What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

November 11, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

Research on the many shades of anxiety disorders, a topic of increasing relevance in today’s race-to-the-finish society, shows that social anxiety disorder is the most prevalent of anxiety issue among adults. The number of sufferers rises every year. This might be because it went ignored for so long.

 Classified for years as ‘awkwardness’, ‘pathological shyness’, and most recently ‘social phobia’ (which makes it sound the same as a fear of spiders), social anxiety disorder has been misunderstood for years, leaving sufferers asking helplessly “what is wrong with me?” without knowing that social anxiety is quite common.  You may think you’re alone, but you’re certainly not. Nothing is “wrong”, at least not in the unfathomable, irreparable way you might think.

 What are the signs? Social anxiety is certainly beyond a characteristic shyness or being introverted.  Social anxiety disorder means an overwhelming fear of situations like eating or drinking in front of others, being the center of attention during a social interaction, speaking in public, using public toilets, etc.  As well as intense anxiety over being judged by others or making friends – remember, it could be any number of these things together, or something beyond the scope of this list. It is often accompanied by depression, obsessive compulsive tendencies, or feeling physically sick when called upon to participate in a high-stress social context.  Perhaps the most difficult problem on the individual level is the feeling that the fear is unreasonable, yet you still cannot rise above it.  

  It is these things that bring people to seek help, often not realizing the source of the issue.         Social anxiety disorder often begins in adolescence or even childhood and affects women and men equally, but  doctors believe this anxiety can be eased with a combination of physical, mental, and medical treatment.

 If you’re not comfortable with pills nor a fan of the psychologist’s couch, there are ways.  TRE UK for instance offers the  ‘no talking’ self-help technique that once learnt could work as it has for others, helping you feel more comfortable in social surroundings and more confident and communicative –  you just need to find what works best for you.

PTSD – How Bad Can it Get?

November 1, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

This is a question I keep asking myself, particularly every time a PTSD sufferer would come to a TRE session.  PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is something that individuals can develop following an incident that occurs out of the blue and totally overwhelms the mind and body.  It is life changing, and not for the better.

With heightened awareness I am starting to see and hear more and more reports on the effects of PTSD, the struggles to deal with it and the tragedy that follows when there seems to be no way out.  The plight of victims that have either been caught up in a situation as a witness or a victim leaving them traumatised and the suffering that follows can be devastating.

In my work with veterans and serving soldiers I am delighted when their symptoms clear using a ‘no talking’ natural body release technique. However the problem is not localised, PTSD is affecting thousands and this was drawn to my attention from a recent article I have read on Medical Negligence with reference to Military Veterans and PTSD.

With the MOD committing £7.4m to ensure mental health support for soldiers why did 21 serving and 29 veterans take their own lives last year?  How come numbers of soldiers suffering PTSD doubled in three years?  It would seem this is going to get a whole lot worse with the plans to double the size of the TA (Territorial Army) from 15k to 30k!  One cannot begin to imagine how bad things can get. 

I invite you to read the article and maybe you will be asking the same question!

http://www.pannone.com/media-centre/blog/medical-negligence-blog/military-veterans-and-post-traumatic-stress-disorder.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Military

October 17, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

A while ago I mentioned a friend whose grandfather had never dealt with the trauma he experienced during the Second World War, and how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cast a shadow over the rest of his life.

This story made me curious about what our servicemen and women experience today, and if enough is being done to combat post-traumatic stress accumulated in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The US government estimates that 20% of its Iraq and Afghanistan veterans  suffer from post-traumatic stress, and Britain’s numbers doubled from 2008 to 2009. Although the government pledged 7.2 million pounds in increased services to members of the military for dealing with trauma, large numbers of these cases still go unreported, misunderstood or ignored. Sleep disturbance could be misconstrued as random nightmares and simple insomnia. Outbursts of rage could be from day-to-day stresses or the just getting back into the groove of civilian life. Flashbacks might be mistaken for routine memories of the past.

 Post traumatic stress from combat is often triggered by events such as being shot at, witnessing death firsthand (often of a friend or comrade), or dealing with the constant stress of never feeling safe.  This does not mean that if you have seen these things you have PTSD, and PTSD itself runs a gamut from very minor cases to those who cannot function at all normally in daily life. It’s important not to self-diagnose, but to speak to a healthcare professional and ask how you can be sure your feelings of anxiety are post traumatic stress.

