Unemployment Creates Depression and Anxiety

The recent 9% U.S.unemployment rate means that millions of actual people now have no jobs and no way to make a regular income. This has a huge emotional impact on many of these people, and on the people around them. Imagine the enormity of this impact! When people get laid off, their nervous system often goes through a shock. The bottom drops out of their lives, and they shift into a fear process, different from “normal life,” that profoundly affects how they view themselves and also how they relate to other people and to the world. One could call it unemployment anxiety or unemployment depression.

Stress and Anxiety Create “Fear Thinking”

Their perception of life shrinks and they begin to feel boxed in. They have a much harder time thinking flexibly, thinking “outside the box.” Where before they were problem-solvers, now they are caught in a fog. Regina, (not her real name) for instance, increasingly could only think about lack of money. Rather than being able to see her situation as temporary, it seemed that she would always be out of a job and that her situation would continue along a trajectory of becoming increasingly insecure. She began to imagine herself out on the street, homeless. It became harder and harder for her to leave her house. It got to where she could barely get up in the morning, because she had no energy at all.

This is not unusual. When people’s circumstances suddenly change in a negative way, they go into a state of stress or trauma, living from fear, and they relate to most or all of what happens during the day through the filter of this fear. Where before, they had a sense of choice and control over their lives, they now experience being at the mercy of circumstances. All the fear messages we heard in childhood lock in like a template and take over our thinking process. It’s very difficult to stand outside of this perception.

Movement is Essential

Nevertheless, it’s important to push oneself  to action every day, even if it means taking a short walk, calling one friend, applying for one job (even if you don’t think you’re going to get it), running one errand. Depression and anxiety stop movement and create stuckness. It’s like people become encased in metaphorical ice. Movement—physical, emotional or relational—melts the ice and helps people’s thinking become flexible again.

EFT Tapping Can Heal Unemployment Depression and Anxiety

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a positive, supportive method that can help with unemployment depression or anxiety. There is a creative way of EFT Tapping where you start with a picture of how you perceive yourself—for instance, “I’m in the middle of a huge boulder that I can’t get out of.” You start tapping on being in the boulder—what it looks like, feels like, etc. With each round, the picture transforms. Often, clients move to an increasingly positive state of mind, which helps them act in proactive, positive ways, and then life changes! For more information on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), see my EFT and EFT Case Studies pages or call me!

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

Prolonged Grief Can Be A Sign of PTSD

Grief can be debilitating, whether it’s grief over the death of a loved one or loss through divorce—or any other kind of loss. Grief is natural, as painful and wrenching as it is. When we experience loss, instinctively, we often feel it as a threat to our own survival—maybe not literally, but on a deep, emotional level.

Prolonged Grief Can be a Sign of PTSD

I worked with a client once whose child died through very painful circumstances. A number of years later, he was still experiencing extreme anxiety and even the spaciness and distorted vision that are among the signs of traumatic stress, whenever he thought about the circumstances around his child’s death. A year after the loss, another client, whose partner left her for someone else continued to feel extreme loss, depression, and inability to focus at work.  These are all signs of PTSD.

It’s Hard to Give Up Grief

As painful as the experience of grief and loss can be, for some people, it’s even harder to move on from grief and loss. In one instance, a client felt that, if she let go of her grief, she would be condoning what happened around her child’s death. In another, it felt that the feeling of grief was the only thing still connecting my client to the person that was lost, and there was the belief that giving it up would sever this last connection. There are many other ways that holding onto grief seems to help one keep ones identity, one’s sense of justice and one’s connection to the one lost. I say “seems to help,” because, in reality, this holding on doesn’t actually help and indeed stops us from finding a new real connection or a new real identity.

EFT is Effective with Grief and Loss

As I said, grief is natural, but debilitating grief and prolonged intense grief can be a sign of PTSD, or traumatic stress. I’ve worked with a number of clients experiencing this kind of “PTSD grief,” and have found EFT Tapping very effective in relieving people and helping them to move forward with their lives. If you’d like to know more, see my pages on Stress and Trauma, EFT and EFT Case Studies, and check out my E-zine article on grief.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

 

Shifting From Anxiety to Emotional Freedom

Anxiety often occurs when we dread something that may happen in the future and this dread creates emotional pain. We spend a lot of energy trying to avoid or stave off this dreaded situation, and miss out on noticing the good in our lives.

Childhood Family Patterns Live on in Us

For example, here is a man whose mother was depressed and had no energy to spend with a child. He worried about her all the time, and unconsciously started to take on the job of keeping her happy and engaged with him enough to give him his basic needs. Since he was only a child, of course he often didn’t succeed.

Emotional Pain Dogs Us

Now, as an adult, he has a grown son who is also often depressed. Although the son has been independent and has always worked, the man is constantly terrified that he will lose his job and end up having to live with his father, our man. Whenever something negative happens at his son’s job, or if he gets depressed, this huge dread and anxiety arises in the man.

Anxiety Can Be Our Nervous System’s Attempt to Protect Us

Strangely, the fear that the man had as a child when his mother got depressed, and his subsequent attempts to help her emotionally started as an attempt to protect himself, to make sure she was ok enough to provide him with food and a place to sleep when he was too young to do it for himself. Unconsciously, the fear seemed the important variable and that part stayed with him.

Family Pattern Anxiety is PTSD

The fact that this specific anxiety pattern, now triggered by his son’s depression, is etched into his nervous system, is a sign of PTSD—Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

EFT Tapping Helps

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is often very effective in healing PTSD. For example, this man came to the realization that, even if his son were to have to live with him, it would not be the end of the world. He was able to really feel that, if it came to that, something else would come after that, that is, it would not be permanent. The relief was palpable, and it lasted. This is emotional freedom.

For more information on how EFT helps with stress, trauma and PTSD, check out my pages on Stress and Trauma, EFT and EFT Case Studies. My home page gives an overview of my Psychotherapy and Organizational Consulting work.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë