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Neuroplasticity and limbic retraining

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btdt

Hello,I have been reading this thread with interest and also fear. I do think my situation has a large component of hyper vigilance and PTSD like symptoms that have developed. So much in fact that I can feel everyday events creating traumatic memories.The issue for me is exactly this. The withdrawal experience itself is the traumatic experience. It has been an absolute nightmare. I have developed so many horrific memories of the experiences I have had in then last few years. Every poor decision led to more pain which I have vivid memory of.It's now at the point where every single thing triggers intense fear. I have intense fear from the moment I wake to the moment I sleep. And even in the sleep. It doesn't relent. I can't start to believe that 'it's over' because it keeps happening every day. And I can't sort out whether the situation is the traumatic event and the feelings of terror are post traumatic, or if I'm still experiencing the equivalent of trauma every day. If so how does one begin to get past this?I am only on 5mg Prozac now and hoping I can just leave it alone for a long time and give my system a chance to stabilize before changing anything again. Even though it may be causing physical damage I can't get rid of it quickly again. So to say - the uncertainty about drugs and the situation and being trapped is all behind me - maybe that's a start. But the pain I experience every day seems to create and reinforce the trauma nonetheless.Any thoughts on how to break this cycle?

 

I have not been here talking about this so much but have an official dx of ptsd... had treatment that did nothing... including drugs.  What I do have to offer you is how I coped while in the state your in now.  

One thing that truly helped was to go thru this small program in my head when I needed it. 

 

Close your eyes sit still.  

Focus on feeling one part of your body... stay with it till you can really feel it.. be it your but on the chair feet on the floor. ect.. do this for three areas of the body. 

Focus on hearing three sounds be it your breathing  traffic... whatever is there.. do not move to the next item till you are solid in the each sound. 

Open your eyes focus on one thing anything clock chair picture keep working on it till you see it in sharp detail ...move to the next... do three items in total.  

The end. 

 

I found this would ground me and calm my system somewhat... bringing me into the reality of the situation here and now. 

There are things to bring comfort into you life... finding what comforts you and using these things to make a safe place.  For me it was a door that locked... a cd of the ocean with headphones.. source of heat on the spine.  

There is some research saying heat to the spine increases norepinephrine ... epsom salt baths melted me into if calm. 

 

Knowing you have safety and soothing ready at hand is reassuring.  Deep relaxation is the best state for healing the brain imho... if you can reach that state and spend enough time there the body will take advantage of it to heal itself. Decent food... not sugar and caffeine. 

There are plenty of deep relaxation videos on utube.  

 

When you find one you like use if over and over... for a time in withdrawal I could not stand music or any words in cds or videos.. as any word would become a problem repeating over and over in my brain and making things worse.  Now I am sure this is a withdrawal issue as it passed in time ... knowing what bothered me I switched to the cd of the ocean and instrumental music only  till I could get over that hump.  In time it changed.  

 

Your retraining your brain to get it into a state of some sort of relaxation... it may take some time to figure out which of these work for you and it may take doing them over and over for a long time till you body believes it.  Once it is established it is a go to place to build on.  Once you are better you will always have these things to fall back on if you should ever need them again.

 

Knowing you can calm yourself take control of the situation and ease your brain goes a long way in allowing you to mover forward.  You have the power.  

 

I found a book called " The Power of Now"  I had been reading tons of books on mindfulness -meditation- self calming - healing all types- before I came to the power of now but if I were to look for a staring place in mindfulness it would be this book.  

 

I think one of the keys is to focus on something intently... to exercise your focus so it becomes stronger.... just like distraction works to get you thru the withdrawal process... being able to focus on something intently ... anything... the subject does is unimportant,,,

 

I once focused on a seagull for an hour... I watched every little thing about that bird... every feather to see it in greatest detail... I look at it as if I had never seen one before and had no name for it... now think they are quite wonderful..:) 

 

When you can use your brain to do as you say it should it is too busy to be off acting up... but it takes time healing and practice to get there.  Don't be discouraged if all you can manage to start is to read this paragraph... and set up a safe place with some things that sooth you.  This is a process it takes time.  Depending where you are in withdrawal or waves do what you can do when you can do it... 

