing psychotherapy, arguing that it is more cost effective for psychiatrists to do 15-minute medication visits every 3 months, and to hire a lower paid non-M.D. for more frequent therapy visits.

· “…Over the past two decades, psychiatry has gone astray. We have allowed our treatment decisions to be influenced by the promise of riches from drug companies, rather than by what our patients most need. We have fought pitched turn wars with our colleagues in related disciplines, instead of learning from them and incorporating their effective therapeutic tools into our arsenal. Finally, we have unquestioningly sought to become just as “medical” as other doctors, when we should embrace the fact that psychiatry is remarkably different from the rest of medicine.”

· “As psychiatrists have become enthralled with diagnosis and medication, we have given up the essence of our profession – understanding the mind. We have become obsessed with psychopharmacology and its endless process of tinkering with medications, adjusting dosages, and piling on more medications to treat the side effects of the drugs we started with. We have convinced ourselves that we have developed cures for mental illness…, when in fact we know so little about the underlying neurobiology of their causes that our treatments are often a series of trials and errors.”

· “Whether we are talking about depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, the new drugs introduced over the past fifty years are no more effective than the original prototypes – such as Haldol for schizophrenia, lithium for bipolar, and nardil for depression. We are keep to prescribe the newest drugs, and patients assume that much progress has been made in psychopharmacology over the past several decades,but… this profess has been overblown…. Even our newer drugs’ supposed advantage – fewer side effects – is being called into question.

· Our diagnostic process is shallow and is based on an elaborate checklist of symptoms, leading us sometimes to over-diagnosis patients with disorders of questionable validity, or, conversely, to miss the underlying problems in our rush to come up with a discrete diagnostic label that will be reimbursed by the insurance company. We tend to treat all psychological problems the same way – with a pill and a few words of encouragement. Because of this rote approach to treatment, patients are often misdiagnosed and medications are overprescribed…We have been seduced by the constant encouragement from drug companies to prescribe more medications and an insurance reimbursement system that discourages therapy… Pulled by both drug companies and consumer demand to provide immediate drug fixes to life’s difficulties, the field of psychiatry has become unhinged, pried away from its original mission – to discover the causes of mental illness and to treat those causes, not merely the symptoms.

In Unhinged: The Trouble With Psychiatry – A Doctor’s Revelations About A Profession In Crisis (Free Press, 2010) Daniel Carlat, MD has produced a scathing indictment of the profession to which he has dedicated fifteen years “in a small town north of Boston.” A member of the faculty of the Tufts Medical School and a solo practitioner, Carlat trained at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also the editor of The Carlat Psychiatry Report, a monthly newsletter for clinicians in the US.

By his own admission, Carlat experienced a series of epiphanies that caused him to begin questioning his role as a shill for Big Pharma, the validity of many of the “scientific research” and “medical” reports that provide the basis for psychiatrists prescribing practices, and the efficacy of the “15-minute medication session” that is the basis for much of what now passes as as psychiatric “treatment.”

Chapter by chapter, dissects the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – IV, the bible of psychiatric diagnosis – diagnosis by committee consensus without scientific basis and by checklist; the role of drug reps and so-called “experts” in the PR selling of new drugs to prescribing physicians; sham therapeutic treatments; and the innate weaknesses of contemporary psychiatry – including the loss of clinically proven counseling skills and an almost myopic focus on prescribing psychoactive medications that necessitates more and more prescriptions to offset side effects.

The bottom line is; An MD psychiatrist can earn two, three or four times as much by scheduling 15 minute medication prescribing/reviewing sessions than he can with a 45 or 50 minute hour of psychotherapy.

That’s one of the most critical points made by Daniel Carlat, MD in Unhinged: the Trouble With Psychiatry – A Doctor’s Revelations About A Profession In Crisis (Free Press, 2010).

At The Brain Training Centers of Florida we help people resolve these issues every day. We offer lasting relief without the use of medications. Our Brain Wave Optimization and Cognitive Behavioral approach is noninvasive and extremely quick acting. Please call our office at 305-412-5050 to schedule a consultation.

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In 1973, while studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood with the Maryknoll Fathers, I was arrested and held for eleven days as a political prisoner in Latin America. Upon my return to the US, I immediately requested and received counseling from Dr. Thomas Stauffer, an outstanding psychiatrist. To this day, I remain grateful for his assistance and empathic support. Despite the fact today I would be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress disorder, I did not request and Dr. Stauffer did not prescribe psychoactive medications.

