A Look Inside Anxiety & Panic Disorder

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Food Stress Connection

Getting a handle on anxiety & panic disorder means getting a handle on lots of lifestyle areas including those related to stresses of all sorts....including food stress. And while you may not have heard about food stress, do know that it ranks right at the top of the stress list for most individuals... Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Any time is a great time for deep cleaning & right at the top of the list for those in search of optimum health should be a thorough review of eating patterns & behaviors. There is little doubt that disorderly eating is responsible for the continual & rapid decline in the health of both adults & children & just in case you weren't aware, it is a major factor in those dealing with anxiety & panic disorder. In fact, of the thousands of patients I've met over my many years in practice, I have yet to find a patient with symptoms of anxiety & panic who doesn't have disorderly eating of sorts.

Disorderly eaters tend to fall into two major problematic groups. One group appears to be totally asleep & therefore unaware of how they are mis-managing their food-brain-body physiology & the other group, aware but distancing themselves, can be found sitting up in the bleachers hoping the problems they are formulating won't find them there.

Black humor helps us image disorderly eaters wearing bags over their heads, laughing at bad eating habits as if they had no dire outcomes. Connections to chronic & killer diseases, addictions, uncontrollable moods, low productivity, accidents & the like are missed completely as if there was no connection at all as to what entered the mouth & how often it entered.

Disorderly eaters appear blinded to the fact that they are speeding down life's highway, either starving themselves in the quest for the fantasy perfect body or forfeiting all for the giant slurpie & riding straight into the arms of the multitude of disasters waiting to greet them.

Where to Begin

Everyone travels to their moment of nutritional awakening by different routes & so it is important to begin with an indepth self-assessment of where one has been, where one is now & to then build a workable plan. While most of us can recognize surface problems, it is usually a challenge to harness these & then to successfully manage them.

It helps to think of disorderly eating as an octopus poking it's head out of the sea. The tentacles of the problem lie under the surface & the origins may be well-buried in the ocean floor, but still capable of sending up physical & emotional messages that connect to the maintenance of disorderly eating. When parts of a problem are not identified, it is often difficult to make a good plan for recovery or to find ways to implement it. Even when the parts are identified, there is still the business of staying motivated & persisting through obstacles on the life path. A good therapist can be of great assistance in pulling this all together & designing a workable discipline. The therapist's work will also include helping you to isolate your personal strengths & weaknesses, while teaching you to manage both aspects.

To properly identify the octopus' tentacles, it is vital to walk through the family & personal medical history, as well as the addictions history, current medications & past lifestyle behaviors & patterns. It is also important to examine what one eats & drinks over a 24 hour period, as well as what one doesn't eat. Keep in mind that the body has needs & when they are not met, the problems of disorderly eating ill enhance. Awareness needs to shine on the time of eating, the frequency & certainly the levels of exercise in relation to the food intake.

Take time to study hunger & energy levels for they are very connected to disorderly eating. Examining compulsive or emotional patterns can open the subconscious mind to deeper memories & often the origins of the problems. Self-honesty is the best policy & even if you believe that you eat in a healthy fashion, take the time to do a self-review. You may be surprised at what you find. If one just tunes in, the body & mind have much to communicate.

Organizing Disorderly Eating

Once the problematic areas have been isolated, a new working organization must be put in place, along with the self-management tools. Let's follow a disordered eater & observe as control is achieved.

Sharon, a 32 year old teacher, while not over-weight, is an unhealthy stress-binge eater. She has a history of disordered eating & wants to manage it. She images her new lifestyle work as a baseball game. She is the batter. The pitcher has baskets of stress-producing balls. This image helps Sharon in accepting the presence of outer stress, further understanding that as her batting improves, so will her outcomes.

First base represents high level nutrition & Sharon's food plan. A visit to first base repeatedly etches the new programs into her subconscious mind. She visits her internal motivators here, literally touching base with both her strengths & weaknesses. As she touches second base, she experiences close communication with her body & releases physical stress that is closely related to disorderly eating. Touching third base allows Sharon to work with her emotional & compulsive parts. She is aware of her more difficult patterns & works to diminish them before they begin & engages her positive emotional states in hot motivational imagery.

As Sharon crosses home plate, her winning subconscious mind programs are waiting to shake her hand. Scoring becomes a new pattern of immediate & life-long success. Management of disordered eating is a life long game & just like in professional baseball, one starts off in the farm leagues & with practice & endurance finds themselves as a MVP in the game of life.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, President & Program Designer for Sarasota Medical & Sports Hypnosis Institute located in Sarasota, FL & online at http://www.hypnosis-audio.com & http://www.sugar-addiction.com She is the author of Sugar....the Hidden Eating Disorder & How to Lick It, as well as +350 audio CD's & mp3's. The websites include moderated discussion groups, ezines, library & a host of other educational tools for learning Interactive Self-Hypnosis. Visit the online Boot Camp & work directly with the author. Download a free mp3 each month.