seneca_s(6-7 Idaho)July 6, 2005

My husband has been freaking out, he thinks the house is going to burn down all the time. (We recently had a fire) Last night he couldn't go to sleep cause it was hazy outside. He realizes that this is completely absurd and anyway, some background info that may or may not be relevant... He's always been a worrier but it's never been such a problem that it got in the way of normal functioning. He has acid reflux that he's taking Prevacid for and has had multiple defeciencys that I think have to do with that. I've been trying to just get back to basics with a good multi instead of alot of fancy stress formulas which he seems to want. I don't know what to do next. He doesn't wanna take a lot of stuff several times a day and I don't think he'd do liquids but I could try that again I guess. He eats maybe twice a day tops. I just don't see where the nutrients are supposed to come from or be absorbed. Where to start... I know this is the herbalism forum but I'm not looking for strictly herbal recommendations. Any ideas are welcome.

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He may have a serious problem.... when it gets in the way of normal functioning, that might be called obsessive compulsive disorder... and if that is so, then he needs help before it gets worse.
There are no real "stress" formulas. He has to learn to control his own stress, if that is truly the problems... you can take multi vitamins that HELP supply the vitamins needed when lost by stress, but it doesn't help stress.
If he has OCD... he really needs to get that taken care of.
good luck!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 6:07PM
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Professional help is strongly advised in this situation. OCD and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are just two conditions which spring to mind, and both need ongoing professional intervention - ASAP.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 6:38PM
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Your hubby is lucky you are trying to be so helpful.

The above posters make a number of good points. In the meantime, have you installed at least one fire alarm? Two might be even better; they might help to set his mind at rest. They can be gotten more economically at a warehouse store such as Sam's(the one associated with Wal-Mart) or BJ's (same kind of thing); many of those places will allow nonmembers to shop in them for a slightly higher charge on a "trial" basis, and I have seen two fire alarms prepackaged together in such places at a good price.

It sounds like your hubby is either a naturally nervous type or has many worries. Possibly a soothing drink would help. Does he drink caffeine containing beverages, such as coffee, tea, or coke/other soda? If so, try giving him natural, unsweetened fruit juices without any artificial colors or other additives instead.

Additionally, there is a new (to me anyway) instant drink on the market made of dandelion root, barley, and a coffee substitute, chicory, which has no caffeine. It is good hot or cold, especially with whole milk. I have found that it is very soothing, and frequently will put me to sleep when I am trying to wath TV.

The sound of a fan, or one of the "naturesounds" sleep radio-type things they have on the market now might also be helpful. Radio Shack, department stores, and drugstores sometimes carry them, esp. around Christmastime; they will be harder to find right now but may be on sale. If you have a repetitive CD player, there are also CD's made for the same purpose; some of them are usually on sale at local record shops.

Let us know if anything we suggested is helpful; if we know what seems to work we may be able to think of other things as well.

For example, aromatherapy and Bach's flower essences are helpful to some. If you live near one of the "New Age" bookstores, you might pop in to see if they have any books or other things that might be helpful in his quest for peace. Most of them sell very soothing music.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 2:02AM
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yet again heathen1 and daisyduckworth have beaten me to it but i must say it sounds like it could be OCD related.

i have a friend who had OCD when younger. when she was little and first heard about germs she got paranoid about them and became obsessive compulsive about washing her hands after touching anything.

while not exactly the same htere are some similarities.

how old is your husband? if he is about 50+ then it sounds vauguely similar to picks disease. i hapen to live in a house with someone with picks, its a detrimental brain disorder that usualy starts about your 50s. some of the symptoms are not making conections well and getting obsessed about particular things. my grandpa gos through phases when he's obsessed about having the door locked etc. because he lost his keys.

not entirely the same as with picks you can't see it in yourself. though you may accept it when told by others and find it sounding odd.

as heathen1 and daisyduckworth sed i think he should see someone for a proper well informed and profesional opinion as i don't know about anyone else here but i know i'm not a psycologist.

and have you tried chamomile tea or anything similar such as catnip etc. just to calm him down slightly and possibly help him sleep better.

warm milk before bed even might be worth a try.

keep us posted and good luck

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 9:02AM
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Valerian root is very calming too.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 11:48AM
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seneca_s(6-7 Idaho)

