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Increased stress

Old 12-23-21, 02:27 AM
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NikolasFarrel
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Increased stress

Hi all, I've been experiencing sleep disturbances lately and consequently increasing depression. A couple of days ago I decided to go for a bike ride, but as soon as I set off on my usual route I fell off my bike with dizziness, lucky that the people around me helped. It's most likely related to stress at work. I even made an appointment to see a neurologist and a psychologist. We'll see what they say tomorrow. Have you ever had a situation like this? How do you deal with stress?
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Old 12-23-21, 06:50 AM
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Well, you should consider physical causes (with the counsel of a doctor, not Foo!). You might have low blood sugar or ear wax build-up or some other condition that made you dizzy.

I had a big problem with anxiety and depression, and I found a lot of relief in philosophy, particularly stoic philosophy. I can't recommend strongly enough that you read this and then re-read it with an open mind, and carefully consider its implications. Every word rings true to me, and the implication is that you have no business getting worked up over things outside your own mind which are necessarily out of your control.

The Internet Classics Archive | The Enchiridion by Epictetus

I don't think a TL,DR can do justice to the original. However, I will tell you that the main point is that you have control over your opinions, and your opinions determine your state of mind. As soon as you decide that events, the world or others "should" be in a certain state, then you are bound to suffer when things go on to be what they are going to be, despite your wishes. If I am upset because it is raining, for example, then I have effectively decided to be unhappy. Clearly, I don't control the weather and it is bound to rain at times. The part most of us miss is that just about everything falls into this same category. But, we set our mind that things should go a certain way and then have a bad time when the world does not line up to match our preconceptions. But, the world, events and others do not know or care about your desires. They are going about their own business without giving you a second thought. That's fine, as long as you choose to decide that it is, which is the rational choice. You have control over whether or not you accept the world as it presents to you, and if you do, it no longer has the power to upset you.

If you are going to be rationally upset, it should be at yourself, for not doing the right thing and living up to your potential, or at least bearing events in the best manner possible. All those things are yours alone to control, so it is rational to be concerned about how well you are managing them.

There's no need to believe in God to benefit from these ideas, nor is it an impediment that you do, if you do. You can simply see that it is wise to be happy, and that it is in fact in your control.

You may also see benefit in cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on this philosophy. You can go to a therapist, of course, and probably should. But, this therapy is usually given as homework, and the patient is taught to practice the therapy on their own, to effectively be their own therapist whenever needed. In the simplest form, you will see that an event occurs, you have a irrational preconception that it is terrible when this event comes to pass, and therefore you are unhappy when the event occurs. However, the event is not the real cause of your trouble, but rather the preconception is your problem. Remove the preconception and the problem is solved. Do you get angry when you see some other team lose? Probably not. But, when your team loses... You can see that the idea in your mind that it is important that team A wins or that team B loses is the real reason that you are upset, because if you saw team C lose, you wouldn't care and would have no reaction.

The major preconceptions that cause trouble for lots of us are ideas like: we must succeed, things must be easy, or that people should like us.

https://www.verywellmind.com/rationa...herapy-2796000

I'm sure you could read both of those links in an hour or so, but it will take time and effort for the lessons to sink in and to learn how to apply them to be happier. IMO, it is the most productive effort you could ever make. If it is possible to choose to be happy, then why are so many people unhappy? They have misplaced their efforts onto things outside their own reasoned choice, which, in the end, is the most important element of reality, and the only thing fully in their control. I hope this helps.
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Old 12-23-21, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by NikolasFarrel View Post
Hi all, I've been experiencing sleep disturbances lately and consequently increasing depression. A couple of days ago I decided to go for a bike ride, but as soon as I set off on my usual route I fell off my bike with dizziness, lucky that the people around me helped. It's most likely related to stress at work. I even made an appointment to see a neurologist and a psychologist. We'll see what they say tomorrow. Have you ever had a situation like this? How do you deal with stress?
[QUOTE=chewybrian;22349154]Well, you should consider physical causes (with the counsel of a doctor, not Foo!).

