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 BetaBlockers
Author: STuart 
Date:   1999-08-16 23:36

What do you all think of drugs and performance?
I know coffee messes me up, too shakey. Other folks shake if they don't get it. Nicotine tightens up my muscles, but so many players relax with a cigarette. What I'm curious about is: is there a difference between betablockers and say, a shot of rum? (other than the fact that the band might think your a lush) What do you think?


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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-16 23:56

I'm asking a friend of mine, Diane Karius, PhD (the author of the Valerian Root article at http://www.sneezy.org/clarinet/Study/Valerian.html to drop in and discuss this on the BBoard. Hopefully she'll have time.

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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: diane k. 
Date:   1999-08-17 00:36



STuart wrote:
-------------------------------
What I'm curious about is: is there a difference between betablockers and say, a shot of rum? (other than the fact that the band might think your a lush) What do you think?

In terms of their mechanisms of action (and therefore some of the effects), rum (alcohol) and beta blockers are very different. Beta-blockers block part of the sympathetic ("fight or flight") nervous system. The shaking, nervous stomach, and dry mouth you get when you're nervous are due to the sympathetic system activating beta-receptors on your cells (very much simplified...). Beta-blockers stop/minimize these physical signs of nervousness. Alcohol has more general effects on a lot of different brain regions - not just the autonomic nervous system. You can still get nervous when you take beta-blockers (since "nervousness" is a function of your conscious/unconscious interpretation of what's going on), you just won't feel the effects as much (or at all). The interesting thing is that the symptoms of being nervous actually intensify the sensation of nervousness - you key into the fact that you are sweating, shaky, etc... and that makes you more nervous. By blocking those effects with beta-blocker, the hope is that you keep the nervousness to a tolerable minimum. With alcohol, you blunt all aspects of the system, so you may not feel "as" nervous, but you've also blunted motor control. Both beta-blockers and alcohol IMPAIR your fine motor skills (such as tongue-finger coordination), beta blockers to a lesser extent than alcohol. Someone who takes beta-blockers for stage fright (which is what I assume the context is here) is doing a balancing act - the stage fright has to be sufficiently severe that the motor impairment from fright is greater than that produced by the beta-blockers. Beta-blockers (combined with some coping skill sorts of things) can be used to overcome stage fright to such a degree that the beta-blockers are no longer necessary (i.e. you're not necessarily stuck with them for life). Often, just breaking the cycle (the physical symptoms of nervousness causing more nervousness, causing more physical symptoms and so on) for a few performances is a big part of getting past stage fright.
I hope this helps.

Diane Karius, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology
University of Health Sciences
Kansas City, MO.

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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: Ginny 
Date:   1999-08-17 05:56



diane k. wrote:
-------------------------------

Often, just breaking the cycle (the physical symptoms of nervousness causing more nervousness, causing more physical symptoms and so on) for a few performances is a big part of getting past stage fright.

------------------------------
This certainly was my personal experience.

Ginny


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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: Katherine Pincock 
Date:   1999-08-17 14:01

Using drugs like betablockers can be of real help to people with severe performance anxiety, but in my opinion, if you can avoid it, you should avoid using anything. Of course, you're going to get nervous--I still do, and I've been doing performances on various instruments since I was about 5 years old. But with experience, I've learned to turn the nervousness into a kick that makes me produce really good performances under pressure. If performance anxiety is a real problem for you, by all means, find the help you need to make performing easier; these medications are wonderful for just that reason. But if your performance anxiety is more due to inexperience with performing and natural nerves, try books like The Inner Game of Music first. The strategies you develop using techniques like that will be useful to you in many more ways than you might expect, and it leaves intervention through medication for times when you really need it.

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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: STuart 
Date:   1999-08-17 18:20

Thanks for the insight!
So, what I wonder now is:

Without the "fight or flight" reactions, (flight or flight as I used to call 'em at studio class :), can you get that same rush from performing? When you feel the time lock in and you play right with the breath of the audience? I know the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Parker, and others were known to employ things beyond beta blockers, and they seem to stay pretty fired up for the music. Does anybody have any experience with betablockers and a change in enthusiasm?

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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: j 
Date:   1999-08-17 20:42

regarding loosing enthusiasm... my experience with beta-blockers (in minimal quanities) is that my enthisiasm has been a little more subdued but i have been more able to focus without all the nervous self-talk, physical jangling. i agree with the previous postings; if you don't need them, don't use them -- its better without. in my case it gave me a taste of focus and control without the sabotaging excessive jitters. now that feeling is something i am going after without the aid of beta-blockers.

