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Greetings!
Healing: A Bridge To The Future
by Rick Silver
Surviving Infidelity
by Marg Silverton
Are You Really Too Sensitive?
by Mary Strueber
It Takes Dozens to Tango
by Ruth Berlin
Anxiety Making You Anxious?
by Terry Catucci
Healing Trauma With HMR by Mary Lou Zetter
Life's Rules For the Road
by Abby Rosen
Formula For Communication by Abby Rosen

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InnerSource Services

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InnerSource, Inc.
980 Awald Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21403
(410) 267-0280

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Anxiety Making You Anxious?
By Terry Catucci, LCSW-C
InnerSource Psychotherapist

Everyone experiences stress in life. Deadlines at work, an ever-growing to-do list, and relationship problems are examples of stressful situations. Even positives can create stress; consider how stressful it is to move into a new home, have a baby, or start a new job. However, it’s our response to stress that’s most problematic. Some people are simply more sensitive to stress, and anxiety disorders are common for them.

The National Institute for Mental Health estimates that anxiety disorders affect 19 million American adults in any given year. The Surgeon General notes that “anxiety, which may be understood as the pathological counterpart of normal fear, is manifest by disturbances of mood, as well as of thinking, behavior, and physiological activity.”

What does that mean? For some people anxiety manifests as an overwhelming feeling of dread that seemingly comes out of the blue, and may be accompanied by chest pains or breathing difficulties. Or it can mean muscle pains, backaches, stomach pains, or headaches. Individuals experiencing any of these symptoms should see a medical doctor immediately. But if the doctor rules out physical reasons for the symptoms, anxiety may be the culprit. It’s important to remember that whether a corresponding physical diagnosis is found or not, the anxiety-related pain and discomfort are very real.

“Jim,” a husband and father had gone back to school and changed careers in his forties, exchanging a manual job for one in information technology. After a year on the job with ever-increasing responsibilities, he suddenly experienced severe chest pains accompanied by shortness of breath in the middle of a workday. He was taken to the emergency room as a possible cardiac patient. Much to his relief, there was no evidence of a heart attack.

“Mary,” a single woman in her late twenties considered herself to be in a dead-end job. For years she had an active social life, but found herself going out less and less and developed pain in her legs and in her abdomen. She went to her doctor who conducted several tests. While somewhat reassured when the results all came back negative, she still dreaded leaving home, whether to socialize or for work.

“Jennifer,” a self-employed professional in her thirties, described having difficulty concentrating, was always tired, and was a chronic worrier. She was filled with self-doubt in her professional and personal lives.

Each of these people had symptoms consistent with a type of anxiety disorder that responds well to a holistic therapeutic approach that considers a person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects – the “whole” person. For emotional pain, treatment often begins with a review of stressors and problems, then identifies what can be changed.

Time is spent helping that person learn relaxation techniques. One technique I use is Eye Movement Densitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) that aids my clients in working through trauma and other problems. Think of the brain like a computer with memories and behaviors that are associated with painful or distressing emotions in a program that runs in a re-playing loop. EMDR teases out the memories and breaks the loop, allowing the "user" to once again have control of the program.

As therapy progresses the client sets goals for future growth. Learning to access the power to make life altering changes that lead to a more fulfilling life is a journey that can begin in therapy. Joyfully, it continues for a lifetime.

 

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