Best advice......See your physician.
Ben
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Old 12-23-21, 12:27 PM
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I had to suffer a few years through a new boss who decided to bully me as he was also bullying others. One of the things he'd do is falsely accuse employees of various things. I'd been handed a sealed envelope with an "official" letter to read which would randomly accuse me of things with no evidence to back up the accusation on at least 5 separate occasions. After I'd receive the letter, there'd be a set date for an official meeting where I'd have to sit through an investigation with some upper administrators to address the issue. I was investigated and found innocent on at least 5 separate occasions over a span of three years.

In none of the situations was there any basis for his accusations so it would completely blind side me as I would never know when or what he might accuse me of next. It was a situation that was out of my control until I was able to afford to quit. Many employees left right away. One tried suing him. I had already been trying to get a new job before all this started, but wasn't having any luck.

I had gotten to the point where I found myself dreading every day wondering what he would do or accuse me of next. It was so bad, there were days I would contemplate suicide just to be free of the situation. As I would be driving to work, I'd start worrying about the upcoming day or thinking about what he had already done. A few times when I'd do that, I found myself quickly blacking out as I would be driving. It'd be just for an instant - enough time to scare me, but not enough time for my truck to even swerve. Just a real quick in and out sort of thing. I went to my doctor and he put me on some anxiety medication which reduced the anxious feelings and stopped the blackouts. It didn't remove the stress though. Resigning removed the stress.
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Old 12-23-21, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
Well, you should consider physical causes (with the counsel of a doctor, not Foo!). You might have low blood sugar or ear wax build-up or some other condition that made you dizzy.

I had a big problem with anxiety and depression, and I found a lot of relief in philosophy, particularly stoic philosophy. I can't recommend strongly enough that you read this and then re-read it with an open mind, and carefully consider its implications. Every word rings true to me, and the implication is that you have no business getting worked up over things outside your own mind which are necessarily out of your control.

The Internet Classics Archive | The Enchiridion by Epictetus

I don't think a TL,DR can do justice to the original. However, I will tell you that the main point is that you have control over your opinions, and your opinions determine your state of mind. As soon as you decide that events, the world or others "should" be in a certain state, then you are bound to suffer when things go on to be what they are going to be, despite your wishes. If I am upset because it is raining, for example, then I have effectively decided to be unhappy. Clearly, I don't control the weather and it is bound to rain at times. The part most of us miss is that just about everything falls into this same category. But, we set our mind that things should go a certain way and then have a bad time when the world does not line up to match our preconceptions. But, the world, events and others do not know or care about your desires. They are going about their own business without giving you a second thought. That's fine, as long as you choose to decide that it is, which is the rational choice. You have control over whether or not you accept the world as it presents to you, and if you do, it no longer has the power to upset you.

If you are going to be rationally upset, it should be at yourself, for not doing the right thing and living up to your potential, or at least bearing events in the best manner possible. All those things are yours alone to control, so it is rational to be concerned about how well you are managing them.

There's no need to believe in God to benefit from these ideas, nor is it an impediment that you do, if you do. You can simply see that it is wise to be happy, and that it is in fact in your control.

You may also see benefit in cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on this philosophy. You can go to a therapist, of course, and probably should. But, this therapy is usually given as homework, and the patient is taught to practice the therapy on their own, to effectively be their own therapist whenever needed. In the simplest form, you will see that an event occurs, you have a irrational preconception that it is terrible when this event comes to pass, and therefore you are unhappy when the event occurs. However, the event is not the real cause of your trouble, but rather the preconception is your problem. Remove the preconception and the problem is solved. Do you get angry when you see some other team lose? Probably not. But, when your team loses... You can see that the idea in your mind that it is important that team A wins or that team B loses is the real reason that you are upset, because if you saw team C lose, you wouldn't care and would have no reaction.

The major preconceptions that cause trouble for lots of us are ideas like: we must succeed, things must be easy, or that people should like us.

https://www.verywellmind.com/rationa...herapy-2796000

I'm sure you could read both of those links in an hour or so, but it will take time and effort for the lessons to sink in and to learn how to apply them to be happier. IMO, it is the most productive effort you could ever make. If it is possible to choose to be happy, then why are so many people unhappy? They have misplaced their efforts onto things outside their own reasoned choice, which, in the end, is the most important element of reality, and the only thing fully in their control. I hope this helps.
Thank you for such insightful advice, I am interested in philosophy and also decided to take up meditation and yoga to better understand my body and clear my mind of everyday stress. Today was my first meditation, by the way, a little easier, but it's the first small step to success. By the way, can you suggest an audiobook to listen to on the way to work?
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Old 12-23-21, 05:52 PM
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[QUOTE=xiaoman1;22349346]
Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
Well, you should consider physical causes (with the counsel of a doctor, not Foo!).

Best advice......See your physician.
Ben
I did so, the attending physician advised me to get a good night's sleep, I explained my situation but received the same advice, offered to prescribe medication but I refused as I was afraid of addiction to medication. Talking to people is one of the cures, but stress at work won't cancel it out.
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Old 12-23-21, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
I had to suffer a few years through a new boss who decided to bully me as he was also bullying others. One of the things he'd do is falsely accuse employees of various things. I'd been handed a sealed envelope with an "official" letter to read which would randomly accuse me of things with no evidence to back up the accusation on at least 5 separate occasions. After I'd receive the letter, there'd be a set date for an official meeting where I'd have to sit through an investigation with some upper administrators to address the issue. I was investigated and found innocent on at least 5 separate occasions over a span of three years.

In none of the situations was there any basis for his accusations so it would completely blind side me as I would never know when or what he might accuse me of next. It was a situation that was out of my control until I was able to afford to quit. Many employees left right away. One tried suing him. I had already been trying to get a new job before all this started, but wasn't having any luck.

I had gotten to the point where I found myself dreading every day wondering what he would do or accuse me of next. It was so bad, there were days I would contemplate suicide just to be free of the situation. As I would be driving to work, I'd start worrying about the upcoming day or thinking about what he had already done. A few times when I'd do that, I found myself quickly blacking out as I would be driving. It'd be just for an instant - enough time to scare me, but not enough time for my truck to even swerve. Just a real quick in and out sort of thing. I went to my doctor and he put me on some anxiety medication which reduced the anxious feelings and stopped the blackouts. It didn't remove the stress though. Resigning removed the stress.
I wouldn't call my situation booing, more like exaggerated demands. I can't blame the management, they are trying to preserve the company's image, but alas at the expense of the psychological state of the employees. I went to a psychologist, we had a good conversation, and they recommended that I go to counseling. I said, "Great, thanks for the help, but it doesn't make it any less stressful." "But you'll still try to sort yourself out and maybe it'll get easier." I was alarmed by the phrase "maybe." Something tells me they want to take advantage of my situation.
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Old 12-23-21, 07:24 PM
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I have only felt dizzy or faint when I get too hot on a humid day.
My first symptom is kind of comical. I can not avoid brushing the curb with my wheels. I pull away from the curb and run right back into it.
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Old 12-23-21, 07:37 PM
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[QUOTE=NikolasFarrel;22349885]
Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post

I did so, the attending physician advised me to get a good night's sleep, I explained my situation but received the same advice, offered to prescribe medication but I refused as I was afraid of addiction to medication. Talking to people is one of the cures, but stress at work won't cancel it out.
Nikolas,
Glad to hear that, All the best, Ben
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Old 12-23-21, 07:49 PM
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Old 12-23-21, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NikolasFarrel View Post
also decided to take up meditation and yoga
+1

plus eating a healthy balanced diet, getting exercise, no alcohol and limit caffeine, make an effort to learn to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and when stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest so get it!!!....for the dizziness see a doctor!
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Old 12-24-21, 02:39 AM
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[QUOTE=NikolasFarrel;22349885]
Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post

I did so, the attending physician advised me to get a good night's sleep, I explained my situation but received the same advice, offered to prescribe medication but I refused as I was afraid of addiction to medication. Talking to people is one of the cures, but stress at work won't cancel it out.
Not all medicines for anxiety, depression, etc., are addictive. Some do require a careful tapered dosage reduction, but not all do. Be sure to ask your doctor and read credible online resources. These are often useful for short to medium term duration to get through rough spots in life.