 

If you need extended time in the safe area so be it don't feel bad about it your healing.  

 

I wish you peace. 

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picchy

Hello everyone,

 

Thought I'd post in this thread since I'm familiar with the Gupta amygdala retraining programme and, independently of coming across this forum, am hoping it will help me overcome the withdrawal depression and anxiety.

 

I've done the programme for a couple of years for my ME/CFS and it has definitely helped. However, I wasn't doing the programme nearly as wholeheartedly as Gupta states - not until I came off the SSRI I'd been on for years and started getting the worst depressions of my life. I realised I had to do as much as I possibly could to recover!

 

I noticed at the start of my current wave of anxiety/depression I had very fearful thoughts. I feel maybe if I'd stopped those thoughts (using the NLP process in the Gupta programme) it may have stopped the wave from happening. I wonder if fear is a large factor in triggering waves - which is understandable, given how terrifying they are. Since the Gupta programme is about retraining the mind to feel positive and not stuck in a fear cycle, I am hoping it will help.

 

Any others have success with the programme?

Picchy

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WiggleIt

How does this principle work in terms of physical symptoms, such as involuntary jerking of limbs and inability to swallow?

 

I understand how victims of these medications an retrain their thinking, but need to know how people can retrain their physical bodies after these meds have destroyed the autonomic nervous system. Exercise is not an option for everybody in wd, so what tips exist for those people?

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WiggleIt

Glad this thread got bumped. I just picked up The Brain That Changes Itself and also You Are The Placebo.

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Marta

My hope is also that the "correct" medical research will always go on....maybe in few years we will know a lot of important things we completely ignore now!!!

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oskcajga

My hope is also that the "correct" medical research will always go on....maybe in few years we will know a lot of important things we completely ignore now!!!

 

I don't share your hope.   Principally because most medical research is, in one way or another, is often funded through industry - and therefore it's skewed towards profit more than many other scientific disciplines.  Medical research is notoriously biased, when compared to other scientific disciplines.  Take the work on antidepressants and antipsycotic medications, for example, literally 10s of thousands of articles, that are sponsored by pharma or their co-conspirators. 

 

I have much more hope in basic science research than in medical research.  So long as medicine remains one of the most profitable industries in the world, the literature will always be suspect in my opinion.  There's quite a bit of evidence to back up my claims too.  A good book to start would be "Pharmageddon" by David Healy.  This will put things into perspective.

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ikam

I have stopped trusting any research as well. If not the research we would not be here.

I hope my nervous system will heal and that my brain will rewire somehow, make new connections...

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stan

I agree with the two last posters,

 

I see two different neuroplasticity:

- you have a stroke : 95% of the body is healthy, 5% in head are destroyed, the body is strong enough to put 95% of his capability to help the deteriorate place

- you took 13 years antidepressants or another psychotic poison toxic, which deteriorate your sleep, bowels, blood, mood, sensitivities, fear system, hearing systems, musculo-squeletal systems etc After stopping meds(cold turkey or slow taper) you are since years in total chaos,  and here the neuroplasticity will have much difficulties to work, because each step is to work in places less or more deteriorate  who  function bad,

if neuroplasticity exist, after 6 years 4 months without any meds, i am still not functionnal, some improvements here and there is very little neuroplasticity, 

i know people who have ten years today and still waiting neuroplasticity to correct pills destroying places

Maybe if i had a stroke, after 6 years i would have a better quality of life than today

in my case neuroplasticity takes years, i will have to wait another 6 years(or die before)

Globally i could say i am better, but looking my life before paxil and after, today i am surviving, not living

of course, neuroplasticity function better for people who took kind psychotics only 2 or 3 years

 

so neuroplasticity exist, but for long termer from brain medicaments it seem not be very efficient

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stan

I have stopped trusting any research as well. If not the research we would not be here.

