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Healthy Hypnosis
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Anxiety, Stress, P.T.S.D, Phobia's, Weight Loss
Anxiety, Stress, P.T.S.D, Phobia's, Weight Loss

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When clients write lovely feedback based on their experience, it reminds me why I invested in myself to become clincially trained, thank you: http://www.healthyhypnosis.com.au/hypnotherapy-testimonials/
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It was a privilege to be a special guest on "All About You".
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Voted in the top three hypnotherapy practices in the Illawarra for 2018!
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It’s Not Woo-woo, It’s Science: Hypnosis Helps

It used to be when anyone heard the word “hypnosis,” they pictured the swaying pocket watch and imagined the subject under the command of the hypnotist, maybe even clucking like a chicken. Today, hypnosis has become much more mainstream and has earned its rightful place as effective, efficient method for overcoming the everyday obstacles life offers.

What Happens During Hypnosis?
Clinical Hypnotherapists aren’t practicing some unknown kind of voodoo. In fact, while hypnotized, patients simply feel extremely relaxed, as if the stress is melting away. It’s in this relaxed condition that our state of consciousness shifts. The analytical, literal part of the brain is moved to the side, while the emotional and habit-based side of the brain’s awareness is heightened. This allows the foundational subconscious mind to emerge.

Why is this important? Our instincts and deeper programming exist in our subconscious mind. Tapping into this area allows us to affect deep change in behaviours and beliefs that result in changes in our day to day lives.


How Is Hypnosis Helpful?
Hypnotherapy has been proven successful with a variety of life’s challenges.

Weight loss – In these sessions, the client is empowered to maximize their enjoyment of healthier, better foods giving them a feeling of fullness after they eat an appropriate amount. Eating less causing steady, safe results and lessens cravings.
Quit smoking – Hypnotherapy sessions for smoking cessation reprogram the brain to understand the true nature of smoking. You’ll eliminate the links to the habit, re-establish yourself as a non-smoker and end your connection to tobacco as part of your life.
Stress relief – Hypnosis provides incredible stress relief. Sessions recondition the subconscious to recognize stress, develop an understanding of the true underlying issues and redirect the subconscious to a plan of attack. Patients leave feeling relaxed and empowered.
Study habits – Many students need a boost in confidence and a reduction in anxiety in order to perform at their best. Hypnosis can tap into the power of your brain, reduce test and quiz anxiety, create triggers to maximize relaxation in school, increase the capacity to recall information and improve your ability to focus in all areas of life.
Sleep improvement – Few things can affect our holistic lives more than lack of sleep. Hypnosis establishes proper sleep patterns, balances the subconscious and conscious minds during sleep, creates positive expectations and potentially reduces dependency on medications.
Pain control – Our bodies have natural healing properties that can be tapped into speeding and maximizing the healing process. For pain management, hypnosis helps release the natural healing properties within everyone, prepares the body to deal with medical procedures and eliminates or decreases chronic pain issues.
Bruxism – This is the act of grinding your teeth while sleeping. It can lead to sleep issues, TMJ, headaches and damage to the teeth all the way to the root. Hypnotherapy sessions allow you to address the issues causing the tension/teeth grinding and stop the behaviour.
These are the most common issues addressed by hypnosis, but don’t rule out its ability to help with additional challenges using a Clinical Hypnotherapist. A new beginning awaits, just call 1300 114 557 and ask for Michael
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Time to Get Serious About Hypnosis

Thanks to the antics of performers pulling audience tricks and turning the therapy into entertainment, it has caused an underlying fear in people of saying and doing humiliating things when in a hypnotic state.

Hypnosis is a genuine therapy and should be given the respect it deserves. However, when dealing with the public’s and Hollywood’s misconceptions (see the recent runaway film Get Out, a psychological thriller), many fear the practice and therapists have a lot of frustration to contend with. The fear in people behaving in ways they have no control over isn’t the case.
Films such as Get Out and Trance, as well as novelty performers, make a mockery and spectacle from a very respected science, and that’s important for people to understand. These contribute to the collective myth that hypnosis is something to be feared and avoided, when in actuality, it’s an immensely beneficial practice.