Other medicines can affect mood, anxiety, etc. I had a rough bout with upper respiratory inflammation this autumn (probably a virus, but three COVID tests were negative), from late September through early December, and needed a couple of courses of tapered dosage Prednisone to reduce the inflammation. The courses of Prednisone were spaced two or three weeks apart, and both times I felt great the first few days, then progressively worse through the dosage taper-off period, and for another week afterward -- anxiety, headaches, fatigue, etc.

And it's showed in my workouts. Since late September I'm doing only 25%-30% of my usual workout duration and effort. Due to the upper respiratory inflammation affecting my inner ears and balance I wasn't able to ride a bike for most of the past three months, which took away my favorite exercise for coping with stress. I've been walking and jogging more, but it's not the same.

But I've felt better the past couple of weeks, although my fitness has declined significantly and I've gained 10 lbs. It'll take awhile to rebuild.

Some over the counter remedies for allergies and cold/flu symptoms can also cause mood problems. Especially obsolete antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine), chlorpheniramine and others. Generally speaking the more recent antihistamines are safer -- Zyrtec, Claritin, Xyzal, or generics.

And I'd suggest avoiding over the counter all-in-one remedies for allergies, cold/flu. Nyquil and generics contain multiple anticholinergics which can have a potent and negative effect on anxiety and mood. I generally believe people should be free to choose whatever they like to put into their bodies, but they should be fully informed of the consequences. Those all-in-one junk meds are pretty much poison and I wouldn't object to seeing those labeled with clear warnings, or even regulated or banned.

Regarding supplements, those can be hit or miss, depending on the individual body and placebo effect. Melatonin (a hormone naturally produced by the human body, but often disrupted by our non-diurnal work/sleep cycles), GABA (an amino acid that's loosely related to gabapentin, useful in some cases for anxiety) and others work for me, but some people dislike the effects. It's usually best to start with low doses and see how it goes.
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Old 12-24-21, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by NikolasFarrel View Post
Thank you for such insightful advice, I am interested in philosophy and also decided to take up meditation and yoga to better understand my body and clear my mind of everyday stress. Today was my first meditation, by the way, a little easier, but it's the first small step to success. By the way, can you suggest an audiobook to listen to on the way to work?
I'll leave it to you to figure out which are available in the audio format, since I never use it. But, here are some books I would recommend:

"The Enchiridion", by Epictetus
"The Discourses", by Epictetus
"Apology", by Plato
"Meditations", by Marcus Aurelius
"Dialogue and Essays" by Seneca
"The Daily Stoic", by Ryan Holiday
"Existentialism is a Humanism", by Jean-Paul Sartre
"The Myth of Sisyphus", by Albert Camus
"Man's Search for Meaning", by Victor Frankl
"The Courage to Create", by Rollo May

I doubt you will find audiobooks, but this professor below has amazing videos on philosophy. His name is Greg Sadler. If you go to youtube and search "Sadler Enchiridion" or "Sadler Sartre" or whatever, you will often find that he has a video about the work or author you are interested in. He breaks down the philosophy in a slow and deliberate way such that pretty much anyone can get it. Intellectual humility is a keystone for a philosopher, and I will admit that I often get more from his interpretations than from the original works. If you are new to any particular philosophy, I think you will find him to be an excellent guide.

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Old 12-24-21, 05:17 AM
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Poor sleep begets more poor sleep and depression soon follows.

Dizziness on the bike suggests maybe seeing a cardiologist and a pulmonologist.