Ok, he's 27 and yeah, naturally nervous but never this extent. We both have free counseling through our work and I've brought it up as have some of our friends, maybe if he gets desperate enough he will go but he's not liking it. They have someone on staff where he works and doesn't think it's very anonymous, not that everyone he works with doesn't know and they're fine with him taking time off although he hasn't taken any. He's better when he's not home. I've suggested smoke alarms and will get some even though he doesn't think that'll do it, it's a sound idea anyway. I myself have a tendency to be low in B vitamins and have gotten really fearful over stupid things which cleared up when I started taking care of myself. I just got my dog through 4th of July with aromatherapy and Bachs Rescue Remedy along with some valerian doggy treats and threatened to put him on the same program. He's resistant to be on the "dogs treatment" but I have the stuff going in the diffuser and talked him into taking the Bachs once. A new fire extinguisher might be something else to by since we just used ours. He does drink soda, he takes an herbal sleep aid most nights. I just don't understand because he thinks it's this house. First he said he wanted to get an electrician in here and rewire everything, I said fine, but now he thinks we gotta rebuild or move or something. To my thinking we would then have a nice new place to burn down instead of this junk pile. (It's not a junk pile, I love it, but not much value to it.) Incidentally, our fire was human error, not bad wiring or anything like that, it was him not making sure the charcoal grill was completely out.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:15PM
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Okay Seneca, I'd definately check him for OCD... He's having some serious problems there that, well, I am not a Psych doc, but he's starting to kind of sound like a friend of mine with Schizophrenia... so I'd definately push for the OCD testing... usually men manifest Schizophrenia in their teens, so I don't think it is that, but still... he's a little beyond just simple paranoia. If he is diagnosed, there are medications that will make him feel more at ease... so if he's resistant, tell him that people end up feeling much better for all of that.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:34PM
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If you are both by any chance vegetarians, have him see a nutritionist at once, esp. if you take folic acid without the rest of the B vitamins (it can mask serious B vitamin deficiencies; some people need to take B12 by injection). is a website that has a number of self-tests that might be helpful to him in deciding if he should pursue professional help. There are also hotlines such as CONTACT that he could call to think it through.

If confidentiality is his main concern, it might be worth it for him to pay to go somewhere private, at least for a few sessions. If finances are a major consideration, some private counseling agencies offer a sliding fee scale. The local MH agency for your county would be able to tell you which ones. They can be very helpful, as they are extremely interested in helping everyone to keep paying their taxes!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 1:50AM
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Herbalynn(Oregon, 7-8)

I'm going to have to jump in here, having some personal experience that may be helpful.
I had a house fire in 1991. For the first few years after, any time the fire departments siren went off, I'd jump up, go outside and check all around my house, barn, roof vents, etc. just to mkae sure there was no smoke.
Made for terrible nights of sleeping. Anytime a neighbor would have a barbeque or burn pile, my nose would pick-up the scent in a heartbeat, and lead me outside until I could pinpoint the source.
Am I compulsive or obsessive? Not really. Was it post tramatic stress? Who knows... it was a very stressful and traumatic experience though.
I cringe when i see an untrained person trying to put a label on anything. Too many labels are given to people, from a short list of symptoms that can only be labeled as "life".
Life happened to me, and I was able to work thru my stuff without a psychiatrist or any others help. I took calming herbs when I couldn't sleep ie: Skullcap, Chamomile, Hops teas and/or tinctures. I used Lavendar oil for aromatheraphy, helped me relax, and masked the smells of barbeques. Learned relaxation techniques thru self help books and tapes. A dream pillow filled with dried Hops, Patchouli, Lavendar and Mugwort helped me dream and not obscess over my roof.
I also got new fire alarms (the kind that detect both heat and smoke), fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors. It helped ease my anxiety.
Am I saying he has no medical probelm? No, I am untrained in mental health issues, and refuse to diagnose anything I read about on the internet or over hear in the coffee shop. Am I willing to say he has a problem and needs help? No, that is up to him to decide upon, if the pain gets to great, he may seek counsel for himself.
I just wanted to offer my experience, and wish him the best. Anything like this will be a slow healing process, but I wanted to attest to the fact that it does get better.
Peace to all, Lynn

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 12:41PM
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seneca_s(6-7 Idaho)

Thanks Lynn, he seems better today. He's almost got me convinced actually. We have a 100 year old house thats sitting on cedar stumps and there's some rot. He's not just worried about fire, its the floor, and the roof, and the wiring. How much money to put into fixing it. We knew when we bought it we'd have to rebuild someday. I just need to know that this will solve his problem and we don't go in debt for nothing. We don't have any debt right now and it feels good. I'm not ready to go back so soon, but if we have to build anyway I guess it would be better to get it over with. Stressing me out now! We've been negelecting our spiritual lives too, so thats something we need to get back to and maybe that will help him. Attack the problem from all angles: )

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 9:01PM
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Xanax was made for anxiety. It's a miracle drug. It got me through cancer 4 years ago, and now I use it only when I'm too worried to sleep.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 10:21PM
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hmmm, this herbal sleep remedy, could you tell us whats in it.

