Anyone struggling with extreme anxiety knows how debilitating it can be. We have all been met with anxiety at one time or another. Our bodies are designed to alert us when we perceive we are in an unsafe situation.
For some, of course there are psychological factors behind this debilitating condition. But for others, it’s a result of a stress response system dysfunction, or Adrenal Fatigue.
When Anxiety Is a Perpetual State of Life
Chronic anxiety can be easily dismissed by friends, family, and even doctors as “no big deal” or “all in your head.” This poor and dismissive treatment is what has left so many of our patients feeling completely misunderstood. Patients are told to “just relax.” This is incredibly hurtful and can feel impossible for someone stuck in stress physiology and suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.
For most people, anxiety isn’t a big deal. It may crop up before public speaking, making a big move to a new city, or having to take an important test. Whenever we’re pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, it’s normal for a little bit of anxiety to arise. In these types of situations, it can even feel like a fine line between anxiety and excitement, and we can move through it.
Nervousness or Just Excitement?
Nervousness can feel similar to excitement. We’ve all had that feeling of butterflies in our stomach when we’re riding a rollercoaster or facing a new adventure. When our stress response system is functioning optimally, the feeling should be fleeting. Imagine if it never went away, though.
That’s how it feels for someone living in a chronic state of anxiety. When suffering from extreme anxiety, it feels impossible to overcome.
Chronic states of stress over long periods of time will lead to a trigger-happy stress response system. We lose the ability to discern which threats are truly life-threatening. Everything starts to feel like an attack. Opening an email, leaving the house, meeting up with friends, or merging lanes while driving on the highway all become triggers.
What Happens When Anxiety Is Chronic?
This type of anxiety can no longer be mistaken for butterflies, excitement, or acute nervousness. It is overwhelming, an out-of-control feeling, like living in constant fear or even panic.
Experience chronic anxiety for long enough, and our bodies become exhausted. All of our energy goes toward pushing past the anxiety to do even the simplest of tasks.
Our patients want nothing more than to be able to stay on top of their to-do lists. They would love to say “yes” when they are invited to social events. But it’s all just too much.
Anxiety From Adrenal Fatigue Can Be Paralyzing
Being in a constant state of high alert and hyper-stimulation is life-changing. Isolation is sometimes the only way to cope; outside demands and stimulation–social, career, and family–become too much to bear.
We know from conventional research that excess levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline cause numerous symptoms. Feeling “wired and tired,” insomnia, depression, weight fluctuations, and digestion issues can go hand in hand with chronic anxiety.
In addition to the psychological strain, Adrenal Fatigue being at the root of these symptoms, chips away at our physical quality of life.
Adrenal Fatigue causes sensitivity to become amplified…and not in a good way. Patients become more sensitive to light, sounds, smells, and pain. Irritability peaks, and making the simplest of decisions feels impossible.
Our patients that suffer from anxiety are typically already sensitive in nature. When the stress response system is in a balanced state, sensitivity feels like a superpower instead of a hindrance. It is what makes all of our patients such compassionate and caring people. Their ability to pick up on the small details and feel so deeply also contributes to a lot of their natural gifts.
The Whole Patient Needs to Be Treated, Not Just the Anxiety
Although there are many exercises to help alleviate anxiety temporarily, shifting out of stress physiology takes a little more doing. Pharmaceuticals may be a temporary solution to help someone survive day-to-day life while being in a persistent state of “fight or flight.” However, they will not heal the root of the problem.
In fact, if the root problem of any disease or condition is not addressed, symptoms will worsen over time, as has happened for those in this chronic state of anxiety.
Prescriptions can become a slippery slope for patients. Starting with one medication can often turn into several as their dysfunction worsens. The many side effects that come along with taking medication can lead to needing new medications.
Alternatively, the side effects of treating the body holistically are more energy, less pain, improved digestion, restful sleep, stable weight, and no longer needing any prescription medications.
Given Time to Heal, Anxiety Can Be Resolved
For two decades, I have successfully treated thousands of patients using my Trilateral Approach to Healing. My approach involves treating the hormones, nerves, and what we call the “CEO” of the stress response: the limbic system of the brain.
Since this condition is both chronic and misunderstood, it can easily turn into a very long and lonely journey if left untreated. Our goal is to help our patients get their life back and thrive. That means calming anxiety while repairing the underlying Adrenal Fatigue. Figuring out the root cause of your health problems is the first step to finding the right support to help you heal.