Online Counseling & Mindfulness Therapy For Anxiety & Depression

Online Psychotherapy, e-counseling and internet-therapy are becoming very popular. It is convenient, affordable and proven effective. The focus is on giving you the tools to better manage your depression, anxiety, stress and other difficult emotions.

Mindfulness Therapy is one of the most promising approaches for helping you learn how to work on making changes at the core level; quite different that just talking about your problems, which is not very efficient for resolving persistent emotional reactions. If you feel stuck, Mindfulness Therapy helps you get unstuck; if you feel overly worried and anxious, Mindfulness Therapy helps you find inner balance; if you feel over-stressed, Mindfulness Therapy helps you neutralize your habitual stress reactions; if you suffer from depression, Mindfulness Therapy helps you neutralize the negative self-talk and thinking. Above all, Mindfulness Therapy produces an inner healing space, the space of mindful awareness that allows emotions to unfold, unwind and become malleable again. Mindfulness allows emotional suffering to change, transform and resolve.

Mindfulness Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses mindful awareness directly on the problematic emotions and effectively creates a therapeutic space around the emotion that has an immensely transformative effect. In effect, you make the emotion the primary object of a session of meditation. This is why it is also called Mindfulness Meditation Therapy (MMT).

We all know how reactivity simply makes things worse and only serves to reinforce our suffering, along with those around us. Well mindfulness is the antidote: It stops the proliferation of reactivity and then creates this inner healing space in which the emotional energy that has become stuck can become fluid again, leading to beneficial change and healing. Some clients have described this healing process as being like shining rays of sunlight onto a block of ice. The ice (frozen emotional energy) simply melts and the water becomes fluid again and becomes available to nourish the earth (your psyche). It is a lovely image, and describes the healing effect of creating inner freedom through mindfulness.

The skill of learning how to work with depression, anxiety, stress and difficult emotions requires that you learn how to establish a mindfulness based relationship with your inner emotions. Avoidance and resistance only makes things worse. For painful emotions like anxiety and trauma to heal we must bring them into the light of mindful awareness. When we do this skillfully, with openness of mind and heart, emotions begin to become malleable again and undergo change, often by themselves. The direct healing effects of mindfulness are well known and are applied to great effect in Mindfulness Therapy.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects Of SSRI Drugs Used For Treatment Of Depression And Anxiety Disorders

The term ‘SSRI’ is abbreviation for ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor’. It is a family of drugs used for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. They are safer than most other anti-depressants because they act selectively on the brain’s ability to use serotonin, which is the principal neurotransmitter affecting a person’s mood. SSRIs do not significantly interfere with other physiological systems nor do they have any serious drug-drug or drug-food interactions except with other anti-depressants / anti-psychotic drugs

In a majority of cases, the side-effects of SSRIs – particularly Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) are mild and manageable if taken and discontinued strictly in accord with the healthcare service provider’s instructions. Nevertheless, some irritating side-effects are quite common (particularly with the older SSRIs such as Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft and others). One common set of side-effects affects the gastrointestinal system as described below:

  • Abdominal cramp/pain
  • Belching / burps
  • Bloating (due to excessive intestinal gas)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia – indigestion
  • Flatulence (more than normal gas the digestive system)
  • Gagging (involuntary choking)
  • Gastritis (irritation of the stomach’s mucus lining)
  • Gastroenteritis (irritation of the stomach and intestines)
  • Acidity
  • Nausea (vomiting sensation)
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)

As seen from the above list, the side-effects are random and even somewhat contradictory, e.g., constipation and diarrhea. This shows that it is not possible to predict which of the side-effects a particular patient will experience. It can be surmised that side-effects are idiosyncratic to individual patients, with many patients not experiencing any side-effect at all.

How you should respond: As stated earlier, SSRIs are safe in most patients despite irritating but non-sinister side-effects. The side-effects are idiosyncratic and do not follow any pattern. The patient should know that all the symptoms listed above are temporary and occur only in the initial stage of treatment or, at worst, last as long as the treatment lasts without leaving any scar. Your healthcare service provider might prescribe additional medication to cope with one of more of the side-effects.

Remember however that you must not abruptly discontinue medication with an SSRI drug but instead follow a tapering strategy that the your healthcare service provider will advise. After all, temporary gastrointestinal side-effects are a very reasonable price to pay for the healing of the bigger psycho-somatic problem of depression or generalized anxiety disorders.