 

 

you make me laugh with this sentence

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ikam

Yes, humans were victims of the research...

 

I saw the victims in 1985...the start of SSRI in Poland...Poland was a cheap market for a big pharma...

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ikam

I still keep HOPE, I strongly believe in a possibility of my brain to re-wire itself, find new connections and heal...I think the windows are signs of healing...

I have been on meds since I was a child, many, many unnecessary antibiotics...

And I am still alive...

 

But I understand it better that lots of my physical pains and sensations relate to the nervous system damage...

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oskcajga

I agree with the two last posters,

 

I see two different neuroplasticity:

- you have a stroke : 95% of the body is healthy, 5% in head are destroyed, the body is strong enough to put 95% of his capability to help the deteriorate place

- you took 13 years antidepressants or another psychotic poison toxic, which deteriorate your sleep, bowels, blood, mood, sensitivities, fear system, hearing systems, musculo-squeletal systems etc After stopping meds(cold turkey or slow taper) you are since years in total chaos,  and here the neuroplasticity will have much difficulties to work, because each step is to work in places less or more deteriorate  who  function bad,

if neuroplasticity exist, after 6 years 4 months without any meds, i am still not functionnal, some improvements here and there is very little neuroplasticity, 

i know people who have ten years today and still waiting neuroplasticity to correct pills destroying places

Maybe if i had a stroke, after 6 years i would have a better quality of life than today

in my case neuroplasticity takes years, i will have to wait another 6 years(or die before)

Globally i could say i am better, but looking my life before paxil and after, today i am surviving, not living

of course, neuroplasticity function better for people who took kind psychotics only 2 or 3 years

 

so neuroplasticity exist, but for long termer from brain medicaments it seem not be very efficient

 

I'm so sorry :(  I often think back to the guy from a Beautiful Mind, John Nash, who underwent a litany of insulin shock therapies, and long term use of old school neuroleptics.  It took him many decades to fully recover, but eventually he was able to teach at Princeton university again.  There is hope, even if it takes a long time :(

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peggy

 

I agree with the two last posters,

 

I see two different neuroplasticity:

- you have a stroke : 95% of the body is healthy, 5% in head are destroyed, the body is strong enough to put 95% of his capability to help the deteriorate place

- you took 13 years antidepressants or another psychotic poison toxic, which deteriorate your sleep, bowels, blood, mood, sensitivities, fear system, hearing systems, musculo-squeletal systems etc After stopping meds(cold turkey or slow taper) you are since years in total chaos,  and here the neuroplasticity will have much difficulties to work, because each step is to work in places less or more deteriorate  who  function bad,

if neuroplasticity exist, after 6 years 4 months without any meds, i am still not functionnal, some improvements here and there is very little neuroplasticity, 

i know people who have ten years today and still waiting neuroplasticity to correct pills destroying places

Maybe if i had a stroke, after 6 years i would have a better quality of life than today

in my case neuroplasticity takes years, i will have to wait another 6 years(or die before)

Globally i could say i am better, but looking my life before paxil and after, today i am surviving, not living

of course, neuroplasticity function better for people who took kind psychotics only 2 or 3 years

 

so neuroplasticity exist, but for long termer from brain medicaments it seem not be very efficient

 

I'm so sorry :(  I often think back to the guy from a Beautiful Mind, John Nash, who underwent a litany of insulin shock therapies, and long term use of old school neuroleptics.  It took him many decades to fully recover, but eventually he was able to teach at Princeton university again.  There is hope, even if it takes a long time :(

 

OMG, what terrible barbaric treatment he (and many, many others got) I guess it is still the same but with less dramatic initial results.

 

I have hope - not in medical research per se; but in individuals who are curious - Dr's or scientists at large universities that may have a budget for research and a desire to investigate new paradigms.