Even if military personnel do not have PTSD, the anxieties of crossing back into life outside the warzone are to be expected. The immediate change from a high-pressure, consistently dangerous environment to one where family members and friends expect you to be the same as before you went into combat can create intense feelings of nervousness. The best thing, either way, is to seek help if you fear anxiety or PTSD symptoms are interfering with your life. 

Finally if you have tried all the talk therapies and want to learn technique that involves no talking to relieve your symptoms then take a closer look at TRE.

 Click here for an interesting look at art created by soldiers with PTSD: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331265/The-scars-battle-Soldiers-suffering-PTSD-make-chilling-face-masks-feelings.html

 Sources and further reading:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/winter09/articles/winter09pg15a.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9934809/PTSD-on-the-rise-among-British-servicemen-and-women-after-decade-of-war.html

Anxiety is Not a Distinctly British Problem

September 17, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

Anxiety is not a distinctly British problem, but we do seem to have a distinctly British attitude towards avoiding it.  Though anxiety levels are higher in Britain than anywhere else in Europe, to talk about our anxieties seems embarrassing, likely to create an uncomfortable social situation and therefore we avoid it at all costs.  Yet one in five Britons not only experiences regular anxiety, but suffers from an actual anxiety or depressive disorder (which often go together), and the perceived stigma shows no sign of waning.

 On a recent visit to my son in Germany, I discovered that the American mandate regarding a constant veneer of cheerfulness leaves similar fallout to the British stiff upper lip.  At least in terms of facing anxiety, even when it’s causing you to falter at work or experience overwhelming stress in your personal life.

An American colleague of my son’s confided that she has suffered from crippling anxiety for years, stemming back to her parents’ divorce.  She said she had seen multiple therapists and tried several kinds of medication, and was extremely skeptical that any treatment could work short of all of life’s little problems setting themselves magically in order.  I offered her a private session in TRE, which she eventually agreed to try with the qualifier “I am the last person who this is going to work on”.

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health issue in the United States, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, affecting 18% of the adult population.  And before you claim this is simple over-diagnosis of people reacting normally to negative changes we’ve all had to experience in some way in recent years.  Studies by the ADAA and NHS are referring to serious, documented cases.  And besides, anxiety is a normal reaction to the hardships of life, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it.

After her Tremor Release Experience, my son’s colleague looked relieved, and smiling (for real this time) said, “If anyone wasn’t going to tremor it was me, but…here I am – wow, that was and I feel amazing”.  

 

Sources and further reading:

http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/user-guidance/well-being/index.html 

Stress Release – There is Another Way!

September 9, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

Phew the headlines never stop – we read that ‘Stress adds years to your life’, ‘Stress levels soar in the US in the under 35 year olds’,  ‘Stress levels soar as overtime increases in a battle to beat the credit crunch’, ‘Stress DOES have an impact on cancer’.  It is something we constantly are reminded of as we turn the pages of our newspapers.

 

Every way we turn, be that on the home front, work, family, study, relationships, finances, housing the list goes on whether young or old stress is prevalent.  I have been taking TRE around the country and the symptoms of stress seem to dominate lives in a battle of survival.

 

Stress in the workplace we are informed is the top cause of workplace sickness.  Stress costs organisations thousands every year in absenteeism and low-productivity.  Hailed as ‘The Black Death of the 21st Century’ stress if unchecked leads to illness and potential early onset death through, stroke, heart attack or cancer.  Back problems are another symptom as the body starts to hold tensions with no evident form of release.

 

Many of those I see have tried all sorts to release their symptoms which include, negative or depressive feelings, loneliness or wanting to withdraw, loss of motivation.  Eating habits change and there is often an increase in drinking, smoking and drug taking as one battle to cope with their daily stressors.  Poor memory, concentration and sleep deprivation may also be what you notice.  Stress may well be part of life and inevitable, but you know there is another way to release symptoms of stress if you have tried everything else to no avail.

 

Learn to release the effect of stress symptoms from your body with the technique of TRE.  You can have a Total Release Experience and like others bring your body back in to balance and cope better with life’s challenges.  It becomes a self-help tool for your life.

Recently a client was amazed that after a traumatic event his back and hip were never the same.  Dr’s, MRI scans and therapists could find nothing so he lived with the problem.  After his first session of TRE he sat up and said all that pain had gone.  Many back issues are a result of held tension.  Take a look at testimonials on treuk.com – there is another way, no talking, just releasing!

