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Petunia posted a topic in Symptoms and self-careIMPORTANT NOTE: She says to use tranquilizers for the first couple weeks, however SA generally does not recommend the use of other drugs or supplements (other than Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil). Dr Claire Weekes - Born: 11 April 1903, Died: 2 June 1990 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr Claire Weeks is well known internationally for her special understanding of the treatment of 'nervous illness'. Her method was so highly regarded that she was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1989. Weekes found that many of her patients suffered from various anxiety disorders. She was concerned by the severe long-term effect the disorders had on her patients' lives and by the failure of current psychiatric treatments. So she developed a program of treatment based on ideas from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She noted, for example that patients did not suffer from these problems because they had flawed personalities or traumatic childhoods. Rather, the problems were caused by the patient having a habit of fear-avoidance, made worse, or caused, by a very responsive "sensitized" nervous system. While her method will not cure antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, or any kind of withdrawal. Her techniques are very helpful to those of us with a nervous system which has been sensitized by withdrawal. She described in her books the three main pitfalls that lead to Nervous Illness. They are sensitization, bewilderment and fear. She explained that so much nervous illness is no more than severe sensitization kept alive by bewilderment and fear. Dr. Weekes analyzed fear as two separate fears; the first fear and the second fear. She explained that first fear is the fear that comes reflexively, almost automatically. The patient usually immediately recoils from it, and as he/she does, he/she adds a second fear to the first. Second fear is the fear the patient adds to the first fear. Examples of second fear are "Oh, my goodness! Here it is again! I can't stand it!. It is the second fear that is keeping the first fear alive, keeping the sufferer sensitized, keeping them nervously ill. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Weekes For us, our 'first fear' is caused by our erratically functioning nervous system, due to long term adaption to a drug, and the resulting chaos when that drug has been withdrawn too fast. There is no cure for this illness, apart from time. We recover from this over time. Where the Claire Weekes method is helpful for us is in addressing the potential 'second fear'. By learning how to accept our symptoms we can avoid creating added fear and stress, which ultimately adds to our suffering and prolongs recovery. There's something about her style of presentation which probably needs to be mentioned. Most of her work was done over 40 years ago and some people have a hard time dealing with her tone and attitude, which was probably customary in those days. I was put off by this when I first heard her a few years ago. Its difficult not to interpret what she says as the 'pull your socks up and get on with it attitude" Its all in that tone of voice and the language she uses. But when you really listen to what she is saying, she isn't saying that at all and I think a lot of people may miss the fundamental point of her message. The way I understand her now is that when it comes to the experience of anxiety symptoms, or any unexpected, unexplained symptoms, our natural reaction is to fight them, to try and get rid of them, to struggle with them or try and escape from them, spending vast amounts of energy trying to make them go away, trying to ignore them and keep pushing on with our lives, or we become obsessed with them and spend hours on the internet, trying to find answers. So our whole existence becomes a constant war between us and our symptoms. Of course we become more and more exhausted from fighting this battle all the time and this exhaustion causes more stress which in turn makes our symptoms worse and so we get sicker. Her message is acceptance of the symptoms, letting them be there and floating through what we need to do while the symptoms are allowed to be there for as long as they are. I think this works well for us in recovery from withdrawal because there are things we have to do, things which our symptoms make very difficult. By using her method, we can manage to do what we need to do, without causing further stress and exhaustion by adding 'symptom fighting' to our struggle. By not fighting with our symptoms, but letting them be there, we can retain some of our energy, lower stress and start recovering. She doesn't actually say anything about forcing ourselves to carry on with life just the way we always did. In fact in the book I've got, she advises people to take a break from their lives and go and spend some time in a peaceful place being taken care of, like some kind of rest home. Her books and recordings are available on Amazon and probably other places too. I have Hope and Help for Your Nerves There is some free material available on youtube. Here is a short one where she talks about her illness and background https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbUFsGypJ-k