Two main types of therapeutic hypnosis exist: Suggestion Therapy and Patient Analysis. Both are merely guided relaxation techniques and are aids to psychotherapy. Suggestion Therapy uses the relaxed state in order to allow a patient to be more open to suggestions, like weight loss, pain control, or to kick a bad habit such as smoking or nail biting. Patient Analysis employs a relaxed state to delved deep into their subconscious and find the underlying psychological root cause of a disorder or symptom.

Practitioners should be formally qualified and registered with an industry body in order to administer hypnosis. As long as a therapist has been properly trained, there’s nothing at all to fear from hypnotherapy, only benefits to be gained. We promise no self-respecting professional will make you dance like a chicken or bark like a dog—or become an art thief. That being said, hypnosis should always be avoided by someone with psychotic or schizophrenic tendencies, such as hallucinations and delusions.
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Thank you to all my lovely clients for allowing my Clinical Hypnotherapy business to be voted in the "Top Three Hypnotherapy Businesses for the Wollongong area Healthy Hypnosis: https://threebestrated.com.au/hypnotherapy-in-wollongong-nsw

I am so proud of this achievement as it reinforces even more that I have chosen the right career in helping people. I love what I do! :) Thank you Thank you!
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Hypnosis Can Help You Get Rid of Your Work Stress or Pain, According to Neuroscience

How Hypnosis Can Help You Get Rid of Your Work Stress or Pain, According to Neuroscience

INC. MAGAZINE JUNE 21, 2017

Specially trained psychologists have been using hypnosis to facilitate behavioral change and good mental health for years. Even so, with comedy shows using “hypnosis” for a laugh, skepticism about the effectiveness of the technique still is wildly high. That all could change thanks to research that shows hypnosis is physiologically measurable.

Clinical hypnosis is increasing, and now experts know why it works

As Jackie Dives of The Globe and Mail reports, clinical trials have shown that hypnosis is a legitimate treatment option for a range of conditions, such as phobias, irritable bowel syndrome and pain. Major medical centers such as the Mayo Clinic now include it in their repertoire, as well. Experts also have a better understanding of exactly why hypnosis works–a 2016 Stanford University study that used fMRI imaging showed

Decreased activity in the brain’s salience network (specifically, within the dorsal anterior cingulate)
Greater connectivity between the brain’s executive control network (the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and insula
Reduced connections between the executive control network and the “default mode” network (includes the medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortex)
These areas of the brain are linked to stimuli processing, preparing for action, pain processing and self-reflection. Subsequently, hypnosis can affect how aware you are of what you’re doing or experiencing, as well as the amount of discomfort or distress you’re in. You can disassociate in a positive way that removes physical and mental hurdles.

Hypnosis for work

Given that science now has a picture of how hypnosis alters the brain, it’s worth keeping it in mind when psychological or physical trouble is keeping you from achieving your best at work. For example, hypnosis could make distracting back pain symptoms–which roughly half of all working Americans admit to having–more tolerable. You also could use hypnosis to address crippling performance anxiety before presentations, or to tackle social anxiety that keeps you from networking well. It could even help you perceive your cramped cubicle as more inviting and open. In all of these circumstances, you could see your productivity and creativity take a jump.

But keep in mind…

The idea that you lose your will during hypnosis is largely a myth, as the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis points out. You won’t reveal or do anything that, on some level, you don’t want to reveal or do. But because hypnosis allows for disassociation, it’s not something to play with. Only a professional should work with you, and you should have clear goals going into the process. You also should see it as a supplement to, not a replacement for, other medical, psychological or conflict management tools and resources.

Something else to consider is whether to disclose your desire for or use of hypnosis to your boss. You are not obligated to do so. But communicating to them about it might mean that they’re better able to see your situation and needs, which could result in policy or daily operational change. You might need to talk to HR representatives to make sure that your insurance covers some or all of the cost of the hypnosis session, too.

Lastly, think about organizational ethics. Despite the fact that hypnosis could be incredibly helpful to certain individuals, no one should pressure you to undergo it to keep your job or to help the team. Do it for yourself after weighing all the pros and cons, and if it doesn’t work, stay positive. Hypnosis is, after all, just one means toward an end.
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12 Ways That Hypnosis Can Help Change Your Life For the Better

This centuries-old technique can successfully treat numerous nagging issues. Could hypnotherapy be the solution for what ails you?

