Since last March, we have been getting calls from so many patients saying they are feeling anxious suddenly after the whole Pandemic thing started. The symptoms usually were sudden palpitations, sweating, trembling, sleeplessness, occasional chest pain with over-thinking. Symptoms would vary in intensity and frequency but more or less all of them had a similar experience. Some of them also had panic attacks on and off.
If we have to define Anxiety, It is a normal response to any stress in our life, its apprehension or fear about things to come. But, when this normal response becomes intense, starts affecting your life, lasts longer than 6 months and is disturbing, it can be termed as a disorder – Anxiety Disorder. Now in patients who approached me, the duration wasn’t long but the emotion had started affecting their daily life and the people around them. Some patients were also having somatization of this anxiety. They would experience various physical symptoms like aches and pains, hyperacidity, Loose motions and many more. Commonest triggers for the anxiety included:
- COVID patient in the family
- Death due to COVID around them
- Social media and media posts, news and articles
- Not able to move out of the house
- Family tiffs
- Balancing WFH, kids and house chores especially in females
- Extended working hours due to WFH
- Financial strain due to loss of job or business
When we used to take a detailed history of patients, we also found that there were some dormant fears, insecurities or issues in their life which they had experienced in the past and were not addressed at that moment in time. Behind these superficial symptoms of anxiety and fear, there were deeper issues and insecurities which were responsible for the current state. They were not aware of the connection when they approached us but on taking detailed history and therapy, things started to make sense to them.
‘Being aware’ –is half work done!
When we ask patients to describe their complaints with all the minute details, how do they feel and what do they experience, we are taking them deeper and deeper into their own experience making them aware of themselves.
How did we treat them?
We treated them with ERP (Emotion Releasing Process), counselling and Homoeopathy
How does this ERP and counselling work?
Emotions are nothing but moving energy. When emotions get trapped in the body, it disturbs our emotional equilibrium and we start feeling anxious/fearful/depressed/low/hurt/revengeful etc. Releasing and tapping on the core patterns, issues and emotions due to our life experience can heal us. Also while counselling, reaching to the core beliefs which can be rational or irrational, making the patient aware of them and guiding them to modify in such a way so that beliefs work in their favour rather than against them, works well. Once beliefs are modified, associated emotions and behaviour also change.
ERP heals you by balancing and unblocking the energy system. It restores healing to physical pain as well as psychological health. Counselling will enable you to handle such situations better.
How does Homoeopathy work in anxiety/fear?
As we know that Homoeopathy is based on the principle of ‘Like cures like’, for mental health-related issues also works in the same way. When we know the core mental pattern of the person, we match that pattern with our medicines which have curative power for a similar pattern. Medicines work on the Psycho-Neuro-Endocrine-Immune axis and help in calming down the whole system.
A few tips for self-work:
- Be aware of your emotions – How are you feeling? Why are you feeling what you are feeling?
- ‘Name it to tame it’ – is a phrase given by psychiatrist and author Dr. Daniel Siegel. Whenever you are feeling any particular emotion strongly or we say hijacked by that emotion, name your emotion to decrease the intensity. E.g. If you are feeling anxious and you are getting palpitations because of that, say to yourself or out loud that, “I am feeling anxious and my heart is beating too fast.” Acknowledging, validating and choosing correct words to describe what you are feeling can decrease the intensity of that emotion at that particular moment because this exercise jump-starts your thinking brain and calms down your limbic system which controls emotions.
- Stay away from disturbing news. Stop watching or reading news on TV or social media. This can act as a trigger.
- Limit the use of social media and your screen-time.
- Be occupied and follow a routine – Anxiety/fear can pop up when you are idle. It is better to follow a routine and be occupied to avoid going in that zone.
- Make a list of things under your control and things that are not under your control – This gives an insight into the things we should worry about and things we shouldn’t.
- Practice meditation and meditative art forms like mandala, Zen tangle etc.
- Exercise regularly – Exercising and sweating promotes the secretion of ‘Happy hormones’ which elevate your mood and energy.
- Be connected – Be in touch with your friends and family. Talk regularly to make you feel better.
- Ask for HELP – Do not hesitate to ask for professional help if you feel your day to day life is getting affected and you are not able to manage on your own.
“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges.” – Bryant McGill
Stay Home! Stay Safe!
Stay Healthy! Stay Happy!