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When Heather B. Armstrong agreed to an experimental therapy to treat her depression, she was already out of hope. She’d suffered for 18 months with a relentless bout of treatment-resistant depression that included ongoing suicidal ideation. Every day, just to function, she fought through waves of thoughts of “no longer wanting to be alive.”

The experimental therapy she agreed to participate in doesn’t sound real. For ten sessions over three weeks, three sessions a week, Armstrong was to arrive at a clinic to willingly let her brain come as close to death as possible while still breathing. In her words, she was going to undergo “ten rounds of dying.”

She tells her story in the new book, The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live, a memoir that recounts what led her to such an extreme, and her harrowing experience along the way.

The therapy involves an injection with a potent, short-acting anesthetic called Propofol to induce a near-brain-death coma for about 15 minutes. The objective is to alleviate symptoms of depression through something called “burst suppression” – quieting the brain’s electrical activity to a flatline and then bringing it back.

“Quieting is a polite way of saying ‘taking down to zero’,” Armstrong says in the book. Anesthesiologists refer to this induced coma as “the abyss.”

The treatment shares some similarities with Eltroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), in which electrical shocks are delivered to the brain while the patient is under anesthesia, triggering small seizures in hopes of resetting brain chemistry. But in this case no electrical shocks are used, just the anesthesia and a dose of the opioid fentanyl (yes, that one) to counteract severe headaches. (As it turns out, Armstrong was among the 4% or so of patients who hallucinate under influence of fentanyl, which added to what was already a surreal experience. “Heads and arms and torsos turned into jagged crayon cartoons…the room started melting,” she recounts from her first treatment.)

Before each treatment, Armstrong answered a series of questions aimed at assessing her level of depression covering her self-perception, feelings of suicidal ideation and other areas. Her answers to the questions, and how they changed over the course of the study, convey a significant part of an ultimately positive story.

Somehow Armstrong manages to tell it all with humor. As a well-known “mommy blogger” and author with a popular website, she’s a skilled communicator who connects with the reader even when retelling tough situations. It’s a welcomed lightness amidst a lot of darkness.

The researchers also contribute a fair amount to the book, providing insights as to how this form of therapy may one day be a viable option for many more people who have otherwise run out of options. Of the ten people participating in the first study (of which Armstrong was one), the researchers said that six experienced positive outcomes. For now, however, the therapy remains experimental and not yet ready for mainstream use.

“This study…could be the beginning of something new,” Dr. Brian J. Mickey from the University of Utah’s neuroscience program said in the book’s Afterword. “But the true benefits of Propofol for treatment-resistant depression remain unknown. Much work still needs to be done.”

Treatment-resistant depression affects an estimated 30% of depression sufferers. Without an effective means of managing the disorder, depression bouts can last a year or more, often with suicidal ideation. Too often, the ideation becomes action.

Armstrong’s book offers hope not just because she willingly participated in an extreme experimental therapy and it worked, but because her story of wrestling with intense depression is many peoples’ story. She’s written a worthwhile contribution to better understanding and confronting a disorder that’s affecting more people every year.

You can find David DiSalvo on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and at his website, daviddisalvo.org

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When Heather B. Armstrong accepted a speculative treatment to treat her anxiety, she was currently out of hope. She ‘d suffered for(**************************************** )months with an unrelenting bout of treatment-resistant anxiety that consisted of continuous self-destructive ideation. Every day, simply to work, she hammered out waves of ideas of “no longer wishing to live.”

The speculative treatment she accepted take part in does not sound genuine. For 10 sessions over 3 weeks, 3 sessions a week, Armstrong was to come to a center to voluntarily let her brain come as near to death as possible while still breathing. In her words, she was going to go through “10 rounds of passing away.”

She informs her story in the brand-new book, The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The Real Story of Perishing 10 Times to Live, a narrative that states what led her to such a severe, and her painful experience along the method.

The treatment includes an injection with a powerful, short-acting anesthetic called Propofol to cause a near-brain-death coma for about 15 minutes. The goal is to reduce signs of anxiety through something called “burst suppression”– silencing the brain’s electrical activity to a flatline and after that bringing it back.

” Quieting is a courteous method of stating ‘removing to absolutely no’,” Armstrong states in the book. Anesthesiologists describe this caused coma as “the void.”

The treatment shares some resemblances with Eltroconvulsive Treatment (ECT), in which electrical shocks are provided to the brain while the client is under anesthesia, activating little seizures in hopes of resetting brain chemistry. However in this case no electrical shocks are utilized, simply the anesthesia and a dosage of the opioid fentanyl (yes, that a person) to combat extreme headaches. (As it ends up, Armstrong was amongst the 4% approximately of clients who hallucinate under impact of fentanyl, which contributed to what was currently a surreal experience. “Heads and arms and upper bodies became rugged crayon animations … the space began melting,” she states from her very first treatment.)

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Prior to each treatment, Armstrong addressed a series of concerns targeted at examining her level of anxiety covering her self-perception, sensations of self-destructive ideation and other locations. Her responses to the concerns, and how they altered throughout the research study, communicate a substantial part of an eventually favorable story.