is it shop bought or homemeade, either way you should be able to find out the herbs in it (in england at least you have to put the herbs in the ingredients of products such as this and as far as i know with the sue-culture that has unfortunatly develpoed in americal society people tend to be over autious about labeling things).

just wondering as paranoia is linked to cannabis use, not saying ur husband is a stoner, though i don't know, but if hops are in the medication they have so many similarities with cannabis (see my rambling postis in my hops thread)
and that could possibly cause paranoia if taken on a daily basis. aside from anything different people are affected by herbs differently.

being 16 i know many people who have used weed, i know some wha have been paranoid and others completely unafected.

just coming up with ideas. glad he seemd to be geting better though. just be careful, some people, more often men (as far as i know) can be adept at masking feelings to others, even people very close to them.

walling off your feelings/hiding/burying them is not healthy and puts a lot of stress on a person, and builds up preasure that can be released by something, causing unusaly behaviour (trust me on this one, i bottle anger, not healthy as it tends to be unleashed every now and then in big bursts)

if he still doesn't clear up for a while you might wan't to make/persuede him to see a phychiatrist, after all better safe than sorry.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 9:55PM
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seneca_s(6-7 Idaho)

Yup, got hops. 150 Mg. I had no idea. Update for anyone still interested. This all came to a head a week ago and we went to the emergencgy room at 4am. Diagnosed with Post tramtic stress disorder and put on Lorazepam. Since then he has been very motivated to get better and is drinking lots of catnip tea during episodes, which he thinks works really well, he takes a multi vitamin, plus minerals, GABA, Rhodiola, lots of Vit C, skullcap, "Calms" (homeopathic) and is on Bach Flower essences of White Chestnut, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem. Does not like to be home alone, I've been off work except when they absolutely need me and when I was gone he freaked and went to the clinic and they gave him Zoloft which I talked him out of going on. We also when to a Naturopath doctor who was kinda stumped and gave us the mineral supplement. I appreciate that he was looking past the obvious sedation, but wasn't too much help. He went to counseling too. Anyway, in the past week it's been tough, he started out not eating or sleeping, lost 10 lbs, and things have started turning around. He eats good now, better than before, sleeps most of the night if not all, and the anxiety doesn't last as long as it used to. If we can't get a handle on it with some tea and Calms then he takes a Lorazepam, so hes not on that all the time. He seems good today, I had to get up with him last night, I'm starting to get tired and stressed out. Yesterday was his first day back at work. They told him not to come back until the therapist said he could. Shoot, I'll have to check out that hops thread, this has been a really good sleep aid, haven't found anything as good, hate to have to get something else.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 9:52PM
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of course he has post traumatic stress, that fire was scary and it was kinda his fault for leaving the grill on. I had that once it was terrible! he has to work through it. he will deep breathing, walking, hops valerian is good too. rescue remed, another back flower remedy is very helpful. but it takes a little time. I was fainitng for three months after my ex husband ran my 14 month old daughter in the driveway. even after the fainting stopped it was touch and go for at least a year later. but it gets less and less. keep up the herbs and bach flower remedies also the vitamins and minerals. drink a lot of water. good luck

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 12:16AM
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um, calms also contian hops. i have afriend who was using them a lot and there were some unpleasant side effects. she was taking a lot but none the less.

she cgot asked by some chiilderen on the buss if she was on drugs cos she realy did look quite wierd.

just a warning. hops are good in moderation, but like all things too much is too much. i like hops myself and grow them, lovely plants and useful.

maybe instead of hop containing medications a hop pillow might be a gentler way. provided he likes the smell of hops.

hops can also worsen depression. i read that yous should not take hops if suffering form depression. i will make thigs worse.

zoloft eh? i just saw an add for that in this forum :o

i diddn't like the look of it, course that was just a baseless sap judjement but theres no quick fix for depression, i have lots of depressed friends and suffer from depression sometimes. not fun. sorry to say ur just gonna have to work through this. but its nice to know that ur trying hard to help ur husband.

good luck

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 6:55PM
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"when I was gone he freaked and went to the clinic and they gave him Zoloft which I talked him out of going on" ... "If we can't get a handle on it with some tea and Calms then he takes a Lorazepam, so hes not on that all the time. "

Unfortunately, both of these drugs need to be taken consistently for a while until the brain's alarm systems calm down. Every time he panics, his brain reinforces the reaction, slowing the recovery.

PTSD: been there, done that. :(

One thing that does help PTSD is to talk about the incident or incidents that started it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 8:09PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Yikes, why did you talk him out of Zoloft?? It sounds like he has a definite mental health issue and should be using what the doctors prescribe instead of experimenting with herbals.