TRE FOR ANXIETY

September 4, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

Learn to release from the core with a self-help tool for life.

Anxiety is when we find ourselves in an ‘uneasy’ place which may have been brought on by a range of situations that leave us in a state of fear or worry.  It is a fact of life that we all go through degrees of anxiety at stages in our life.  Although feelings of anxiety on occasion can be quite normal, the problem starts when these feelings get out of hand and become detrimental to our health and well-being.  The mental worry that brings about anxiety from any situation that has affected us can exaggerate those feelings.

 Anxiety affects 1 in 20 people in the UK.  So how do we know if we are suffering anxiety?  We do become aware at times that we don’t feel ‘right’ be that physically or mentally but do we ever stop long enough to identify what is actually going on in our own body as a result? 

 Anxiety presents many physical symptoms, including muscle aches and pains (which can lead to fibromyalgia).  You may also observe you have a dry mouth, notice excessive sweating or shortness of breath.  Irritable bowel syndrome is one I hear about a lot as well as frequent urinating, headaches and insomnia.  There are others. Psychologically anxiety can lead to feelings of dread, irritability and impatience as well as poor concentration.  The problem of continual worry leads to panic and this can then lead to depression then more anxiety and so a cycle develops. 

The symptoms of anxiety are also prevalent in those who suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Is there a solution?  Well there are many talk therapies out there and I guess you may go down the road of anti-depressants.  Whilst helpful for some in the short term the reality is none of these get to the core.  

The symptoms of anxiety described affect our physical and mental health but until we can literally let go of what gets ‘stuck’ in our body then healing can be a long road.  TRE however can bring about a Total Release Experience the benefits recognisable by some as almost immediate allowing sufferers to release from the core.  Learning the technique of TRE you can give your body permission to ‘let go’ and heal from the inside out releasing feelings associated with anxiety.  At TRE UK we empower you to manage the release of symptoms from anxiety as you will have safely and effectively learned a self-help tool for life.

Stress Relief Is Like Riding A Bike

August 1, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

You can make the same mistakes in stress relief as many have done after taking up cycling after the UK Olympics.

 

Often when people hear of something new that benefits, heals, loses weight, eases pain and so on they want to jump in feet first and do it straight away.  I was listening to a radio programme the other day on that very thing; it was about cycling in fact.  Sales rocketed when our nation won races in the Olympics.   The most expensive equipment and kit are bought and the novice is off!  No Coaching, No Training!  It is little wonder why so many of us end up flogging the ‘Gear’ on E Bay or stack it in the Garage. Usually because of suffered injury through stressing our bodies and causing the wrong type of tension on our muscles and joints or just ‘don’t get it’!

 

Total Release Experience aka TRE aka Tension Release Exercises are highly effective and a simple way of getting rid of that bottled up Stress, Tension, Anxiety, Trauma & Post Traumatic Stress so that you enjoy each day and face life’s problems and challenges in a better state of mind.

 

However, like bicycle riding if you go at it without proper instruction and supervision you can only blame yourself when things wrong.

 

Listen to one of my clients that I managed to help in time who wanted to use TRE to solve her stress and Traumas without the right guidance.

To reserve a place on our next workshop near your area

please Click Here

Group and Private bookings are now being taken in Bedfordshire, Somerset, Shropshire, Manchester and Cambridge.

Vicarious Trauma – What We Take On.

July 30, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

When we love or care for someone deeply, our lives may easily get wrapped up in someone else’s experience.  Even a little bump or scrape can cause an emotional pang if someone close to us expresses pain.  It is no surprise then, if a friend or partner or family member lives through or recalls to us their trauma, we might take on a great deal of anxiety that does not seem to belong to us but that we cannot shake.

You don’t even need to know a victim of trauma very well to take on their emotional pain. Social workers, healthcare professionals, even journalists who work in areas burdened by war or natural disaster or help individuals who have suffered any kind of trauma can suffer vicarious traumatization.  According to Dr. Ellie Izzo, who literally wrote the book on the subject, even lawyers who are arguing acrimonious divorce cases can take on the pain and anxiety of their aggrieved clients.