In some way Armstrong handles to inform everything with humor. As a widely known “mommy blog writer” and author with a popular site, she’s a proficient communicator who gets in touch with the reader even when retelling difficult scenarios. It’s an invited lightness in the middle of a great deal of darkness.

The scientists likewise contribute a reasonable total up to the book, supplying insights regarding how this kind of treatment might one day be a practical choice for much more individuals who have actually otherwise lacked choices. Of the 10 individuals taking part in the very first research study (of which Armstrong was one), the scientists stated that 6 skilled favorable results. In the meantime, nevertheless, the treatment stays speculative and not yet all set for traditional usage.

” This research study … might be the start of something brand-new,” Dr. Brian J. Mickey from the University of Utah’s neuroscience program stated in the book’s Afterword. “However the real advantages of Propofol for treatment-resistant anxiety stay unidentified. Much work still requires to be done.”

Treatment-resistant anxiety impacts an approximated 30% of anxiety patients. Without a reliable methods of handling the condition, anxiety bouts can last a year or more, frequently with self-destructive ideation. Frequently, the ideation ends up being action.

Armstrong’s book provides hope not even if she voluntarily took part in a severe speculative treatment and it worked, however due to the fact that her story of battling with extreme anxiety is many individuals’ story. She’s composed a rewarding contribution to much better understanding and facing a condition that’s impacting more individuals every year.

You can discover David DiSalvo on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and at his site, daviddisalvo.org

” readability =”94
287878787879″ >

When Heather B. Armstrong accepted a speculative treatment to treat her anxiety, she was currently out of hope. She ‘d suffered for 18 months with an unrelenting bout of treatment-resistant anxiety that consisted of continuous self-destructive ideation. Every day, simply to work, she hammered out waves of ideas of “no longer wishing to live.”

The speculative treatment she accepted take part in does not sound genuine. For 10 sessions over 3 weeks, 3 sessions a week, Armstrong was to come to a center to voluntarily let her brain come as near to death as possible while still breathing. In her words, she was going to go through “10 rounds of passing away.”

She informs her story in the brand-new book, The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The Real Story of Perishing 10 Times to Live , a narrative that states what led her to such a severe, and her painful experience along the method.

The treatment includes an injection with a powerful, short-acting anesthetic called Propofol to cause a near-brain-death coma for about 15 minutes. The goal is to reduce signs of anxiety through something called “burst suppression”– silencing the brain’s electrical activity to a flatline and after that bringing it back.

“Quieting is a courteous method of stating ‘removing to absolutely no’,” Armstrong states in the book. Anesthesiologists describe this caused coma as “the void.”

The treatment shares some resemblances with Eltroconvulsive Treatment (ECT) , in which electrical shocks are provided to the brain while the client is under anesthesia, activating little seizures in hopes of resetting brain chemistry. However in this case no electrical shocks are utilized, simply the anesthesia and a dosage of the opioid fentanyl (yes, that a person) to combat extreme headaches. (As it ends up, Armstrong was amongst the 4 % approximately of clients who hallucinate under impact of fentanyl, which contributed to what was currently a surreal experience. “Heads and arms and upper bodies became rugged crayon animations … the space began melting,” she states from her very first treatment.)

Prior to each treatment, Armstrong addressed a series of concerns targeted at examining her level of anxiety covering her self-perception, sensations of self-destructive ideation and other locations. Her responses to the concerns, and how they altered throughout the research study, communicate a substantial part of an eventually favorable story.

In some way Armstrong handles to inform everything with humor. As a widely known “mommy blog writer” and author with a popular site, she’s a proficient communicator who gets in touch with the reader even when retelling difficult scenarios. It’s an invited lightness in the middle of a great deal of darkness.

The scientists likewise contribute a reasonable total up to the book, supplying insights regarding how this kind of treatment might one day be a practical choice for much more individuals who have actually otherwise lacked choices. Of the 10 individuals taking part in the very first research study (of which Armstrong was one), the scientists stated that 6 skilled favorable results. In the meantime, nevertheless, the treatment stays speculative and not yet all set for traditional usage.

“This research study … might be the start of something brand-new,” Dr. Brian J. Mickey from the University of Utah’s neuroscience program stated in the book’s Afterword. “However the real advantages of Propofol for treatment-resistant anxiety stay unidentified. Much work still requires to be done.”

Treatment-resistant anxiety impacts an approximated 30 % of anxiety patients. Without a reliable methods of handling the condition, anxiety bouts can last a year or more, frequently with self-destructive ideation. Frequently, the ideation ends up being action.

Armstrong’s book provides hope not even if she voluntarily took part in a severe speculative treatment and it worked, however due to the fact that her story of battling with extreme anxiety is many individuals’ story. She’s composed a rewarding contribution to much better understanding and facing a condition that’s impacting more individuals every year.

You can discover David DiSalvo on Twitter , Facebook , Google Plus , and at his site, daviddisalvo.org

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