Nonetheless, as a result of my work with him, I greatly appreciate the role of the well-trained and highly competent psychiatrist. When appropriate, I refer clients for assessment and medication. I also encourage clients to work closely with their prescribing psychiatrists and, as quickly as possible and if possible, withdraw from medication – if that is consistent with their desires and their on-going progress.

Francis J. (Skip) Flynn, Psy. D.

Posted in: Anxiety, Brain Wave Optimization, Depression

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Hospital Caused Halucinations

My father kicked me out of his will.

Three times!

On the same day!

An example:

Dad: “What? You can’t stand up and shake hands with Mr. B? Where are your manners?

Me: “I’d be happy to, but I just can’t see him.”

Dad: “That’s it. You’re out of the will.”

Or:

Dad: “Get some bug spray and kill those ants on the wall [of his hospital room].”

Me: “Sure! Just one problem. I can’t see them.”

Dad: “That’s it. You’re out of the will.”

Now, a June 21, 2010 New York Times article, “Hallucinations in Hospital Pose Risk to Elderly” provides insight into my father’s bizarre behavior: “Hospital delirium.” After almost a month of treatment with immunosuppressants, he developed a low-grade pneumonia and a normally mild fever had the effect of baking his brain – producing auditory and visual hallucinations.

“Disproportionately affecting older people, a rapidly growing share of patients” hospital delirium “affects about one-third of patients over 70, and a greater percentage of intensive-care or postsurgical patients,” The Times reported.

According to Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH, the early recognition and treatment of delirium in older adults has been shown to save seniors’ lives and money and may also lower older people’s risks of permanent cognitive impairment. Addressing a May 2010 meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, Inouye noted, “Delirium may provide the unique opportunity for early intervention and prevention of permanent cognitive damage.” Inouye is the 2010 recipient of the AGS’s Edward Henderson State-of-the-Art Award in recognition of her seminal research into delirium and functional decline in hospitalized older adults and has published more than 140 scientific papers on delirium – an acute, temporary cognitive disorder characterized by relatively rapid onset and variable symptoms including difficulty maintaining attention.

The AGS reports, “Common and often overlooked delirium causes significant morbidity and mortality in older hospitalized patients.”

And, according to The Times – and my father’s experience – hospital delirium appears to have a wide range of “triggers: infections, surgery, pneumonia, and procedures like catheter insertions, all of which can spur anxiety in frail, vulnerable patients. Some medications, difficult for older people to metabolize, seem associated with delirium.” Other triggers may involve disorienting changes like periodically waking patients to conduct medical tests, isolation, changing rooms, and being without eyeglasses or dentures. Antidepressants, antihistamines, sleeping pills and drugs for nausea and ulcers may also serve as triggers to hospital delirium.

And, as the Times pointed out, “Even short episodes can hinder recovery from patients’ initial conditions, extending hospitalizations, delaying scheduled procedures for surgery, requiring more time and attention from staff members and escalating health care costs.” In addition, unless it is quickly diagnosed and corrected, delirium may results in patients being placed in nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.

Most significantly, however, Dr. Inouye reports that older delirium sufferers are more likely to develop dementia later and 35 to 40 percent die within a year.

The Times cited the findings of Dr. Malaz A. Boustani, a professor at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, that noted that elderly patients experiencing delirium were hospitalized six days longer and placed in nursing homes 75 percent of the time – five times as often as those without delirium; and nearly one-tenth died within a month.

On a personal note, the Times article hit home. Shortly after his initial hospitalization, my father developed full-blown delirium; because his children kept careful watch over his care, it was quickly diagnosed and corrected. Nonetheless, shortly thereafter he developed two massive aneurisms and it appears a leak in one of these caused his death – 18 days after his delirium first developed.

Francis J. (Skip) Flynn, Psy. D.
7740 Southwest 52 Avenue
Miami, Florida 33143
(305) 271-0973


Posted in: Anxiety, Health & Exercise

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Anxiety, Tourettes, Sleep Issues, Addictions and Dizziness All Targeted In Today In Brain Training: June 21, 2010

Utilizing our brain wave optimization technology, we at the Brain Training Centers of Florida, are helping nine different people with their difficulties. Their difficulties include anxiety, panic attacks, tourettes, addictions and sleep issues. We are open 8Am to 10PM seven days a week to facility the daily need for brain wave optimization. By combining brain wave optimization with cognitive behavioral therapy, we have been very successful at helping people with the issues listed above.