BY KIM FREDERICKS

It's a simple and safe intervention hypnosis
Coined by English physician James Braid, who studied the practice during the 19th century, hypnosis gets its name from Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. The practice uses guided relaxation and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness, sometimes referred to as a trance. (Check out the nine things you need to know about hypnotherapy.) "They lie on a sofa or sit in a comfortable chair and we talk to the subconscious mind and deliver a script that puts them in a state of relaxation," says Orlando, Florida-based hypnotist Richard Barker. "I distract them from normal things around them by having them stare. I use verbal confusion to get the critical mind to go under duress and then quit." When a person is in a hypnotic state, they are more open to discussion and are better able to respond to suggestions, this makes it possible to help them with certain conditions such as smoking, insomnia, overeating, or even the perception of pain. The critical faculty of the brain is turned off, explains Barker, and the subconscious mind is listening—that's where their habits lie. "I tell them what's going to happen and then it happens, but first I set up the mind to let it happen." Hypnosis is not regulated in the United States, so the best way to find a certified hypnotherapist is through the National Guild of Hypnotists, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the practice. While treatment varies based on each individual's condition, many conditions require just one session. A typical therapy session lasts about 90 minutes and can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,500. "Hollywood portrays hypnosis as spellbinding witchcraft, but its not," says Barker. If you have a bad back, you go to the chiropractor, if your teeth hurt, you go to the dentist, but where do you go if you want to increase the thought capacity of your mind?"


Stop smoking cigarette

If you want to find the best way to quit smoking, you'll navigate a long-list of over-the-counter and prescription nicotine-replacement medications as well as non-nicotine prescriptions to find the right fit. Quitting is vital, of course: Cigarettes are responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also states that among all current U.S. adult cigarette smokers, nearly seven out of every 10 (68 percent) reported that they wanted to quit. Herbal remedies, behavioral therapy, and acupuncture are other methods people choose to quit smoking, but for Jon Bryner, a bar owner in Melbourne, Florida (where smoking is still allowed in bars), hypnosis was the answer to kicking his two-pack-a-day habit. "When you go to a doctor, they give you a pill, but they can't give you anti-habit pills," says professional hypnotist Richard Barker. Barker worked with Bryner to change his thought process and take away the emotional connection to help change his habit into a positive one. "At first I thought, how will I drive, how will I have a beer and not smoke?" says Bryner, "But now I just think about how bad smoke smells."

No more overeating

Making healthier food choices and exercising are key components for weight loss, but in some cases, successful weight loss also requires getting rid of the emotional and unconscious factors that prevent us from losing weight. The use of hypnosis for weight loss requires a different approach than when used for other conditions—it usually takes several sessions rather than just one to determine the individual's personal triggers, explains Barker. "Before hypnosis is performed, I need to find out if they are all-day snackers or those who reach in the fridge between meals. Everyone is different, everyone has their own vice, and it takes a while to get that out." Barker's sessions start with embedded commands that help his clients control their eating habits. "After five or six bites, you close your eyes and tell yourself 'that's enough' or every time you eat a plate of food you close your eyes and say 'eat just half of what's there.'"

Sleep better sleep

Not getting enough sleep can impair decision-making and memory, and it can lead to chronic health problems such as heart disease, obesity, and depression. While there are a variety of remedies for insomnia including medication, meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy, getting enough sleep is not something you can talk yourself into doing. Sleep is primarily managed by the subconscious, explains Mount Vernon, Washington-based hypnotist Kelley Woods. "Trying to use conscious thoughts to fix this type of problem is like attempting to make a corporate change by going to the receptionist—you need access to the CEO." Worrying about sleep is also one of the main reasons that you can't fall asleep. "Fear of insomnia is what causes insomnia," says Barker. "When you remove the anxiety and fear of not getting a good night's sleep, you will get a good night's sleep." To treat his patients, Barker first asks them to visualize a scene when they slept through the night, and then he uses hypnosis to put them there. "I have the person imagine the great night of sleep that they had in the past and then I have them remove the label of 'I have insomnia,' and replace it with 'I sleep at least eight hours a night.'"