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Altostrata

May this excellent topic be moved to the public forum Symptoms and Self-Care?

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ikam

Yes, of course.

I do BELIEVE that our nervous system can recover...

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Cressida

Yes, of course.

I do BELIEVE that our nervous system can recover...

and that belief will help your nervous system recover Ikam . Positivity is vital in any illness. Hard to achieve sometimes but a definite healing force . Get well soon

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Cressida

I agree with the two last posters,

 

I see two different neuroplasticity:

- you have a stroke : 95% of the body is healthy, 5% in head are destroyed, the body is strong enough to put 95% of his capability to help the deteriorate place

- you took 13 years antidepressants or another psychotic poison toxic, which deteriorate your sleep, bowels, blood, mood, sensitivities, fear system, hearing systems, musculo-squeletal systems etc After stopping meds(cold turkey or slow taper) you are since years in total chaos, and here the neuroplasticity will have much difficulties to work, because each step is to work in places less or more deteriorate who function bad,

if neuroplasticity exist, after 6 years 4 months without any meds, i am still not functionnal, some improvements here and there is very little neuroplasticity,

i know people who have ten years today and still waiting neuroplasticity to correct pills destroying places

Maybe if i had a stroke, after 6 years i would have a better quality of life than today

in my case neuroplasticity takes years, i will have to wait another 6 years(or die before)

Globally i could say i am better, but looking my life before paxil and after, today i am surviving, not living

of course, neuroplasticity function better for people who took kind psychotics only 2 or 3 years

 

so neuroplasticity exist, but for long termer from brain medicaments it seem not be very efficient

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Cressida

You can't just "wait" for neuro plasticity to take place. After a stroke if a patient just "waited" they would make little recovery. The patient recovers by trying to perform normal functions and this forges new pathways or restores old ones in the brain. If they don't strive the damaged pathways are more likely to become the default positions
Personally I don't think stroke is a good analogy because there there is structural damage what we have suffered is functional damage which holds greater chance of recovery. I know how difficult it is am off over 3 years and am still not right but its like recovering from anxiety you have to strive to change your brain and sometimes its hard to see any progress for a long time but I still think that all the sensible good food and stress reduction combined with striving to make your brain think normally and your body work properly is the best chance to repair the damage. Healing and health to you all

Edited by KarenB
changed word as requested by poster

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AprilShowers

This is a great thread. I think it helps a lot to understand how meditation works and what we're doing when we practice it. 

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Pokeshaw

Thanks Rhi, I am finding this stuff really interesting and useful. In some respects I had come to these conclusions myself in a layperson kind of a way. I thought my system was broken in terms of being stuck on and I had to find a way to fix it. Originally I was thinking in terms of my system having forgotten something eg how to relax, sleep but now I understand its more about the memories/markers/imprints it holds. I have been reading some trauma material and stuff on neuroplasticity. The key question I had was what kinds of exercises should I do to retrain my brain. I am starting to collect these and have ordered the Gupta DVDs so will let you know how I go. I have just finished a book by Babette Rothschild called 8 keys to safe trauma recovery. She talks about the body remembering in that. In regard to past trauma, she recommends writing an epilogue to update your consciousness to recognise that the trauma is in the past and you survived. Your epilogue is basically your life story since your trauma stopped. It can include major events - good and bad - age milestones etc, all of which indicate the passing of time and put distance between you - in the here and now - and your past trauma. She says this is important because 'often during trauma the ultra high levels of stress hormones-necessary for fight, flight or freeze- stop the hippocampus for functioning properly. When that happens, an accurate time frame of events does not get logged. Typical in trauma, without the hippocampus able to carry out its role, it may not register that the trauma actually ended'. She also says that if you cant sleep due to hypervigilance, trying to relax can trigger a response because your body views this as a risk. She says holding your body a little tight rather than trying to relax your body might help you sleep. I really like this book, it had some stuff that was counter intuitive but made sense if you thought about it. I am also reading a book by Ronald Ruden called When the past is always present: emotional traumatization causes and cures which looks at the use of sensory input (mainly tapping I think) to alter an emotionally traumatised brain. The other book I want to read is You are not your brain by Schwartz All of these have the theme of retraining the brain. Its nice to read the science behind the hunch I had about what was going on. I used to say to my Dr 'its like I have a switch stuck on' and 'the stress is coming from my body', 'I'm too alert to drop off to sleep'.

