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The Un-Necessary Pandemic Of Anxiety (How I Cured Anxiety)

Written by: Naomi Stockman, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

The backstory

It is likely you’ve never heard of me. I was just another overstressed human being on the planet with a bad backstory. I left home at fifteen, teamed up with an addict, and became a teen mum scraping for food and bills. That was round one. Round two started when I got an accounting degree, married an engineer, bought a few houses, and started a business. Strangely, the same emotions from my early life resurfaced in my new ‘safe’ world, followed by Cancer and finally divorce.

I started round three with nothing but my will to live. The emotional scourge of my existence was heavy.


Something had to change that something was ME.


Not everyone with anxiety or depression has a dramatic backstory, however, everyone with anxiety and depression has something in common.


The experience of powerlessness and distress

I’m not going to cover the fight, flight, freeze response. If you know anything about anxiety, you’ll already know the basics about cortisol and adrenaline being released when threats are detected. The body’s sympathetic nervous system is upregulated, and the parasympathetic system is downregulated. That feeling of hyper-vigilance and trembling, breathless, terrifying, body overwhelm is familiar to many, from mild to extreme. At the mild end of the spectrum, the symptoms can be managed with some diligent efforts. In the extreme end, life feels like survival. Alarmingly, one in five of us is suffering from this debilitating experience.


Our nervous systems become ‘dysregulated’ following past situations where our threat response was activated, and we were unable to resolve the event. This leaves the memory open as it has failed to be stored in long-term memory by the Hippocampus. The distress cycle wasn’t completed. A sense of safety wasn’t restored, and the unconscious is stuck, waiting for the threat.


Why wasn’t the distress cycle completed?


Have you ever watched a jump scare movie that kept you on the edge of your seat? Never knowing when the next ‘shock’ is coming, your system stays alert waiting. The release of ‘excitement’ hormones can be found exhilarating when we have control and know we are safe.


But what about when we have no control and are in perceived danger?


Powerlessness and helplessness are key elements in the initiation of our system dysregulation.


We are born helpless and feel safe from the protection of our parents. Their love, safety, care, and protection allow us to develop until we can care for ourselves. There is a whole field of study around attachment theory which I won’t go into, but let’s just say this stage of our development is important.


If at any time throughout our lives, we feel unprotected, powerless, and in distress, our survival instincts kick in and dysregulation can occur. Distress can be pain, grief, fear, terror, shame, abandonment, betrayal, injustice, worthlessness, neglect, shock, and helplessness.


You can imagine a distressing event for a young child may seem


Types of distressing events


Developmental distress – failure of parental role to provide, protect and care for us in our infancy and early childhood. Clear memories may not be present.


Perpetrator distress – any situation where another person, group of people, or corporate body has taken power from us and caused distress.


Non-Perpetrator distress – accidents, illnesses, natural events resulting in distress.


Traumatic grief – unexpected or unreconcilable loss of a loved one or other unreconcilable loss.


How do Doctors and Psychologists tell us to deal with Anxiety & Depression?


An ambulance was called to assist me as I gasped for air. The paramedics handed me a paper bag and said in a commanding tone “Calm down, you’re doing this to yourself. Breathe into the bag and just calm down.” Yes, I was upset, my husband had just punched me in the back. I genuinely couldn’t’ breathe. The ambulance left and I concentrated on breathing slowly. The following morning, I went to the doctor and was prescribed antidepressants and instructed to take deep breaths. I again explained that I was unable to breathe, and as a precaution, he wrote me a referral for a chest x-ray. Turns out, my right lung had collapsed, and by the time I got to the hospital, I was only moments away from death.


Okay, so again, not everyone has a dramatic backstory on how the medical intervention was not only inappropriate but inadequately investigated. I do however see countless clients who have spent DECADES seeking help, spent thousands of dollars on sessions and pills, and are still struggling. The truth is mainstream treatments are missing the mark.


How I Overcame Anxiety & Depression


The first step is to whip yourself out of victim mode. Crawl out from under the proverbial bed and get dressed ready for action. This is a CHOICE.


Years ago, a man dropped a card from his wallet. I picked it up and went to hand it back to him. On that card were the words “Choice, not chance, determine your destiny” These words changed my life from round one, a poor, beaten young woman with no money or education, to round two, a financially secure, educated woman.


“CHOICE is the first step to freedom.”


The second step is to do the work, this work involves reprogramming the unconscious mind that runs our life with new information which will support our chosen life and address any gains from our current way of life which may prevent us from making lasting change.


The third step is to change the past, and while this sounds ridiculous, our nervous system doesn’t know the difference between ‘real’ and ‘imagined’, which means closing those distress loops can happen with a skilled and trained practitioner using a variety of methods within the framework of the imagination.


The fourth step is to gain resources and release guilt, shame, grief, self-doubt, loneliness, and generational baggage that has kept us small for so long. Emotions are a form of energy that may be trapped in the body. These ‘stresses’ are detrimental to our physical health and I often see people suffering health conditions with long-term unresolved distress. Releasing these allows ease and flow to return to life.


Finally, know who you really are. Our internal identity has a HUGE impact on our nervous system. Jordan Peterson speaks in detail in his book 12 Rules for Life about the serotonin system which determines our status in society and how we as human beings can elevate our internal status.


What outcomes are possible?


Today I am calm, happy, loved, powerful, and safe. My body is healthy and in harmony. Life feels easy. Over a decade of study to resolve my past has resulted in a change of vocation. I now run the world’s best Anxiety & Depression program Anxiety Free Life. The results are so compelling that we guarantee the results. You can witness some of the past participants sharing their experiences on our YouTube channel.


If you or someone you love struggles with anxiety or depression. Reach out and have a conversation to discover if you are eligible. Book a free call here.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Naomi Stockman, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Naomi Stockman is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Nutritionist, and Author who transforms the lives of people living with Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD. Anxiety-Free Life, Naomi’s signature program, has helped people all over the world restore calm and happiness to their lives. Naomi’s mission is to speak to the world: No one needs to live with anxiety or depression, even if you’ve been diagnosed with the alphabet, medicated, or distressed for decades.

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