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Switch to Forum Live View OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Swine Flu
9 years ago  ::  Apr 27, 2009 - 9:59AM #1
Posts: 380

I wonder:

was there anyone out there that read the words "swine flu" in my title and had sudden onset of anxiety? Chest constriction, a white hot flash of fear?

That was me about 16 years ago. Except then, it was ebola.

My OCD kept me in a closed loop of thought: its the end of the world. In my mind, it was going to happen for real. I went non-functional for days. When I wasn't full of the "fight or flight" brain-chemical flush, then I was deeply depressed. This cycle lasted for weeks. Exhausting.

Quality of life went to hell-in-a-hand basket.

I had to do something, so I sought-out help.

Talking with a therapist help tremendously. But over time, we discovered that my irrational fears and reactions to emerging world situations wouldn't go away.

With great reluctance, I tried anti-depressants.

With a combination of thereapy and meds, I soon faced a true acid-test: 9/11.

The events of that day left the world stunned and shocked and saddened. I was all those things.... but not non-fuctional.

Bird-Flu, same. SARS, same... and now, swine flu.

My point? If you are experiencing extreme anxiety and depression over the swine flu situation, it may be worth talking about it. Perhaps, to a professional.

My operating philosophy about the swine flu situation? Concern and vigilance but NOT paranoia and anxiety.

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 27, 2009 - 9:20PM #2
Posts: 2,712
Hi Green –

I think your “operating philosophy” is on target and most wise …

I would also like to thank you for giving me the opportunity
to suggest that folks bone up on their nutritional states…
there have been nearly 100 deaths in Mexico City,
but so far none in the US –
consider the American nutritional situation
compared to that in Mexico City …

The bottom 40% of the population share only 11% of the wealth
and are considered to live below the Mexican poverty line.
Many families live in total poverty and children are compelled
to work on the streets in order to supplement the family income

The people are dying in Mexico City because their immune systems
are already so devastatingly compromised
due to the extreme poverty of their living situation...

My advice ...
If folks aren’t taking a good multi-vitamin already
(with plenty of vitamin C),
then I suggest finding and taking a good one.
I sincerely recommend (and myself use) Alive
because it contains not only vitamins,
but also minerals, herbs, mushrooms, greens,
fruits, vegetables, amino acids, enzymes, etc., etc. …
our family prefers the shake
(when the page opens, click on the "supplement facts" link),
which doesn't taste half-bad considering all that's in it.
But there's good news for those
who don't like to drink green liquid
in that the product does in capsules as well…
Click here for more detailed information
about capsules vs. shake -
and to get to the best prices on the web
for the Alive products…

Beliefnet host
writer, designer, intuitive healer
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9 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2009 - 11:06AM #3
Posts: 2,117

Thank you for posting this.  I seem to have always had the opposite reaction to things like this though.  I watch everyone freaking out and just kinda laugh.  We've been through so many of these in the past and no one learns a thing. 

Someone at work today asked me if I could order bottles of hand sanitizer for everyone in the company.  She was genuinely panicked about the Swine Flu thing.  I calmly explained that hand sanitizer does not protect against air-born pathogens.  THAT was stupid of me.  Now she's talking to HR about getting masks for everyone. 

* sigh *


"This too shall pass..... "

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2009 - 9:23AM #4
Posts: 170

Thank you for that!

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2009 - 11:19PM #5
Posts: 3,329

I answered a question on yahoo today from someone who was going to be going through 2 airports in states that have confirmed cases wondering if she should wear a mask. I told her to also carry purel but especially to wash her hands before eating anything.

I can't take flu shots even if they had one for this. I'm allergic to egg white and that's what flu shots are cultured in. The last time I had one I only had half a shot because my grandmother had begged me to after she had a bad reaction. She was right, too. I lost 10 pounds in 4 days..and that was back when I didn't have all the drug allergies I have now. It's much faster if I just tell a doctor what I'm NOT allergic to.

Despite that reaction and the results of allergy testing, the egg white allergy was at the top of my chart but I'd get asked every year if I wanted one. I finally went through what had happened before and explained that there was a part of me thinking, "Hmm--half shot, 10 pounds...full shot 20 pounds?" so there was some temptation in the more perverse areas of my mind. Then I told them I would do whatever they decided and asked how their insurance coverage was. I haven't been asked since.

As you said, the poverty and inadequate diet have made many Mexicans more susceptical to the swine flu or any other serious disease. Lack of sanitation isn't their fault but is also a factor.

My son has OCD so I understand about going in a spiral it's hard to break out of. I'm so glad you found someone to help you. I figure if I'm supposed to die I'll at least be out of pain.

We just found out TODAY that we have one more week before our dental and vision insurance ends. Dental has always disappeared 30 days after a lay-off...but at least you had 30 DAYS notice. My husband is a retired autoworker; we've paid taxes on our insurance coverage for the past 28 years in addition to paying a monthly premium. All I can think is that if they really want to put businesses back on their feet we need National Health care so employers can use that money for more workers and better wages. None of the guys at the top should need more money now!  I'd wonder how they can sleep after puting thousands of people out of work while they raked in bonus after bonus...but that's what booze and pills are for, right? I just pray that things can get turned around for all of us and the people who ripped everyone off continue to be exposed for what they've done.( All in all, I'm more interested in heavy fines and reparations than long prison sentences because I think losing money would hurt them  more.)