Cure dental phobia dentist

The high-pitched whir of the drill, the pinch of the needle, or simply embarrassment of having someone look inside your mouth are just a few of the reasons that people avoid going to the dentist. While the industry is striving to use new dental technology to make a trip to the dentist's office less stressful, dental anxiety affects about 10 to 20 percent of the world's population, according to the British Dental Health Foundation. "Fear has kept many of my clients out of the dentist chair for years," says Woods. "The fear can come from a negative experience at the dentist or hearing about someone who has had a negative experience. Whatever the case, it can be debilitating and once its programmed, the mind can run in default mode." To help her clients get over the anxiety of going to the dentist she uses neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which helps the brain "rewire" certain thought processes and get past loops of automatic thinking. "When they start to feel anxiety about going to the dentist, they can use NLP to interrupt the anxiety and re-wire the phobia on their own."

Ease chronic pain pain

Pain is a signal that is helpful to us, says Woods, but in the case of chronic pain, the nervous system may still be relaying the pain signal even after the body has healed. (There are several ways your mind can make pain worse.) "We can use hypnosis to turn it down." She recalls a patient with chronic back pain who couldn't sit still in the chair. "He described the pain as being a grizzly bear gnawing on his spine." When she asked him what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to "put it into hibernation." Woods worked with the client to help him imagine the bear crawling into a cave on a snowy day, curling up and going to sleep. "While hypnosis is not magic, it can feel like it sometimes," says Woods.

Manage bereavement

Whether it's dealing with a national tragedy or the loss of a loved one, the feeling of loss or bereavement can be debilitating, causing anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Letting yourself feel the loss through crying helps your body and mind, and organizations such as Mental Health America and the American Psychological Association offer help for those coping with loss—including talking about the death of your loved one, taking care of your health, reaching out to others who are dealing with the loss, accepting your feelings, and celebrating the life of the one you lost. Coping mechanisms for dealing with loss are personal, explains Barker. Hypnotherapy can help by providing positive suggestions to help cope with the symptoms of grieving and help with finding ways of dealing with loss as time passes. Barker helps people cope with loss by having them put a "timer" on their bereavement. "Normally, they let me know when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired of bereavement."

Relieve anxiety thinking

There are things only someone living with anxiety can understand, like how debilitating and desperate the condition can be. According to the American Psychiatric Association, anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders, affecting more than 25 million Americans. While anxiety is usually treated through medication or therapy or a combination of both, many people also turn to hypnosis. A hypnotist works to identify the root of stress or anxiety, whether it is situational, physical, or based on an issue from the past. The subconscious mind is what makes you feel anxious and drives bad habits, explains Barker. "When someone comes to see me about nail-biting, nail-biting isn't usually the problem, it's anxiety," says Barker. When a man came to see Barker about a speech impediment, he treated him for anxiety. "His problem was not speech related, his problem was in his mind," says Barker. During the session, Barker had the man regress back in time to when he was six years old. "He had climbed onto the roof of his house and his father yelled at him for being on the roof," says Barker. While the American Stuttering Society does not support the claim that stuttering is caused by an emotional event, Barker believes it was this incident—the anxiety of being yelled at by his father combined with the fear of being on the roof—that contributed to his speech impediment. "During the session, I kept the memory the same, but changed the reaction of his father from being angry to one where he held his arms open and loved him rather than yell at him. When he came out of hypnosis, his stammer was gone."

Stop tinnitus

Ringing, buzzing, hissing, whooshing, or whistling sounds that nobody but you can hear are signs of tinnitus, a condition that is experienced by 45 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association. While tinnitus can be temporary or ongoing, there is no cure for most types of the condition. Treatment options include hearing aids, behavioral therapy, sound therapy, and TMJ treatment. Hypnosis is also an option. "The mind causes tinnitus," says Barker. "It happens because the person is expecting it to happen and once you remove the thought of expecting it, the sound disappears."

Make chemotherapy more tolerable chemotherapy

One of the earliest documented uses of hypnosis with a cancer patient occurred in 1829, when M. le Docteur Chapelain used hypnosis to relieve the suffering of a patient with breast cancer. The doctor used hypnosis as an anesthetic during a mastectomy and during the operation, the patient was said to be "calm and evidenced good pain control." While today anesthesia is the preferred means for surgery, hypnosis still plays a role in the treatment of cancer and is often used to reduce stress and anxiety as well as minimize the side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting. "Primarily we help them deal with the symptoms and help them change how they are processing pain," says Woods, who often works with cancer patients. "We cannot give them false hope, but we can put them in a comfortable state and help them with healing." She says that often cancer patients are shuffled from doctor to doctor, making them feel as if they are just a number. "We make custom recordings for our clients to listen to during their chemotherapy treatment--it's a personal experience with a hypnotherapist that can go a long way."