I have had sleep issues with similar issues. It turned out to be a heart issue although they all thought it was apnea, which can really mess you up but it was not my situation. Worth checking out.
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Old 12-24-21, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by NikolasFarrel View Post
I wouldn't call my situation booing, more like exaggerated demands. I can't blame the management, they are trying to preserve the company's image, but alas at the expense of the psychological state of the employees. I went to a psychologist, we had a good conversation, and they recommended that I go to counseling. I said, "Great, thanks for the help, but it doesn't make it any less stressful." "But you'll still try to sort yourself out and maybe it'll get easier." I was alarmed by the phrase "maybe." Something tells me they want to take advantage of my situation.
Unfortunately, the options you have been given are the options there are, but you have rejected them all. You can:

1. Attempt to treat the symptoms (medication)
2. Attempt to help your brain find a way to deal with the stress (counseling)
3. Get at the root of the problem and find another job that is less stressful

There really isn't much aside from that-- to either manage the situation or remove yourself from it. You may have to choose which of these options is the least-undesirable / most practical for you (but any of them have to be less-undesirable than falling off a bike due to dizziness and other physical symptoms-- which some day may result in more serious consequences than just embarrassment). There is, unfortunately, not going to be a magic solution.
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Old 12-24-21, 07:01 PM
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You've already seen a doctor with no results, don't know if you can see another ('second opinion'), but if the medical path doesn't get results then maybe its time to:
1) see a psychologist. Maybe they'll refer you to a psychiatrist (if possibly a biochem imbalance problem), AND
2) get a new job. Its amazing how inspired and empowered you feel when you walk out of one 'old' job and into a 'fresh' new one.
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Old 12-24-21, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by surveyor6 View Post
I have only felt dizzy or faint when I get too hot on a humid day.
My first symptom is kind of comical. I can not avoid brushing the curb with my wheels. I pull away from the curb and run right back into it.
Be careful when riding, I've had a couple of nasty falls while riding near the curb. To be honest, the fall was due to my inattention or maybe I was distracted, but after I realized that the ground is hard enough. Haha. That's the kind of situation that happens. I get dizzy in hot weather too, but when it's humid I breathe easier. The worst part is the dizziness at high speed. I fell over the handlebars like that once, and when I woke up I realized I had a fracture.
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Old 12-24-21, 11:31 PM
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[QUOTE=canklecat;22350196]
Originally Posted by NikolasFarrel View Post
Not all medicines for anxiety, depression, etc., are addictive. Some do require a careful tapered dosage reduction, but not all do. Be sure to ask your doctor and read credible online resources. These are often useful for short to medium term duration to get through rough spots in life.

Other medicines can affect mood, anxiety, etc. I had a rough bout with upper respiratory inflammation this autumn (probably a virus, but three COVID tests were negative), from late September through early December, and needed a couple of courses of tapered dosage Prednisone to reduce the inflammation. The courses of Prednisone were spaced two or three weeks apart, and both times I felt great the first few days, then progressively worse through the dosage taper-off period, and for another week afterward -- anxiety, headaches, fatigue, etc.

And it's showed in my workouts. Since late September I'm doing only 25%-30% of my usual workout duration and effort. Due to the upper respiratory inflammation affecting my inner ears and balance I wasn't able to ride a bike for most of the past three months, which took away my favorite exercise for coping with stress. I've been walking and jogging more, but it's not the same.

But I've felt better the past couple of weeks, although my fitness has declined significantly and I've gained 10 lbs. It'll take awhile to rebuild.

Some over the counter remedies for allergies and cold/flu symptoms can also cause mood problems. Especially obsolete antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine), chlorpheniramine and others. Generally speaking the more recent antihistamines are safer -- Zyrtec, Claritin, Xyzal, or generics.

And I'd suggest avoiding over the counter all-in-one remedies for allergies, cold/flu. Nyquil and generics contain multiple anticholinergics which can have a potent and negative effect on anxiety and mood. I generally believe people should be free to choose whatever they like to put into their bodies, but they should be fully informed of the consequences. Those all-in-one junk meds are pretty much poison and I wouldn't object to seeing those labeled with clear warnings, or even regulated or banned.