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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: Frank 
Date:   1999-08-17 22:32

There appears to be no immediate harm from Beta-blockers. They may work for some who get very up tight in a public context.

There would seem to be nothing dangerous in taking a minimal dose and seeing the consequence.

Over the long time, Beta-blockers suppress the sexual drive in many users. They are still used to control hypertension because they are an inexpensive and relatively safe way to do it regardless of this consequence.

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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: diane k. 
Date:   1999-08-18 04:59



Frank wrote:
-------------------------------
...Over the long time, Beta-blockers suppress the sexual drive in many users. They are still used to control hypertension because they are an inexpensive and relatively safe way to do it regardless of this consequence.

Just a note: the doses of beta blockers prescribed by physicians for treatment of stage fright are *much* lower than those doses used for control of hypertension (and are taken on an as needed basis, not daily, as required for treatment of hypertension). As noted, the doses used in the treatment of stage fright are associated with a very low incidence of side effects.

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 RE: BetaBlockers
Author: dave 
Date:   1999-08-18 20:21

I have a condition called Benign Essential Tremor which causes my hands to shake so badly that sometimes I can't hardly hold my clarinet, let alone play. Beta-blockers are
sometimes used to control this and, fortunately for me, it works! If not I would not be able to play at all.

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 Don't Even Go There
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-08-19 05:21

An opinion of prescription drugs, OTC drugs, et al. and performance.

If you need a prescription drug for an actual medical condition, like the poster above, that's one thing. Some other folks need a stronger dose of a similar drug to counteract the effects of high blood pressure, still others need to control much more severe conditions. Again, that's something that each person may actually need just to function close to normal in life. I have no quarrel with these prescribed uses of drugs, for I am in the same boat with these folks. I understand what the meds are doing for me as well as what they do to me. I live life with the tradeoffs and go on.

However, I have a personal quarrel with the folks who turn to drugs to artificially control what I personally believe is a nonmedical condition. Artists start drinking alcohol to relieve stage fright or to keep from being so bored in manotonous performances of the same music every day and night. Good and great artists have squandered their lives on drugs, with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and a whole bunch of others literally overdosing themselves to death. Ditto for lots of lesser known artists along the way.

My point is, if you don't actually need medicine to go on living or to literally keep your life, please "don't even go there". If you do take a medicine or several of them, understand with your doctor the tradeoffs you are making every day.

I have found that stage fright is usually conquered in one of two ways. Practice until you know the music as good as you possibly can and realize that most folks understand that you are just a friend who is trying to show them a good time through music for a short while. Failing those two tricks to help calm my nerves, I usually resort to "worst case" thinking. Nothing could be more stressful than making a mistake with nuclear weapons, either in the deployment or defense of them. Been there done that. If I happen to squeak or play out of queue with the band, everyone goes home. In my previous life in the military, that wasn't necessarily so. And yes, that's why I have such a conservative view on drugs, especially "recreational pharmaceuticals".


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 RE: Don't Even Go There
Author: Lelia 
Date:   1999-08-19 13:16

Paul, thanks for that balanced and strongly-worded comment. I agree with you, and would add one more thought: Some people can't get over their stage fright. I'm one of them. Years ago I gave up music because it had become total torture. Nobody ever put pressure on me, forced me to practice or did any of the other classic "heavy authority" things that supposedly produce crippling stage fright in students. I don't have a nervous type of personality in general, and am comfortable with public speaking. Yet for reasons that still mystify me at age 51, I got to the point, late in high school, where my stage fright became so severe that I froze in orchestra class and even at piano lessons with a teacher I liked. By the middle of my freshman year in college, I couldn't play, at all, on any instrument. I quit. Years later, I got back into music by promising myself that I never had to play in public again. I decided not to try to analyze all this any more. Trying to "work things out" was a frustrating waste of time, so I just bypassed all thatnvael-gazing and started playing in private. I don't even pick up a kazoo at a party.

A few months ago, a clarinetist I met here on this BB (who knew nothing about this history) came over to my house and we tried out each other's clarinets. I pretended to be very casual about the whole thing and, without actually trying to play any real music, noodled a few scales, without starting to shake, a first. Maybe someday....

Well, probably not. For me, this is what works. I love my music, I practice every day and I'm having a great time as a solitary amateur. If I want to stop and find some reason to get gloomy, I could probably work my way up to feeling sorry for myself because I can't make music with my husband, a very good amateur violinist who plays in chamber groups. Well, there's plenty of other stuff we can and do enjoy together. I've learned to do what I can do and not worry about what I can't do. Sure beats doing drugs.