Improve athletic performance

Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Mike Tyson are just a few well-known professional athletes that have turned to hypnosis to help with their athletic performance. Athletes have long used hypnosis to eliminate negative thoughts, de-stress and relax the mind and body, and help with focus and concentration so they can "be in the zone." This mental training can increase confidence, consistency, and ability, and it applies to all levels of athletes, including those recovering from injury and those just learning a sport. "Most athletes go to a hypnotist to improve their performance, but actually they are going to improve their mind," says Barker. "A hypnotist can change your thought process and turn your bad habits into positive ones." He uses golf as an example. "It takes a lot of mental endurance to be a successful golfer," says Barker. "You have to alter your perception and reality and you have to mentally play the game as well as physically—the critical mind is closed, but the subconscious mind is in a heightened state."

Quicker recovery from surgery

Woods uses hypnosis to help people post-surgery to shorten their recovery time and in some cases, wean themselves off pain killers prescribed by their doctor. "I had one person come to me post-surgery and tell me she didn't want to live because she had been cut off from her opioid prescription." Woods used hypnosis to interpret the pain signal in her brain. "Thoughts and emotions travel in pathways, and that's how habits are made," explains Woods. "At first it is just a pathway through the woods but over time that pathway eventually becomes a trench that you cannot get out of." Through hypnosis, Woods teaches the brain and nervous system to take a different pathway. "After three sessions, my patient to me that she wanted to live."

Ease IBS

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States. While the exact cause of IBS is not known, the impact from the disease can range from mild to debilitating. Stress, although not the cause of IBS, can worsen the symptoms of IBS. While treatments range from probiotics to following a diet that minimizes trigger foods—known as a low-FODMOP diet—to antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis has also been shown in studies to be an effective treatment for IBS. Hypnotherapy uses relaxation techniques followed by hypnotic suggestions to help patients learn to control their symptoms. The results of the studies showed that patients experienced improvement in their quality of life and in the common symptoms of abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.
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As a Clinical Hypnotehrapist I help people get off unnecessary medication. Call now for a chat: 1300 114 557.
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Ativan: What You Need to Know About Chris Cornell's Anxiety Pills
After wife of late Soundgarden frontman blamed anxiety medication for his suicide, questions remain as to the drug's side effects

Could Ativan have contributed to Chris Cornell's death?
Shawn Brackbill/Redux
By Annamarya Scaccia
May 22, 2017


On Thursday morning, news broke that Chris Cornell, the groundbreaking singer who helped shape grunge, died by suicide the night before in his Detroit hotel room. Cornell's unexpected death shocked family, friends and fans, some of whom watched the 52-year-old vocalist and guitarist perform with Soundgarden hours before he passed. A local medical examiner ruled the cause of death as suicide by hanging.

RELATED

Chris Cornell's Wife Issues Statement, Blames Medication for Suicide
"When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words," Vicky Cornell says. "He was different"
Cornell's wife, Vicky Cornell, released a statement on Friday morning remembering her late husband and father of three children, and also calling into question what may have led to his death. According to Vicky, Cornell may have taken more than his recommended dosage of Ativan, a medication used to ease symptoms of anxiety. During one of their last phone conversations, Cornell seemed "different" and was "slurring his words," according to her statement. He had told her he "may have taken an extra Ativan or two," which prompted her to call security to do a welfare check.

"What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details," Vicky said in the statement. "I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."

It could take days to learn the results of Cornell's full autopsy and toxicology reports, according to a spokesperson with the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. So the role that Ativan played in his death by suicide is not yet known – a point Cornell's family attorney, Kirk Pasich, acknowledges. Still, what exactly is Ativan's connection to suicide? Could the drug contribute to a person's death? We talked with medical experts find out more about the anti-anxiety medication. Here, what you need to know.

What is Ativan?
Ativan is the brand name for lorazepam, a type of benzodiazepine medication used foremost to treat severe anxiety and panic disorders in the short term. Benzodiazepines – or "benzos," as they're commonly called – are a broad class of highly-addictive sedatives that "have some effective medicinal uses," said Dr. Joseph Lee, medical director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Youth Continuum. (The experts interviewed by Rolling Stone spoke generally about Ativan, suicide and their alleged link. None of them have reported a connection to the Cornell family.) In addition to anxiety, Ativan and other benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Valium can be used to treat seizures and substance withdrawal symptoms, as well as help with sedation during medical procedures, Lee tells Rolling Stone.