Regarding supplements, those can be hit or miss, depending on the individual body and placebo effect. Melatonin (a hormone naturally produced by the human body, but often disrupted by our non-diurnal work/sleep cycles), GABA (an amino acid that's loosely related to gabapentin, useful in some cases for anxiety) and others work for me, but some people dislike the effects. It's usually best to start with low doses and see how it goes.
I was not so lucky and I still got COVID, but I got it easier because of the vaccine, but now I am wary of crowds of people. Recovery from COVID is difficult to call complete and without consequences. After the X-ray, I saw the scars on my lungs, which were left after the disease.
After going to my GP, I have prescribed medication but it is not recommended if you drive a car. I, unfortunately, drive both a car and a bicycle. That's why we have to think of something else. The doctor also recommended cannabidiol, supposedly it helps with depression and in general is now considered very progressive in medicine, as well as recommended to sleep well. I was wary of cannabidiol and decided to search the internet for what it was and why it was needed. I was very surprised at how many useful properties it has and most importantly does not cause dullness and side effects. But I don't think there's a magic pill. Actively searched the internet to find Full Spectrum CBD Chocolate Canada I was very surprised that it was combined with chocolate, but what science can't come up with. By the way, are you familiar with the effects of cannabidiol? Or maybe you know where to look. I am very grateful to you for such a comprehensive response.
By the way, the psychologist also advised meditation, deep breathing and thinking less about problems, and eating chocolate to lift my spirits. I'm a shrewd person, so I'm used to letting problems go through me.
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Old 12-24-21, 11:35 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
I'll leave it to you to figure out which are available in the audio format, since I never use it. But, here are some books I would recommend:

"The Enchiridion", by Epictetus
"The Discourses", by Epictetus
"Apology", by Plato
"Meditations", by Marcus Aurelius
"Dialogue and Essays" by Seneca
"The Daily Stoic", by Ryan Holiday
"Existentialism is a Humanism", by Jean-Paul Sartre
"The Myth of Sisyphus", by Albert Camus
"Man's Search for Meaning", by Victor Frankl
"The Courage to Create", by Rollo May

I doubt you will find audiobooks, but this professor below has amazing videos on philosophy. His name is Greg Sadler. If you go to youtube and search "Sadler Enchiridion" or "Sadler Sartre" or whatever, you will often find that he has a video about the work or author you are interested in. He breaks down the philosophy in a slow and deliberate way such that pretty much anyone can get it. Intellectual humility is a keystone for a philosopher, and I will admit that I often get more from his interpretations than from the original works. If you are new to any particular philosophy, I think you will find him to be an excellent guide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsdF...-vtfK5UknnwZCq
A great selection will now be useful literature before bedtime well in his spare time. I will definitely watch the video, I've noticed for myself that the video suits me better for perception. I must be getting old. But also if the topic is interesting I carefully read articles or books.
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Old 12-24-21, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by clemsongirl View Post
+1

plus eating a healthy balanced diet, getting exercise, no alcohol and limit caffeine, make an effort to learn to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and when stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest so get it!!!....for the dizziness see a doctor!
Oh, by the way, I hadn't thought about the diet. I also thought, "What could I have forgotten that was important?" You'll have to rethink your menu, if you can call it that, with a work schedule like this. Probably consult a nutritionist for a more thorough approach.
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Old 12-25-21, 12:08 AM
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Old 12-25-21, 09:46 AM
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I've experienced dizziness due to dehydration on several occasions. Can't speak to your other issues.
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Old 12-25-21, 10:10 AM
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How often do you exercise? I'd try jogging (at a slow pace, we're talking a bit faster then a fast walk) before you ride.

I'm an excitable kind of person, and my heart rate and nervousness will momentarily peak if I'm about to do something "out of the ordinary". For example when I visit the doctors on occasion, they'll take my blood pressure and pulse twice, right after getting seated and talking to the nurse, then after five minutes the doc will come in and retake. It always goes back to normal for the doc.

I think your crash and dizziness might have been "nerves". Maybe a short 20 minute jog will help get the nerves under control before you go out and bike? Also be sure to eat a couple hundred calories about an hour before riding.