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 RE: Don't Even Go There - to paul and lelia
Author: Greg 
Date:   1999-08-19 18:45

Positively Calvanistic and puritanical are your posts!
Contrary to your beliefs, the reality is that there are countless, well documented incidences in the professional musical world of beta - blockers or/and psychiatric drugs (if PROPERLY used under a doctors guidance) that have literally saved careers or allowed careers to be built.

The medicines that treat social phobias such as performance anxiety are widely used successfully for what they were designed to treat! I hear about the successes almost on a weekly basis from colleagues and even students. Psychotherapy in conjunction with these well developed medications are the model in the scientific community for musicians and non musicians alike.

I have a friend who is one of the most respected instrumentalists in the world who would not even function let alone keep their job were it not for these kinds drugs.
I know of dozens more...and those are only the ones that have confided in me concerning this socially stigmatized issue.

Perhaps those that believe in the use of medication or psychotherpy only for non musicians should read up on the subject.

Gregory Smith
Clarinetist
Chicago Symphony Orchestra



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 RE: Don't Even Go There - to paul and lelia
Author: Ginny 
Date:   1999-08-19 20:01



Greg wrote:
-------------------------------
Positively Calvanistic and puritanical are your posts!
Contrary to your beliefs, the reality is that there are countless, well documented incidences in the professional musical world of beta - blockers or/and psychiatric drugs (if PROPERLY used under a doctors guidance) that have literally saved careers or allowed careers to be built.

-------------------------------

Thank you for posting this, I was afraid when I posted about using Betablockers somebody would post as was done. They are not recreational drugs. Although, I doubt my talent/ambition level would allow me to do as well as you, my stage fright without a doubt ruined many opportunities for me. Betablockers are not recreational drugs, they do not have a black market as far as I know. THEY REALLY WORK and a fair number of pros use them. I wish I'd had them in college, to overcome my fears then.

Ginny


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 RE: Don't Even Go There - to paul and lelia
Author: Greg 
Date:   1999-08-20 00:00

Yes Ginny - and I'm not referring to just beta blockers or to just professional musicians as you might have gathered from my post.. All kind of legitimate help is out there for those that enlighten themselves to the possibilities. (Alcohol is a drug just like caffeine but of course they are more socially acceptable). Abuse of illicit drugs should be distinguished from the use of drugs prescribed in a purposeful manner for which they are designed and can be controlled.

There is an unusual streak of fear or misunderstanding of
the use of these drugs in our society - antidepressants, antianxiolytics, even something as relatively uncomplicated to prescribe as beta blockers - due to the belief that they are only for people with "weak" personalities or constitutions. Quite the contrary. The medical community view these individuals as having inherently strong personalities that are willing to work to solve their problems in a constructive manner - not destroy their lives with illicit drugs or alcohol abuse.

Greg Smith



Ginny wrote:
-------------------------------


Greg wrote:
-------------------------------
Positively Calvanistic and puritanical are your posts!
Contrary to your beliefs, the reality is that there are countless, well documented incidences in the professional musical world of beta - blockers or/and psychiatric drugs (if PROPERLY used under a doctors guidance) that have literally saved careers or allowed careers to be built.

-------------------------------

Thank you for posting this, I was afraid when I posted about using Betablockers somebody would post as was done. They are not recreational drugs. Although, I doubt my talent/ambition level would allow me to do as well as you, my stage fright without a doubt ruined many opportunities for me. Betablockers are not recreational drugs, they do not have a black market as far as I know. THEY REALLY WORK and a fair number of pros use them. I wish I'd had them in college, to overcome my fears then.

Ginny


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 RE: Don't Even Go There - to paul and lelia
Author: Ginny 
Date:   1999-08-20 01:42

Greg, recently my dear old mom was treated for depression, a disabling depression with a serotin inhibiter. It gave her her life back and my dad his also. I would tread lightly and carefully, but I am grateful that this kind of help is now there.

Greg wrote:
-------------------------------
Yes Ginny - and I'm not referring to just beta blockers or to just professional musicians as you might have gathered from my post.. All kind of legitimate help is out there for those that enlighten themselves to the possibilities. (Alcohol is a drug just like caffeine but of course they are more socially acceptable). Abuse of illicit drugs should be distinguished from the use of drugs prescribed in a purposeful manner for which they are designed and can be controlled.

