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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Just Learned my Relative has Been on Anti-depressants for 15-20 Years

Ms. Curtiss,

I recently became close to my one of my relatives, and found out that she has been on antidepressants for some 15-20 years.  I feel taken aback, and slightly betrayed (is that the right word) like I haven't grown to know the real her, rather the medicated her.

I know you have these two great books and was wondering what is a tactful way of incorporating your thinking into our lives?  I don't want to appear insensitive or judgmental, but there are people who are changing their lives and becoming medication-free because of your books.  Are there implications with coming off of these types of meds after these years?

Thank you.


Dear TT

In a way, there is no necessity to be tactful about suggesting that people use my methods. You can use them whether you are on anti-depressants or not. There is no downside risk to learning how to think on purpose rather than just letting your thinking wander into back and forth into depression or anxiety. My books teach you how your brain works, how depression, anxiety and stress can be alleviated by cognitive techniques such as brainswitching out of the subcortex (the part of the brain where depression and emotional pain is produced) to the neocortex (which is the part of the brain that never contains depression.)  

Cognitive behavior techniques such as thought-jamming are very helpful even if you are on anti-depressants. You will be learning coping mechanisms that make you less vulnerable to depressive episodes and will be relying less on anti-depressants to feel better. But it's not a case of either/or. The more tools you have in your pro-active kit bag, the better.

I don't know the effects of each drug but if you want to come off your medication you should do it under the care of a medial doctor. All these drugs have a chemical effect on the brain which may dump you into anxiety or depression if you quit cold turkey. . Many people do just stop taking them without undue distress. However better to be safe than sorry. A. B. Curtiss

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