 

Hi Dalsaan,

 

came across this topic - very interesting. am thinking about ordering the Gupta program. Wondering how you did with it and if you have any thoughts to share?

I have done a lot of therapy over the yrs. both experiential and talk. This chronic state of 'hyper arousal' is not new to me since w/d but is certainly amplified. I know that meditation and relaxation exercises make me feel better but i dont do them often enough. Thinking perhaps the Gupta program might give me a bit of structure.

Would love to hear yr thoughts on it.

 

thanks!

 

Poke

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manymoretodays

Norman Doidge's video on the brain and neuroplasticity.  I think it may have been referred to earlier in this thread although the original video posted had gone missing.

 

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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Ibnabu

Here is ibnabu,

After reading about neuroplasticity from different sources, the term means the ability of the brain to make new neural connections and NOT the grow of new neurons. The brain does not grow new neurons. So the defenition being used in SA is wrong or at least not accurate. In addition ssri or benzo does not cause the receptor neurons to die but rather to lose their function. When some some stops the drug, these receptor neurons will be used again by the brain to make new connections because the old connections is not recognised any more by the brain. The problem with ct is that it causes chaos, too much chaos in the brain organization system. Therefore the person experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Those who were long on the drug (10 to 20 years) will heal in a much slower time frame because the number of receptor that lost their function is huge and the chaos done is so severe. So in this case the brain needs years to recognise itself.

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GiaK

Need to heal psych drug damage?  Wonderful info on neuroplasticity

 

Call it anything you like. This information is straight from life-force. It can help you heal your brain if you listen with receptivity. If you’re not used to using a Christian framework…breath while you listen and feel the energy of the words. This woman is tapped in. Listen.
 

Thank you Dr. Caroline Leaf for this critically important info for these times. this is the most inspired totally right on info I've come across and it profoundly validates the process I've been going through complete with the visuals I get during my own somatic process.
 

Note: If you have reactivity around Christianity (a lot of us do given it's often used in ways that are detrimental to us) then this talk might not be very accessible. I was able to listen through her belief system  and pick up the real science she's sharing and found it profoundly validating to that which I'm experiencing lately as I start to really get healthy. Remember if it doesn't work for you that's okay. Start wherever things are making sense to you.
 

(life-force is there for all of us, Christian and non-Christian...people impose their beliefs on something that is there for us all) 
 

Need to heal psych drug damage? Wonderful info on neuroplasticity. 

https://beyondmeds.com/2019/01/31/heal-brain-injury/

Edited by manymoretodays
moved to pre-existing topic on neuroplasticity, and added Gia's title to her post

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India

Thank you. I like the idea of life force. In the past, I have called it 'universe' or 'nature'.

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TedB

My daughter and her husband are friends with Dr. Leaf. Her and her family live here in Dallas and my son-in-law built a studio in her home for her and he videos her podcasts. They've becoming good friends and she's truly AMAZING!!! I'm going to get my daughter to make sure she's seen this site. Dr. Breggin is good friends of Dr. Leaf and I know they both feel like we all do about anti-depressants. 

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GiaK

I tried to make contact with her on twitter. She acknowledged my first tweet with the post info but ignored all my comments. I would love to connect with her really. 

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JackieDecides
On 2/1/2019 at 6:38 AM, GiaK said:

If you have reactivity around Christianity (a lot of us do given it's often used in ways that are detrimental to us)

 

I do have some problem with it, the type she talks about where you are "born again". so thank you for the warning @GiaK and I am slowly listening, made it through the first part. 