Public health officials do not recommended the drug for people with addictive disease, depression, psychosis or lung or breathing problems.

How does Ativan affect your brain?
Benzodiazepines are depressants that slow down your nervous system to make you feel calm. They act on the brain's gamma aminobutyric acid – or GABA – receptors, one of the most common neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. According to The Ochsner Journal, GABA receptors reduce the excitability of neurons, which creates a meditative effective on the brain.

Ativan is a short-acting anti-anxiety medication, often prescribed in low doses for a few weeks at a time. When used correctly, the medication can "work very nicely" for someone dealing with severe anxiety or panic attacks, says Dr. Stuart Gitlow, executive director of the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addictive Disease and former president of the board of directors for the American Society of Addiction Medicine. For example, a person may take a low dose of Ativan if they're experiencing panic attacks before boarding a plane. But when misused, Ativan could cause harmful side effects similar to alcohol, he says.

Prolonged use or abuse of Ativan will cause a person to "build up too much tolerance" to the point where the drug no longer works, Gitlow tells Rolling Stone. They would have to take higher and higher doses in order to "achieve the original effect" as the brain pushes back against "this outside artificial influence," he says. "When the brain pushes back, what that essentially means is that after the drug wears off, you're more anxious, more irritable, more distressed, more uncomfortable than you were to begin with."

People who've taken an excessive amount of Ativan may exhibit unusual behaviors, shakiness, trouble speaking and slurred speech, among other symptoms, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Those side effects are made worse when the medication is combined with another substance, such as alcohol or barbiturates.

Ativan
Ativan is the brand name for lorazepam, a type of benzodiazepine medication used foremost to treat severe anxiety and panic disorders. Science History Images/Alamy
What is the correlation between Ativan and suicide?
Research has shown that benzodiazepines, like alcohol, can cause anterograde amnesia if a person takes an excessive amount of the drug. Anterograde amnesia – or what's otherwise known as "blackouts" – is the inability to create new memories, meaning that the brain doesn’t record events as they happen forward in time. In other words: You lose chunks of time.

Similar to alcoholic blackouts, people experiencing anterograde amnesia from consuming too many benzodiazepines can engage in disinhibited and dangerous behaviors. That can include driving while intoxicated, committing crimes and even attempting suicide, Lee says. "We've seen a lot of people who had no [prior] disruptive behaviors have really serious consequences from their benzodiazepine use," he tells Rolling Stone. "So it can be a serious problem." (Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., which manufactures Ativan, did not return Rolling Stone's request for comment.)

The experts who spoke with Rolling Stone noted that prolonged use or misuse of Ativan can exacerbate negative feelings in people with depression or a history of suicidal ideation (Cornell, a recovering addict, had been public about his issues with depression). Though rare, researchers have found a correlation between benzodiazepine misuse and increased suicide risk (a similar link has been with alcohol dependency). But it's highly unlikely that Ativan would be the sole cause of a completed suicide, as suicide has no single cause, says Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chair of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and former president of the American Psychiatric Association.

If someone were to die by suicide during an Ativan blackout, he continues, they may have been dealing with underlying mental health issues. "Ativan would be the least contributory factor," Lieberman tells Rolling Stone.

Though not always, people who've attempted or died by suicide often exhibit signs beforehand, says Dr. Joel Dvoskin, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the University of Arizona's Department of Psychiatry. They may tell you they have no reason to live or that they feel like a burden to others. They may seem depressed or angry. They may act reckless, abuse drugs, or say goodbye without reason.

Yet routinely, he adds, people take these signs as someone "being dramatic" or as a "cry for help." "A suicide threat is a cry for help, but that doesn't mean they're not going to kill themselves," Dvoskin tells Rolling Stone. "If somebody says something that implies suicide, take it seriously."

What to do if you're concerned about taking Ativan
Do not stop taking Ativan cold turkey. A sudden drop-off in daily use could have harmful consequences; not only could your anxiety worsen, you may also experience withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, convulsions, headaches, stomach pains and trouble sleeping, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

"Like alcohol, withdrawal from these drugs like Ativan can be dangerous, potentially deadly," Gitlow says. "So just stopping is not an option."

