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,