My husband also suffers anxiety attacks (genetic, not stress related); a few months on one of the seratonin reuptake inhibitors (Zoloft is in that class of drugs) settles him for several years. He needs to stay on the Zoloft for about 4 weeks to get blood levels stable and then should see a real improvement.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 11:16PM
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after reading the 2 previous posts i take back what i say.

it sound like not having him on it all the time is like not finishing a course of antibiotics i.e. won't work properly.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 9:41AM
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seneca_s(6-7 Idaho)

No, Lorazepam is only to be taken during crisis. It is habit forming and you build a tolerance to it. Right, Zoloft would have to be taken regularly for enough time to work right. I don't se the "slowing the recovery" part. Everytime he panics its for a shorter time period and further in between.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 3:53PM
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hmmm... sorry, i must admit that perscription medicines for depression aren't oddly enough my area of specialty so i'll just sit down and shut up befor i confuse myself and possibly others more

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 7:25PM
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I have found, and this may just be my opinion... you go to the doctor and he/she prescribes something, you should either take it as prescribed or tell the doctor you wish not to, because future descisions will be made, thinking you have taken that med... or like Shortarse, may not be effective. I have found the most effective thing to do is to discuss with the doc alternative therapies in conjunction with the western meds... sort of working WITH the doc, not at cross purposes. Seems to work with me, and then it is called "complimentary therapy". If you don't plan on taking the advice of the doc, maybe not using a doctor would be better.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 9:11PM
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seneca_s(6-7 Idaho)

Yeah, good point. He has another appointment coming up. We didn't rule out Zoloft at the time. He just made so much progress so fast when he actually did go on all the alternative stuff that we thought wait a couple days and see how this goes. My problem with Zoloft is that its so long term and everybody I know thats used it has not liked it. The side effects are scary and you can't just go off it if you don't like it. The doc said to use Kava too, which made me lose my shred of confidence because you don't take that with antidepressants. I asked him if he thought he needed to go on it and he said he really doesn't want to so I guess as long as he's patient enough to see how it goes, I'm going to keep researching. He keeps saying "lets give it a couple more days."

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 11:31PM
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Zoloft is highly Addictive, try the natural stuff first

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 1:35PM
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The diazepam and friends group are habit-forming .... but it takes a fairly long time at fairly high doses.

One effective way of using diazepams is at low doses, taken frequently, for a few weeks. It's a low-level calming affect that gives the patient time to talk through the problem.

Zoloft is NOT addictive, in the medical sense. However, it's not a drug that you can just quit ... you have to ramp down the dosage over a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 1:09PM
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I was going through some very stressful times and was nervous alot.What really helped me was forcing myself to not be so fearful and I also drank some Kava Kava tea which calmed me down when I was just too excited.I only drank it whenever I just really needed to relax and it really helped.It was a very mild relaxing feeling but I was clear headed.I used to buy it at the local gas station in a 12 oz bottle and one bottle would last me for a couple days but due to a health scare it was removed from the shelf.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 12:44AM
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Be very very careful about prescription meds/ psychoactive stuff. Do plenty of research on possible side effects etc 1st. Don't just blindly trust doctors - they kill over 300,000 people a year and don't let anyone talk you into getting started on these dangerous medications - weaning off them can be problematic too so it seems you might be better off not starting them in the first place.
Read "Toxic Psychiatry" by Dr. Peter Breggin

Work on blocked emotions. The hardware is not the problem - it is the software that is the problem. Take the seed of thought planted in the fertile soil of feelings and emotions grows. He needs to deal with his thoughts and emotions. It is harder to get rid of a tree. Why be so quick to pop a pill when maybe he just needs to be able to talk out his feelings and fears and realign his perceptions? Learn to forgive himself and forget the past in order to face the future without fear. Trust yourself to learn from mistakes to avoid repeating them without obsessing over it and accepting reassurance that you are still loved - you are OK. YOu mentioned needing to get back on track spiritually. Being able to trust God for forgiveness, protection, casting all cares and fears knowing you are loved and cared for and watched over is all very healing.
Isaiah 26:3 says the mind that meditates on God[who is Love] will know perfect peace. Replacing fear with gratitude and faith is more powerful than any medicine with no negative side affects.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 1:42PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Medical errors account for something like 75,000 deaths annually. Not nearly as many as lack of access to medical care. Typically they are things like prescribing too high a dose, or hospital acquired infection from an unnecessary catheter or a doctor who doesn't wash their hands, pharmacists filling the wrong prescription also account for many of them. Mistakes kill people, in any profession.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 2:45PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Try 100,000 a year and lack of access lays right on the sholders of the American Health Care System and is counted against them. Other countries even some 3rd world countries manage to give all of their people health care. WHY CAN'T THE US? Maybe because of greed. Why are you in the health care field bren? Please don't say "i care,"

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 2:50AM
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