I'm anxious about losing our medical coverage too. I know that my pain management doctors just charge people  without insurance the amount they actually get from insurance companies after all the "usual, reasonable, and customary" price has been fixed by the insurance carriers. I'm just scared about what is going to happen to all of us if things don't improve--I don't expect quick fixes because there's just so much to fix.

You know how the saying goes about the rich being different? Of course they are! they have money.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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9 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2009 - 12:21AM #6
Posts: 84

While I was majoring in Business I minored in microbiology and did a stint as a science writer when I graduated. I've done a fair amount of reading on infectious diseases, but I am in no way a medical expert, so take what I write with a grain of salt please.

For starters, "Swine Flu" (more properly called A/H1N1) has been around since the 1950s. The real concern for the WHO isn't the disease vector, but the fact that we don't really understand what this strain does. It doesn't seem virulent. It doesn't seem to have a particularly high mortality rate unless the host is already in a weakened state. In fact, the mortality rate of "regular" influenza (35,000 per annum in the U.S., roughly) is higher than what we've seen in A/H1N1. Also, unless you're within sneezing/coughing distance of a carrier, the odds of you catching the virus are vanishingly small, even taking into account the fact that virus can survive for a while on a doorknob or other hard surfaces. Keep washing your hands. Don't touch your face unless you know your hands are clean. Given the current vectors and virulence demonstrated thus far, if you live in an affluent country it's far, FAR more likely you'll be killed in a car accident rather than H1N1.

You'll be fine. I hope that helps those of us who obsess about this sort of thing.

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2009 - 7:45AM #7
Posts: 2,117

Thank you Jimm.  I was watching one of those morning shows just a bit ago while getting ready, Good Morning America maybe?  Anyway, the big story was the "Imminent Pandemic!!"  Really?  REALLY?  For crying out loud.  I'm so sick of everyone freaking out over this.  AIDS, cancer, heart attacks... all kill far more poeple than a stupid flu ever will.  And yet no one seems to be freaking out over that.


* sigh *  I hate the news.  Sex doesn't sell anymore.  Fear does.

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2009 - 11:34AM #8
Posts: 2,712
Bohemiangirl writes: 
* sigh *  I hate the news.  Sex doesn't sell anymore.  Fear does.
History also plays into today's fear:
recall the 1918 flu pandemic in which millions of people died.

Further, the difficulty with this flu,
and what also feeds today's fear,
is that, while the media refers to this flu as "swine flu",
it is in fact a combination of swine, avian, and human flu -
something which we haven't seen before,
so there is no known vaccine or shot for it yet...

I absolutely agree that, no doubt,
the media is jumping on the panic button
in part to hock the wares of their advertisers ...
and with so many 24/7 media sources,
this competition amps the cycle of panic ...
for that reason personally I limit exposure to news resources,
because certainly today's situation is
in no way approaching intensity of 1918.

It is, however, prudent to err on the side of caution.
Bottom line:
--be wise,
--be aware of your surroundings and those in it,
--be cleanliness vigilant,
--be nutritionally sound,
--if you suspect that you or a family member has flu-like symptoms,
   -stay home from work or school
   -and see a doctor asap
     because the quicker treatment is begun,
     the more effective treatment will be.

Beliefnet host
writer, designer, intuitive healer
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9 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2009 - 11:54AM #9
Posts: 3,329

I especially agree with the staying home if you are sick and keeping your children home if they are. If this "pandemic" causes schools and businesses to actually allow people who are sick to stay home without getting hounded or fired it will have done us all an immense favor. Some people don't make the connection that the OTC medications that relieve their symptoms don't change how contagious they are! You might not be coughing and sneezing as much,  but since you are in an enclosed environment you will still be "sharing" with your co-workers/fellow students.


"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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9 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2009 - 12:36PM #10
Posts: 84

Apr 30, 2009 -- 7:45AM, Bohemiangrrl wrote:

Anyway, the big story was the "Imminent Pandemic!!"  Really?  REALLY?

Yeah, the problem here is the lack of science education amongst journalists, or at least the editors. The WHO does define Level 5 as "pandemic imminent" ... but functionally it means that at least one country outside of the source has evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus in question. Level 6 is "pandemic", but again, all that means is that there are at least two countries outside of the source showing community-level H-to-H transmission of the virus.

So technically, if Sierra Leone and Andorra suddenly showed signs of human-to-human vectors of H1N1, we're in a pandemic.

*Aside: The WHO level alert definitions above are from memory, so I may not have them totally correct. I think they're pretty close though.

By the way, those of you who are worried and because you're showing signs of the flu, keep in mind we're still in flu season, although we're admittedly on the outgoing cusp. Lots of people are picking up regular influenza still, far more than the "dreaded" H1N1. Also, regular (non H1N1) flu will have typical symptoms: aches, fever, chills, coughing, etc. H1N1 has telltales: the chills are'll be shaking uncontrollably. And the fever will be pushing 103 or 104 F. The "mild" cases of H1N1 are described as "the worst flu I've ever had." So unless you feel like you're dying, you probably don't have H1N1, and even if you do, the odds are heavily in your favour of pulling throught.

**Aside 2: If one of your little ones, or an elderly friend/family member contracts what might be H1N1, you need to get them to the ER right away. Phone ahead and let the hospital know you're bringing in someone with severe flu-like symptoms.

***Aside 3: Again, don't forget I'm not a doctor.

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