 

I guess she is talking about CBT - bringing your unconscious thoughts into your conscious mind. (with her specific type of  Christianity sort of ladled over the top, like gravy)

Edited by JackieDecides
add a thought

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JackieDecides

I googled "reviews of dr. leaf" or something like that and found debunkingdrleaf.com, written by Dr C. Edward Pitt  whose blog criticizes Dr. Leaf for hyperbole but then equates the people at Mad in America with the Taliban. hmm. 

 

thinking is hard, at least for me, so what I trying to do is keep in mind Dr. Leaf could be right about somethings and wrong about others. for example she keeps saying that "75 - 98% of illness come from our thought life" which sounds ridiculous to me.  what about all the children who die of diarrhea? or starvation?  in the third world it's not a small number! 

 

meanwhile, Dr. Pitt could also be wrong about some things and right about others, at least in theory. 

 

one of the things they really disagree on is does the brain create the mind or the mind create the brain and the answer to me is, duh, it's both. it's a spiral, both influencing each other and to say it only works one way is an oversimplification. 

 

I guess my point is, just because I know I was harmed by antidepressants and Dr. Leaf is against antidepressants doesn't mean I want to swallow what she says whole, without question. 

 

but, again, thinking is hard and I have not been doing the best job of it lately. seriously, I catch myself making the dumbest mistakes at work or just in life and I think, when will I be able to think again. I have to remind myself again and again at least I am better than I was six months ago, right? 

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GiaK

of course she's wrong about some stuff. We all are. The clearer we get the more we don't attach to ideas ... we can still use them for utilitarian purposes....and learn and grow. I started practicing non-belief many years ago now. 

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GonnaBeOk

I just recently ordered (and finished watching the DVDs) for Annie Hopper's neural retraining DNRS program. I'll be starting the program within the next day or so.  I'm 52, and essentially cold turkeyed a decent dose of Prozac after long term use. Hell ensued, and here I am.  The program is very "structured" in that she insists you practice for an hour per day at least, as well as implement other helpful strategies ALL DAY (as you catch yourself in the negative loop) in order to get out of rumination and negative thinking.  There's a very specific order (during the one hour training round) to how all this is done in order to allow for positive brain changes over time.  So, I'm going to give it a really good go. I assume I will be doing it for years.  I've got a lot going on besides withdrawal, but withdrawal is the worst of it all.  I'm choosing to believe this will help tremendously.  When one purchases the program, they are allowed access to the members forum, which is quite inspiring, and a great place for positive encouragement.  Many people have healed from all sorts of things (but of course drug withdrawal is it's own animal), and there are also a few people I've seen in the community who have experienced withdrawals and are trying to get their lives back. Their argument (when I've asked if it works for withdrawal) is that it is definitely a limbic system dysregulation disorder, so yes it is appropriate for that.  If anyone is interested in trying her program, she offers a money back guarantee after 6 months (I do believe it will take much longer than that. Let's be realistic, right? ). I've been implementing a few concepts here and there over the past few days, and it has definitely giving me hope and interestingly enough, I haven't had a crying jag for 3 days (although the horrible anxiety/depression is still always present. But I'm functioning on a better level already.).  Some helpful adjuncts that she recommends have also been presented in this forum, but the key to success over time is the actual DOING of the specific step-based, systematic one hour per day (EVERY DAY) program, in order to encourage consistent brain re-wiring over time. It takes (as she states) "boot-camp" commitment. I believe that our bodies are designed to heal.  So, I'm going for it.  If you are interested in more information you can google "DNRS Annie Hopper" (I have no affiliation with them). Btw,  some good suggestions, ideas, etc. for generating neuroplasticity have been mentioned here on SA. For me, the "program" idea resonated, as well as their support forum and the depth/intricasy of the specific structure and layout of the program (which I can't go into detail here). I'm unable to answer specific questions about the program, as I will be busy pouring my energies into healing, but please check it out if you're interested. 

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