There is an unusual streak of fear or misunderstanding of
the use of these drugs in our society - antidepressants, antianxiolytics, even something as relatively uncomplicated to prescribe as beta blockers - due to the belief that they are only for people with "weak" personalities or constitutions. Quite the contrary. The medical community view these individuals as having inherently strong personalities that are willing to work to solve their problems in a constructive manner - not destroy their lives with illicit drugs or alcohol abuse.

Greg Smith



Ginny wrote:
-------------------------------


Greg wrote:
-------------------------------
Positively Calvanistic and puritanical are your posts!
Contrary to your beliefs, the reality is that there are countless, well documented incidences in the professional musical world of beta - blockers or/and psychiatric drugs (if PROPERLY used under a doctors guidance) that have literally saved careers or allowed careers to be built.

-------------------------------

Thank you for posting this, I was afraid when I posted about using Betablockers somebody would post as was done. They are not recreational drugs. Although, I doubt my talent/ambition level would allow me to do as well as you, my stage fright without a doubt ruined many opportunities for me. Betablockers are not recreational drugs, they do not have a black market as far as I know. THEY REALLY WORK and a fair number of pros use them. I wish I'd had them in college, to overcome my fears then.

Ginny


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 For Greg Smith
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-08-20 14:14

Greg:

I have to tip my hat to you for your expertise in music, especially on the clarinet. This BBS is truly blessed with your active participation, even if and when it is somewhat stressful as these series of postings seem to be. That's what differentiates friends from acquaintences.

With that said, please take the time to reread my posting and put it into context. I made a concerted effort to understand the need for prescription drugs, no matter what the circumstance or condition (physical or mental). I refuse to judge others' needs, for I am neither a doctor nor a judge. Rather, I was trying to make a very open plea for the minors who peruse this BBS to carefully consider their choices in life, especially when it comes to drugs (of ANY kind, caffiene and alcohol included). If they have a valid need for any drug, even if it's over the counter, they should consult their parents and their doctor first.

Again, please understand my position. Yes, I readily admitted that I am extremely conservative towards any and all drugs. That's fine. You see, I am not only a military veteran who saw illicit drugs as "the enemy", I am also professionally involved with the K-12 education industry in my current position. They too see illicit drugs as "the enemy".

Please send me an EMail if you would like to see point-by-point where we agree and disagree on this subject. You might be surprised at the answer.

Respectfully,

paul

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 RE: beta blockers - for Paul
Author: Greg 
Date:   1999-08-20 17:42

Yes Paul - I too share your concern for aspiring musicians (of any age) who look to this BBS for opinions on such important issues as performance anxiety.

I have carefully reread your post and have to say that the impression I get still worries me for these reasons:

The assertion that excessive performance anxiety (stage fright) is a non medical condition not needing drug treatment and that one should only use drugs to "literally keep your life" - stay alive as I understand it.

The assertion that the two ways to conquer excessive performance anxiety were to learn to control ones thought processes.

My disagreement with you is wholly on the first part and partially on the second.

I have already stated my disagreement about the first part in a prior post but do agree with you that the thought processes are extremely important in controlling performance anxiety. I use techniques successfully on a daily basis for music performance as well as for daily life stresses.

I am concerned though that musicians will accept this as the only way to control their performance anxiety for fear of taking any form of drug.....a drug that would compliment thinking techniques that have been proven so successful that an entire branch of psychology is devoted to teaching it!

I am also concerned that musicians with cases that are chronic or so severe that it impedes their ability to reach their goals will write the problem off as their fault (as several posts in this thread reveal) when there may be a biological problem that no thought process can overcome. These are the people that can especially benefit from these drugs and are the ones that need encouragement to seek assistance. These are the ones who most definitely have a medical condition......many times diagnosed as a social phobia.

As always these forums are healthy for friends and aquaintances alike to share knowledge in hopes of further enlightenment. I certainally find the experience stimulating but so far anyway, not particularly stressfull.
I certainly hope that you find the same.
Greg Smith

paul wrote:
-------------------------------
Greg:

I have to tip my hat to you for your expertise in music, especially on the clarinet. This BBS is truly blessed with your active participation, even if and when it is somewhat stressful as these series of postings seem to be. That's what differentiates friends from acquaintences.

With that said, please take the time to reread my posting and put it into context. I made a concerted effort to understand the need for prescription drugs, no matter what the circumstance or condition (physical or mental). I refuse to judge others' needs, for I am neither a doctor nor a judge. Rather, I was trying to make a very open plea for the minors who peruse this BBS to carefully consider their choices in life, especially when it comes to drugs (of ANY kind, caffiene and alcohol included). If they have a valid need for any drug, even if it's over the counter, they should consult their parents and their doctor first.