Good luck, I can relate!
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Old 12-25-21, 08:17 PM
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[QUOTE=NikolasFarrel;22351013]
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

I was not so lucky and I still got COVID, but I got it easier because of the vaccine, but now I am wary of crowds of people. Recovery from COVID is difficult to call complete and without consequences.
Yup, I'm pretty sure I had a breakthrough case of COVID (despite the two doses of Moderna in April-May this year), but the symptoms were relatively milder compared with a friend who's 20 years younger but vaccine-hesitant (although he changed his mind after spending time in the ICU twice this summer).

I had night sweats and chills, but no fever. No lung or bronchial congestion. But I had a painful sinus inflammation that lasted for more than two months and affected my balance so badly I had to stop riding a bike outdoors -- I switched to walking 3-5 times a week, and jogging when I had the energy. But I was fatigued most of the time, could hardly get out of bed some days, and much slower than early in 2021 -- my average pace declined from around 8-9 minute/mile (not fast, but okay for a 63 year old who had only resumed running in late 2020) to 10-12 minute/mile pace at best, usually slower, and I still can't maintain continuous running for a 5k//3 miler, which I had been doing regularly before the upper respiratory inflammation.

After the X-ray, I saw the scars on my lungs, which were left after the disease.
Recent chest scans showed scarring on my lungs, but that's probably from childhood. I had TB and several bouts with pneumonia as a kid. The TB cleared up decades ago, and my last bout with pneumonia was about 20 years ago. Unfortunately the damage has always limited my aerobic capacity and I've never been able to reach the upper tier of any sports I've competed in, especially amateur boxing. I always struggled in the third round of the three 3-minute bouts, which cost me close decisions a couple of times when I gassed out. I knew I'd never reach the nationals or Olympic trials, let alone turn pro, so I stopped in 1978 after winning my final bout. Same with cycling -- I tried crits and time trials and never did better than a middle of the pack finish no matter how hard I worked at it. Before the upper respiratory inflammation I was pretty fast on the bike for an old dude, but still never close to the times of other guys I know in their 50s-60s. I managed a few Stava top tens on some challenging segments, but those are all gone now as younger, stronger riders have ridden those segments more often -- as it should be. There's no way a 60-something year old dude should hold any KOMs or top tens unless he's juiced to the gills on PEDs, unless his only competition is kids on Big Wheels and moms on city cruisers. I know a few middle aged guys who set up Strava segments in suburban neighborhoods, mainly to claim KOMs where no other serious cyclist would ride unless he just wanted to jack with the KOM.

Since then I've gotten the pneumonia immunization every few years as recommended, flu shots every shot, and just got my Moderna half-dose booster a couple of weeks ago. Oddly, I felt much better a day or two after the Moderna booster, with few side effects -- no really sore arm, none of the uncomfortable immune system reactions I had to the first two Moderna jabs in the spring. I felt so much better starting a couple of weeks ago I suspect the mRNA half-dose boosters may be more beneficial than I'd anticipated. I plan to get it done again as soon as it's recommended and available. I don't want to go through another 10 weeks of those viral symptoms.

The doctor also recommended cannabidiol, supposedly it helps with depression and in general is now considered very progressive in medicine, as well as recommended to sleep well. I was wary of cannabidiol and decided to search the internet for what it was and why it was needed. I was very surprised at how many useful properties it has and most importantly does not cause dullness and side effects. But I don't think there's a magic pill. Actively searched the internet to find Full Spectrum CBD Chocolate Canada I was very surprised that it was combined with chocolate, but what science can't come up with. By the way, are you familiar with the effects of cannabidiol? Or maybe you know where to look. I am very grateful to you for such a comprehensive response.
I've been using CBD since mid-2018 after being hit by a car while I was on my bike. Broke and dislocated my shoulder, Grade 4 separation with a winged scapula that still aches some days.

I've found full spectrum CBD (with a tiny amount of THC, 0.3% per FDA guidelines) helps with pain up to the level NSAIDs or Tylenol would help. So it's fine for moderate chronic pain. In my case it is not a substitute for serious pain meds for serious pain, around level 7-10 on the usual scale of 10. But it's usually a good substitute for NSAIDs for pain, but not for inflammation. I've heard fans of cannabis products claim it's an anti-inflammatory, but I haven't seen any evidence of that, and it certainly hasn't been effective for me at reducing inflammation.

