Sunday, November 8, 2015

Jerrold C Bonn, MD, on Anxiety - Breathe - Move - Run around the block

View Dr Jerrold C Bonn's website here.

Baruch is Dr Bonn's camera man.

Baruch is the Hebrew version of Benedict, he said afterwards. Like my former psychiatrist, Larry Schwartz, Dr Bonn is a wordsmith. Larry taught me words like Luddite (which he admitted to being) and akasthesia, complete with the derivation. Bonn also knows these, as well.

Bonn praised Robin Franklin for her help in setting up the screen. I met Robin's daughter Faith who works PT at The Tree House, or the Giant's babysitting facility.

Bonn's four grandchildren live in Jerusalem and are liberals. New book just came out - Killing a King - about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, which achieved its desired - disastrous - effects.

Every seat was filled. My sister Ellen read about it in Uptight Suburbanite.

There's Baruch's camera in the rear.

I barely knew anyone in the audience, which is always good.

ANXIETY is a Germanic word, said Bonn. It means dread of something. He mentioned a psychiatrist Arthur Barsky who wrote about anxiety and its physical manifestations. His book is called Worried Sick. A good title b/c yes, you do get sick to your stomach.

We give anxiety a name, we give it a diagnostic code, but we don't give people much help on how to cope with it.

The beloved movie The Wizard of Oz was made in 1939 when movies and even songs carried a lot of information. Movies terrified people.

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The four friends finally get to Emerald City to meet The Wizard.

And what does the wizard do? He reneges on his promise to send Dorothy home - to give the Cowardly Lion, courage - The Scarecrow a brain -  The Tin Woodman, a brain.

Entering the headquarters of the Wizard, they are all scared, all except Toto, who TAKES ACTION, as animals will.

Dr Bonn's slide of the muscle system of a dog, which instantly responds to a threat.

They see that it's all smokes and mirrors, a facade. Behind the curtain is the Wizard. He has a dialogue with Dorothy, telling her what she needs to do to go home.

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Here are TEN IDEAS about anxiety.

1 - Anxiety is a built-in alarm system to take action against a threat.

2 - High voltage alarm signals for immediate physical action to counter the threat. 


Muscles in a dog. When threatened, the heart pumps more blood expecting an immediate response.
THINKING is never involved. 

3 - We have the same circuitry. The brain is the command center. Do you read me, Captain Kirk?

The military are trained to fight when there's danger.

STARTLE REFLEX - As children we exhibited the startle reflex - Moro reflex - more than in adulthood, such as a thunderclap. 

Infants are tested for it at birth. Bonn shows a photo of an infant girding, bracing and shielding himself.

GIRD UP your loins like a man, said God to Job.

4 - We live our first decade under the protection of others.

Bubby with Baby Grace, who's in kindergarten now at Copper Beach in Abington PA.

5 - All-important physical component of Anxiety. Tension of bodies. Many people avoid the feared situation, which is the worst thing they can do. Procrastination makes the situation worse.

Call someone to vent about the situation.

6 - Pediatrician John Campo of Ohio State University - Go Buckeyes! - has done a lot of research on pediatric and adolescent anxiety. Wrote papers on somatization disorder

7 - Smokers think that a cigarette relaxes them. Before making a difficult phone call, they'll light up and smoke first to relax themselves.

What do they do when they smoke? They inhale and exhale.

Try this yourself. If you're caught in heavy traffic, take deep breaths.

Bonn's slide. You don't need to go to an ashram to learn to breathe or do relaxing yoga.

Anatomical specimen on right shows crucial muscles affected in anxiety. Below the breast line and the abs.

Bonn believes Napoleon is comforting himself by placing hand on abdomen. 

Fibromyalgia is a mind-body condition. There's medication available for it now, though for years it was considered  "all in your mind." The term "fibromyalgia" came about in 1976.

Relax like

8 - Check with your family doctor to make sure your physical symptoms aren't part of a real condition.

9 - We have the physical equipment to relieve anxiety. Our bodies. Learn to move when anxious. Exercise before you have a job interview.

Run around the block!

During job interview... breathe!

The tensest area is below the rib cage. Let the diaphragm fill with air the way a vacuum does. Your lungs are the vacuum. Turn our bodies into vacuum cleaners.

I am breathing deeply as I write this.

Do it!!!

I am also getting up frequently to allow my legs to breathe.

Yes, she's got legs, sing ZZ Top.

Take action against anxiety. That's what I'm doing now so I don't get anxious. I'm blogging. Usually I drink something hot while bloggin, but not now. I'm challenging myself. And I am relaxed, without the tea.

10 -Chronic anxiety or panic disorder is "the fear of feeling the fear."  The symptoms could arise from trauma early in life. Mon dieu, those poor refugees in Syria and Eastern Europe.

Anxiety sufferers have a sense that they're running away from life.

THERAPEUTIC DIALOG. Have this with a friend or with a shrink. By putting your fears into words, you may see the problem is not as impossible as you think.

Converse with yourself out loud and/or Journal.

Dialog with a Higher Power.  Dr Bonn believes in Hashem.

Ah! There he is. Always wanted to know what he looks like.

Visit your church or synagogue. Prayer is helpful. It's like meditation.

Our gift to Dr Bonn were a box of Italian cookies he can share with his family and two types of uncaffeinated teas

Darn, he joked, when I gave him

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He stayed to answer questions. I needed to get to my Mom's house by 3 pm - which I did - to attend a family party in New Jersey.

I made Dr Bonn a Thank-you card in the shape of a pumpkin. 

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