It is important not to feel guilty or ashamed by vicarious trauma, this is happening because you have strong powers of empathy, and that empathy is being stretched across all your other feelings as you see people you know or have come to care about undergo terrible things that they don’t deserve.  Any hope you might have in the goodness of the world seems to grow smaller each day, and your emotions feel like they are out of control.

Many symptoms are similar to those of firsthand trauma, but those suffering from the pressures of vicarious traumatization might also encounter difficulty in navigating what was once the easily distinguishable barrier between your life and the lives of others.

Humanitarian aid workers are particularly at risk, so be careful when joining that helping hands organization that it has a responsible and reliable support network for its workers so you are not left feeling like it is you against the whole world.  If you find yourself becoming overly involved with a love one who has suffered trauma, remember that relying on a larger social network and immediately seeking help is best for both of you.  Don’t shut yourself off from the other people who care, and remember it is not your responsibility to fix someone else’s life.  Even if you have the best intentions, you can’t help anyone if you are harming yourself.

Dealing With Depression

July 15, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

A man I used to work with called James (who said I could tell his story, if not his real name) had what might seem like an unusual story about depression. He had no family history of depressive illnesses, nor could he name an event or situation that could have caused him to become depressed.  Although it may have been a long time coming, to him it felt like from one day to the next he started to lose interest in everything.

For him depression had no connection to sadness or grief.   It was simply a lack of the desire to do things that everyone else seemed to in such great quantities, and because of this it took him a long time to identify what was wrong.  He felt complete isolation from the family members and friends he used to enjoy spending time with.  When his concerned mother told him to cheer up because he had such a full life, he just felt irritated, and in turn guilty for that irritation.

After a series of therapists and drug regimens, James was under the impression that he had treatment-resistant depression and considered this a sign he should just give up.  But then he thought back to all the other people suffering from depression that he had met in the last few years.  Some people really improved during group therapy sessions, some people hated them and would only talk about their issues privately.  Some of them could pinpoint a traumatic event that caused a loss of control; others felt sad and lonely for ages but couldn’t say why.<p>

In short, unlike other illnesses, everyone’s symptoms were different and causes for them came from a wide spectrum.  James resolved to take whatever steps he could himself, even if they were tiny ones.  He couldn’t control everything, but he could stop seeing people that didn’t make him happy.  He could engage in hobbies that gave him a sense of fulfillment, though few did at first, he kept at it.  He could also seek alternative therapies if his depression felt resistant to treatment.  He could find a psychologist whose personality worked the best with his.

In the end James’s story isn’t unusual, because depression is experienced in infinite different ways that are often deeply individual.  The common thread is that you are not alone, everyone has the power to find the help they need, though it might be just a small help at first and the process might feel too arduous to begin but you can find the light.  Thought the first step is the hardest every little step counts.

How Can I See Emotional Trauma?

June 21, 2013 in blog, Let the Energy Flow

 I was having a talk with friend about how the perception of trauma has changed. She was thinking of her grandfather, who even now sits in a cloud of his own thoughts and does not engage much with his eight children and nearly twenty grandchildren. The explanation she was given was always the same, “You know he never quite got over the war.”

 Today the idea of shell shock is outdated, and we know that a traumatic experience of any kind can have real power. The trouble is, it can’t be seen like a wound or a scar. So how do you know if you should seek help for it?

 There are several risk factors for trauma that often go overlooked. For example, if the trauma occurred in childhood it not only leaves a deeper trace, it also increases the risk of being susceptible to traumatic stress as an adult. Some violent natural occurrences like earthquakes, floods, or tornadoes can cause traumatic stress. A bad breakup or even what might seem like a normal physical injury might bring out these overwhelming and unpredictable emotions that leave you feeling stuck and drained.

 Who’s at risk? Again, children, or those who had a traumatic experience as a child are particularly at risk. Also at risk are those who are already under a great deal of stress, or whose stressful experience is a repeated one. 

 What will I feel like?  Many who have suffered from PTSD and similar stress issues speak of feeling empty, numb, or unable to cope with the normal ups and downs of life. You may also seem to be re-living the traumatic event day after day. Insomnia is also a common side effect.

The most important thing is not to ignore how you feel. You should also communicate, whether that’s to a diary, a pet, a family member or a friend. Step by step develop a routine of healthy behaviors, mindful of what makes you feel upset and uncomfortable and what makes you feel relaxed and safe.