Again, please understand my position. Yes, I readily admitted that I am extremely conservative towards any and all drugs. That's fine. You see, I am not only a military veteran who saw illicit drugs as "the enemy", I am also professionally involved with the K-12 education industry in my current position. They too see illicit drugs as "the enemy".

Please send me an EMail if you would like to see point-by-point where we agree and disagree on this subject. You might be surprised at the answer.

Respectfully,

paul

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 RE: beta blockers - for Paul
Author: Lelia 
Date:   1999-08-21 15:03

If someone gets a prescription and a doctor's advice, fine with me, but unfortuately kids *are* using beta blockers as if they were recreational drugs. They're taking their parents' prescriptions, and so forth. I know a doctor, aldso a musician, who hands the stuff out like candy. Knowing nothing about my medical history, he offered to write me a prescription. That's potentially deadly.

I'm not mindlessly "puritanical" about drugs. Drugs saved my life when I spent most of two months in the hospital in 1998. I'd like to stay alive awhile longer. That's why, on my doctor's advice, I won't touch beta blockers. I have low blood pressure (as if it's anybody's business; but apparently I have to offer my credentials for inspection). If I'd taken the advice I frequently see being bandied about by musicians who are not doctors and therefore not competent to prescribe, or by medical professionals (*not* Diane K., who is responsible about this sort of thing -- note how carefully she qualified her comments) who should know better than to recommend drugs to people they've never examined, I might be dead at the moment, instead of pontificating on the 'Net. Use some sense, people, that's all I'm saying. Beta blockers are safe for some musicians. For others (not just people with low blood pressure; there are other contraindications as well), these drugs are lethal.


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 RE: beta blockers
Author: Greg Smith 
Date:   1999-08-21 17:20

So there is absolutely no misunderstanding, perhaps I should repeat myself from my previous posts. It is obvious to me that they are being misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Those individuals that cannot live with and cannot conquer their performance anxiety have the option of seeking medical help (from a professional) which might include the use of beta blockers, other helpful drugs, along with adjunct behavioral therapies.

Irresponsible distribution of any drug is obviously a destructive practice. Of course, I have never advocated this explicitly or implicitly.

There should be no discouragement to seek professional help for those that are suffering needlessly. Advising people to seek this kind of professional help is NOT the same thing as advocating irresponsible use of any drug.

Greg Smith

Lelia wrote:
-------------------------------
If someone gets a prescription and a doctor's advice, fine with me, but unfortuately kids *are* using beta blockers as if they were recreational drugs. They're taking their parents' prescriptions, and so forth. I know a doctor, aldso a musician, who hands the stuff out like candy. Knowing nothing about my medical history, he offered to write me a prescription. That's potentially deadly.

I'm not mindlessly "puritanical" about drugs. Drugs saved my life when I spent most of two months in the hospital in 1998. I'd like to stay alive awhile longer. That's why, on my doctor's advice, I won't touch beta blockers. I have low blood pressure (as if it's anybody's business; but apparently I have to offer my credentials for inspection). If I'd taken the advice I frequently see being bandied about by musicians who are not doctors and therefore not competent to prescribe, or by medical professionals (*not* Diane K., who is responsible about this sort of thing -- note how carefully she qualified her comments) who should know better than to recommend drugs to people they've never examined, I might be dead at the moment, instead of pontificating on the 'Net. Use some sense, people, that's all I'm saying. Beta blockers are safe for some musicians. For others (not just people with low blood pressure; there are other contraindications as well), these drugs are lethal.


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 RE: BetaBlockers - to Leila
Author: Greg Smith 
Date:   1999-08-21 17:30

Please refer to Dr. Phillip Chances comments about this issue under the thread "stage fright" which is a couple of clicks away.

Greg Smith

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 RE: beta blockers - for Paul
Author: Ginny 
Date:   1999-08-22 01:18

I note that I have never said anything except that in my own experience betablockers work rather better than any of the many things I tried for this phobia. I wish that you too could enjoy the freedom of being able to enjoy playing with and for others that I now can, thanks to this treatment. No one has suggested that they be used other than under a doctor's care. I no longer have need of them, they did their job.

