Time Out

It turns out that I've been very sick, my Lithium levels at toxic highs and damaging to kidneys, as a result of medication mixtures of Ibuprophen and dehydration. I've taken some time off from work and my boss and work place have been extremely supportive. I'm hoping to go back to work the end of next week. I want to try to keep working. I'm afraid of not working. I don't know what I would do with myself. I'm still having the Lithium cognitive problems of trouble writing, word-finding, tremors, typing, forming letters and talking. I've been through this before with Lithium managing to get by at work in spite of it. It takes a lot of hydration. I'm hoping that gets better this week, but for now I'm going to stop writing and focus on resting.

Stop Obsessing

The simplest, most direct book by Edna Foa and Reid Wilson puts total emphasis on a self-help program that takes enormous motivation to comply with. Methods suggested include cognitive-behavioral self-talk regarding irrationality of obsessions, altering images that provoke distress, tackling feared consequences of not ritualizing by accepting that obsessions are irrational, and allow oneself worry time twice a day and accept that it is ok to worry during that time. This book also suggests creating a loop tape of a "worry story" that is one's worst fear coming true, and playing it over and over until it becomes hard to pay attention and take it seriously. It offers a nice balance of differing methods useful for checkers, washers, counters, repeaterers, orderers.

Don't Panic

Don't Panic by Reid Wilson is the best book for people who suffer from panic attacks. In addition to a cognitive-behavioral approach, it addresses changing the biological aspects of a panic attack. Apparently, the attacks are a physiological response to chronic hyperventilation, shallow, rapid breathing that leads to the fight or flight response. The author of this book, Reid Wilson instructs the reader in how to change to deep diaphragmatic breathing, slowly and steadily, so that oxygen-carbon dioxide exchanges are altered and corrected. The one and only chapter on breathing is the single most powerful intervention I've found for this disorder.