Currently reading – Beyond Fear – Dorothy Rowe

Dorothy Rowe shows us how to have the courage to acknowledge and face our fears – only through courage can we find a sustaining happiness. Fear is the great unmentionable. We fear loss, bereavement, old age, death, rejection, failure – most of all we fear annihilation of the self. Yet all of this we keep to ourselves, afraid of being thought weak.

Denying our fear of self-destruction, around which our entire sense of self is built, can have profound effects upon ourselves and those around us in later life. It can lead to physical illness, like anorexia, or to mental problems, such as panic attacks, depression and schizophrenia. In “Beyond Fear” psychologist Dorothy Rowe explains how to recognize the need for change and how to bring it about.

Beyond Fear – Dorothy Rowe
Beyond Fear – Dorothy Rowe

First published in 1987, Beyond Fear has changed the lives of thousands of people. In this second edition, the renowned psychologist Dorothy Rowe examines the changes in the psychiatric system since 1987 in the context of showing how most of our suffering comes from our greatest fear, that of being annihilated as a person, when we shall disappear like a puff of smoke in the wind, never to have existed.

We feel this fear whenever others humiliate or belittle us, or whenever we discover a serious discrepancy between what we thought our life was and what it actually is. The greater our fear, the more desperate our defence against it, the most desperate of defences being what psychiatrists call mental disorders. Yet, by knowing ourselves we can go beyond our fear and face life with courage.

Statin side effects to be studied

Of particular relevance to me, since my heart problems started a few years ago, and I’ve been prescribed these.

FEARS over the side-effects of heart drugs used by four million Britons have sparked a two-year investigation.

Statins have been hailed as a “wonder drug” for reducing cholesterol and preventing tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes.

But experts are becoming worried by the unpleasant reactions that some patients are experiencing.

Scientists at Nottingham University have been given £250,000 to investigate the problem. They want patients over 65 who suffer from muscle aches – a common side-effect – to help them with their work.

Statins have been hailed as a “wonder drug”
Statins have been hailed as a “wonder drug”

Statins are already known to cause tummy upsets, liver problems and muscle pains in some users as well as a rare but serious lung disorder.

Packets warn patients of these side-effects but last year manufacturers were forced to add new cautions, telling patients that statins can sometimes cause memory loss, sexual problems, depression and disturbed sleep.

The research team wants to discover why people are suffering such unpleasant reactions to the drugs and how widespread the problem is.

The side-effects have not deterred the use of statins by the National Health Service.

Later this year, family doctors will be asked to screen everyone over the age of 40 for their risk of cardiovascular disease and prescribe statins to those most at risk – an estimated 1.4 million more Britons.

A Government adviser has claimed that the cholesterol-lowering drugs should be offered to all men over 50 and women over 60 as a “short cut” to prevent heart disease.

Roger Boyle, the national director for heart disease and stroke, said a blanket approach that would give everyone above a certain age a daily dose of statins would save lives, money and doctors’ time.