You state below that they can be lethal, to those with low blood pressure and other un-named medical problems, I assume you mean in the small doses used for stage fright. Do you have a personal experience dying from the dosage used for stage fright, or you are a clinical researcher studying the fatalities from this application? Perhaps you would like to give your source, specifically. Otherwise you would seem to be doing just what you accuse others of doing, giving advice with out the proper credentials to do so.

I note that I have low blood pressure and I am alive, and have used betablockers for stage fright (by prescription.)

Ginny

Lelia wrote:
-------------------------------
If someone gets a prescription and a doctor's advice, fine with me, but unfortuately kids *are* using beta blockers as if they were recreational drugs. They're taking their parents' prescriptions, and so forth. I know a doctor, aldso a musician, who hands the stuff out like candy. Knowing nothing about my medical history, he offered to write me a prescription. That's potentially deadly.

I'm not mindlessly "puritanical" about drugs. Drugs saved my life when I spent most of two months in the hospital in 1998. I'd like to stay alive awhile longer. That's why, on my doctor's advice, I won't touch beta blockers. I have low blood pressure (as if it's anybody's business; but apparently I have to offer my credentials for inspection). If I'd taken the advice I frequently see being bandied about by musicians who are not doctors and therefore not competent to prescribe, or by medical professionals (*not* Diane K., who is responsible about this sort of thing -- note how carefully she qualified her comments) who should know better than to recommend drugs to people they've never examined, I might be dead at the moment, instead of pontificating on the 'Net. Use some sense, people, that's all I'm saying. Beta blockers are safe for some musicians. For others (not just people with low blood pressure; there are other contraindications as well), these drugs are lethal.


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 The above post is for Lelia
Author: Ginny 
Date:   1999-08-22 01:19

The above post should read for Lelia.


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 RE: Ginny
Author: Lelia 
Date:   1999-08-23 01:32

I repeated the warning my doctor gave me. Ginny, the information about contraindications is available in published reference books. Look up beta blockers in the Merck Manual or Physicians' Desk Reference, for instance. I won't invade my own privacy or anyone else's any further by answering personal questions. Suffice that IMHO, a bunch of clarinetists, most of us not medical professionals, should not speculate about who ought to take particular drugs and who ought not to. That's for individuals to discuss with our / their doctors. Someone asked if I'd read the related thread on stage fright. Yes. Saw no need to repeat the same comment twice.

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 Meds have their place, use them wisely
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-08-24 01:53

These postings have what I believe is a common theme. Some people require medicines to control reactions of various kinds. However, all medicines (even the tame ones) have trade offs and therefore should be taken with the full understanding of what they can do for you and what they can do to you.

I still adhere to the side of great caution with youngsters and any drugs. I still believe that folks should know what they are doing to themselves when they take any drug (caffiene, alcolhol, nicotine included). Sure, many drugs have benefits for those who need them for various conditions, both mental and physical. All I am asking is that folks consider the risks and benefits of all drugs. Furthermore, ignorance and drug taking is a potentially deadly combination. So is the abuse or any overuse of any drug. Furthermore, I still believe that taking a drug from want instead of need is dangerous.

Get the advice of a medical professional for any condition, even if it's addiction to alcohol, nicotine, or caffiene. If you are stressed, find out what's causing it and find ways to level it out as needed. Mr. Smith, combat veterans understand exactly what stress and mental health is all about. Somehow, I believe there is a difference between playing solo in front of a packed crowd and literally fighting to survive in the battlefield. However, the "fight or fligh" stress reaction can be very much the same.

There is no shame in seeking help. Quite the contrary, I see this as a sign of mature strength.

Know your limits. Know yourself. When you don't know or are not sure, seek professional help.

Most of all, don't start taking drugs just to feel good about yourself, especially if a "friend" gives you something. Dare to be unique. Dare to excel. Dare to walk away.


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 RE: beta blockers
Author: Greg 
Date:   1999-08-26 04:47

I reluctantly repeat: read my posts of 8/19, 8/20 and 8/21.

There is no speculation, pontification - nor are there any irresponsible recommendations.

On another thread entitled "stage fright" my assertions are endorsed by a medical doctor Phillip Chance MD.

The amount of misinterpretation concerning these posts in this thread is truly flabbergasting.

Greg Smith

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 RE: beta blockers
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-08-31 15:01

Mr Smith wrote:

"The amount of misinterpretation concerning these posts in this thread is truly flabbergasting."

When I get a flabbergasting attack, I go straight to my doctor for the right meds, just for me.  ;)

Sorry, Greg. I just had to respond with a point of tongue-in-cheek humor. I look forward to your postings on music and especially the clarinet in the future.




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