There are many good brands, but I usually buy Lazarus Naturals because of their generous discount program for veterans. With the discount it's by far the most affordable CBD on the market, and top quality. They also offer discounts for other financial circumstances. Well worth checking their website and trying a sample.

For more serious pain I use kratom. I've written quite a bit about it before on bike forums, so a search should turn up my previous comments. It's effective for reducing pain in the 5-8 level, but it's in no way comparable to prescription opiates despite the occasional misguided hype in the media and by ninnies in government. It's legal to purchase in Texas because the state government reviewed the claims and data and realized it offered far more benefits to people with chronic pain who want to continue to be functional, compared with the tiny handful of druggies who will abuse anything, including the anti-diarrheal med loperamide. Yeah, that common over the counter med for diarrhea. Some idiotic stoners heard or read that it affected the opioid receptors, so they misinterpreted that to mean they could get high from taking massive doses of the stuff. It doesn't work that way. But they did end up in the ER with impacted colons from severe constipation. Junkies will abuse anything, so public policy shouldn't be made based on a handful of people who need intervention from psychiatrists and medical professionals to cope with their addictions and underlying issues. Kratom also affects some of the body's opioid receptors but it takes only small amounts to relieve pain, and massive amounts to get "high." So far all of the deaths attributed to kratom turned out to be caused by simultaneously abusing multiple opiate meds, alcohol, and taking massive amounts of kratom (several ounces, up to 8-16 ounces in a day, far more than the usual 1/2 to 7 gram dosage taken by responsible consumers).

This was in response to my primary health care system in 2018 ignoring my reasonable complaints of pain caused by injuries that took a year to heal.

After a single 10-day prescription for hydrocodone (which lasted me for a month because I didn't take it three times a day, usually just for sleep), the medical facility I started with refused to renew the prescription, publicly humiliated me in front of other patients for even bringing up the topic, and their pain management clinic said they couldn't see me for six months. So I switched to the VA health care system, which was excellent in my area... at least it was before the pandemic. It's declined since then, mostly due to being overwhelmed with serious ill veterans, staff burnout, and inadequate funding.

I have an autoimmune disorder that has a weird mix of symptoms, one of which is bad reactions to NSAIDs. I can take aspirin or ibuprofen occasionally, but if I take it for longer than a few days it aggravates my psoriatic arthritis and causes plaque psoriasis outbreaks, mostly in my scalp, behind the ears, around the jaw, and in my fingers and hands. I've had that problem more often recently due to taking a lot of NSAIDs for the upper respiratory inflammation.

By the way, the psychologist also advised meditation, deep breathing and thinking less about problems, and eating chocolate to lift my spirits. I'm a shrewd person, so I'm used to letting problems go through me.
Ditto. I use guided breathing, monitored by a heart-rate-variability app (Elite HRV, but Wattson Blue and others do the same thing). And I use that data to guide my workouts, so I'm working hard enough on the good days, while avoiding overdoing it or getting inadequate rest and recovery time between hard workouts. Very helpful during October-November when I was sick but wanted to keep exercising. While my activity and fitness declined, I was still able to at least walk 3-5 miles most days without making things worse. I was terrified of ending up in the hospital with pneumonia during the pandemic, especially after my friend's experiences. So I'd get out and walk even on days when I could barely stumble around and was often dizzy from the inner ear inflammation.

And chocolate is essential. That's my excuse for gaining 10 lbs the past couple of months.
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Old 12-25-21, 09:07 PM
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Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is a practical application of Stoicism. The underlying idea being that we sometimes engage in irrational beliefs that amplify the effects of difficult situations and we can learn to recognise the irrational thoughts and replace them with more rational thoughts/beliefs. For example, rather than "must-erbating," we learn to tell ourselves that "it would be nice if, but..." The CBT approach to depression utilizes increasing exercise, social activity, and modifying those unhelpful thought processes. Finding a counselor who is a good fit can be challenging.
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