Instead, Gitlow tells Rolling Stone, people who want to stop taking Ativan would need to decrease their dose slowly and under the care of their doctor. When a person tapers off Ativan, your body will have time to adjust to life without the drug, minimizing withdrawal symptoms. But, he notes, you will feel worse during the process until about a month or two after you've ended use. "There is unfortunately no way around that," Gitlow said.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You do not have to go through this alone.
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The truth is slowly coming out. Third hand smoke is real and although this news is obvious to clinical hypnotherapists and something I learned several years ago. There is finally science to support it. Non-smokers you need to be even more aware. If your partner smokes and you have young children, this will give you the wakeup call needed to protect young lungs! Softly encourage and support your partner to seek help, call 1300 114 557.

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Thirdhand Smoke Is Real—And Risky to Your Health
Indoor cigarette smoke combines with air pollutants to form compounds that might cause cancer—and that can linger for decades.
By Susan Brink, for National Geographic
PUBLISHED MARCH 20, 2014
In addition to cancer, thirdhand smoke could be responsible for asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
PHOTOGRAPH BY BECKY HALE AND MARK THIESSEN
It took decades to prove that cigarette smoking causes cancer, heart disease, and early death. It took additional years to establish that secondhand smoke also kills.

Now scientists are worried about another cigarette-related phenomenon: thirdhand smoke. It's real, and it's ubiquitous. Without knowing it, indoor smokers have left a toxic legacy that continues years after their last butt was stubbed out.

Researchers now know that residual tobacco smoke, dubbed thirdhand smoke, combines with indoor pollutants such as ozone and nitrous acid to create new compounds. Thirdhand smoke mixes and settles with dust, drifts down to carpeting and furniture surfaces, and makes its way deep into the porous material in paneling and drywall. It lingers in the hair, skin, clothing, and fingernails of smokers—so a mother who doesn't smoke in front of her kids, smokes outside, then comes inside and holds the baby is exposing that child to thirdhand smoke. The new compounds are difficult to clean up, have a long life of their own, and many may be carcinogenic.

One of those compounds, a tobacco-specific nitrosamine known as NNA, damages DNA and could potentially cause cancer. "Thirdhand smoke is harmful to our genetic material," Bo Hang, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, said at a news conference this week at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, where the research was presented. "And the contamination becomes more toxic with time."

Twenty Years and Counting

No one knows, in this relatively new field of research, how long the compounds created by smoke and environmental pollutants last. "In homes where we know no smoker has lived for 20 years, we've still found evidence of these compounds in dust, in wallboard," says Neal Benowitz, chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco. Benowitz leads the California Consortium on Thirdhand Smoke, started in 2010.

Scientists do know that babies, toddlers, and children are most vulnerable to the toxic effects of tobacco smoke residue. They crawl on rugs, fall asleep on carpets, and teethe on furniture, all of which could be saturated with thirdhand smoke.

Researchers aren't just worried about the risk of cancer. Thirdhand smoke could be responsible for other health problems, including asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

Hotel workers who sweep, vacuum, change linens, and dust the rooms of smokers are exposed to higher doses of thirdhand smoke than are the guests who stay a few nights in smoking rooms. Science hasn't yet quantified the amount of exposure that poses a health risk, and hasn't determined with certainty what those health risks might be. But any bar, casino, rental car, or indoor space that welcomed smokers in the past could still have ample amounts of thirdhand smoke.

Those who move into houses or apartments formerly owned by smokers might be exposed as well. And thirdhand smoke is difficult to eliminate. "So far, we have not found an exposed environment where you cannot measure it any more," says Georg Matt, chair of the Department of Psychology at San Diego State University in California. "It's virtually impossible to remove this stuff unless you remove the flooring and drywall."

How to Get Rid of It

Experts have precious few suggestions for ridding an indoor environment of thirdhand smoke. "Do a pretty thorough cleaning up with detergent. Some people suggest repainting the room," says Hang. "The best approach is to replace the carpets, clean up the ventilation system. All this could help. But we are waiting for some kind of new-generation cleaner." Much more work needs to be done on the extent of the problem, the health risks, and effective ways to clean up the compounds.

"For now, we don't yet know how much is out there, or how much is going to hurt you," says Benowitz. "I think we should advise parents not to expose their children to thirdhand smoke, not to rent hotel rooms or cars used by smokers. If you can avoid it, avoid it."
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