Posted in: Anxiety, Brain Wave Optimization, Sleep Issues, Tourettes Syndrome

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Patient Testimonial: Overcoming Panic Attacks with Brain State Conditioning

Curing Anxiety Disorders with Brain State ConditioningBrain state conditioning continues to prove itself as one of the foremost and most advanced techniques for helping patients overcome a variety of mental and emotional challenges, including panic attacks.

What follows is a testimonial sent to us by one of our patients, Raina Langer, who overcame debilitating issues with anxiety through brain state conditioning.

Here is Raina’s story, which she sent to us specifically so we could share it with you:

I had suffered with anxiety as far back as I can remember. At times I was able to “walk through” my anxiety. And, at times my anxiety and panic attacks were so overwhelming that I could not and did not leave my house for weeks at a time. I don’t think I will ever truly be able to verbalize how hopeless and desperate I felt then. The week before I started BST I had one of my worst panic attacks. What made this one so bad was that it happened with my family, at their house, which had always been a “safe” place for me, and there was no apparent reason for it. I felt like I was slipping back into that place where I was afraid to leave home that next week, and even more anxious because I was a full time student, and couldn’t afford to miss classes. I remembered a conversation I had with a friend who had gotten relief with chronic pain from BST, and he thought it might help for my anxiety.

When I came to BTCF I didn’t expect much. After trying medications, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, books, etc., this was going to be my last shot at getting better. I was extremely skeptical of the treatment, and even if I wouldn’t have been- I believed my anxiety and panic attacks were so severe that it couldn’t help anyway.

After my first week of treatment I started to test the waters a tiny bit to see if it was really working, and to my surprise- IT WAS!!! I was beginning to feel more at ease in situations that used to make me extremely uncomfortable. There was this particular situation- one that, in the past had always caused a full blown panic attack every time I was in it. This was going to be the true test of whether or not this therapy actually worked, and it wasn’t until the end of my therapy that I felt confident enough to try it out. As I was driving into this situation that usually terrified me, it wasn’t until I was about half way there that I realized I hadn’t even thought, or not thought about my anxiety. It was simply a non issue. For the first time ever I didn’t feel or act on the need to escape. My hands were steady and dry, I wasn’t nauseous, my heart didn’t feel like it was going to jump out of my chest, and most importantly, my head wasn’t racing a mile a minute trying to figure out what excuse I was going to have to concoct to get out of this. In fact, I felt a little bit of happy excitement. I don’t know how or why it worked- but it did.

Since then I’ve had countless of other positive experiences like that. Doing things that I was too afraid to do are starting to become natural to me, but every once in a while I find myself in a situation where I am absolutely amazed that I’m now able to handle and enjoy!

From my very first session, Geoff, Skip, and everyone else at BTCF made me feel so comfortable and cared for. I was able to openly talk about my symptoms and skepticism without embarrassment. It was wonderful to feel embraced and fully supported every step of the way. I really can’t thank you enough, or express how grateful I am for your help. You’ve made the impossible truly possible for me. I can finally live without fear.

~Raina Langer

Posted in: Anxiety, Brain Training, Panic Attacks

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Testimonial: Treating Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Anger, and Snoring Through Brain State Conditioning

Treat Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Snoring, Anger with Brain State ConditioningWe have successfully helped a growing number of patients improve their lives and solve specific problems through our state-of-the-art brain state conditioning techniques. This is a testimonial sent to us by one of our patients, Jim Sarakinis, who overcame anxiety, panic attacks, anger management and sleep issues (he stopped snoring!) through brain state conditioning.

Here is Jim’s story, which he wanted us to share with you:

“As a client of the Brain Training Centers of Florida, it is with pleasure that I recommend their Brain State Conditioning program. The program has positively changed my life. My reactions to daily circumstances have completely changed since undergoing the program. Before I began the program, I struggled with panic attacks, stress, anger management, sleeping difficulties and hyperactivity all due to the pressures, challenges and obstacles that come about in both work and personal life. Since undergoing training, I feel a more peaceful state of being and am able to handle situations without stress or anger. Also, I am now able to sleep better by sleeping throughout the entire night. Tension has decreased and I now stay focused and calm throughout the day. Not only do I feel a difference in myself, but friends and family have noticed a difference in me as well.

I have had an overall wonderful experience with the program and I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Francis (Skip) Flynn and Geoff Cole for their assistance, knowledge, and service throughout my training. The program has certainly improved my way of life and I highly recommend it to anyone who faces similar obstacles.”

~ Jim Sarakinis, Florida

Posted in: Anxiety, Brain Training, Panic Attacks

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