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The Concept of Anxiety...

answered 02:14 AM EST, Mon December 30, 2013
anonymous anonymous
I am considering seeing a nutritionist for treatment advice for generalized anxiety disorder. She charges $145 per 50 minute session and I will probably have to go to at least 3 sessions over three months. There are also more fees for urine testing laboratory work because she tests for imbalances in trace minerals and fatty acids and toxins and a number of other things that may be influencing my anxiety. She will develop a personalized diet plan for me. This is a lot of money for me but if it will help then I am willing to give it a try. I do not expect this to make my anxiety go away completely but to just be something that will help to reduce it a little bit. Do you think this is worth the money?

Dr. Mark Abrahams Says...

Dr.  Mark Abrahams . Abrahams

...is a book by Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, that I finished recently. I have a Bachelors degree in philosophy, and a Master of Theological Studies degree as well. I read Kierkegaard in the seminary too, 37 years ago. Why do I mention this? Because of all the existential problems that people suffer, like guilt, regret, boredom, meaninglessness, etc., anxiety has been the most problematic in my own life. I have studied it for decades.

There are many vectors into the problem of anxiety. I start at the bottom with physical constitution, and then work upwards to more psychological, philosophical, and spiritual sources. I move from gross to subtle causes. Food does relate to the physical causes. I supplement daily with 100 mg the amino acid L-Theanine (check with your physician first if interested), because it definitely takes some of the edge off of anxiety. Your nutritionist might suggest Green Tea (Camillia sinensis), for example, which contains L-Theanine, but I am not qualified to give nutritional advice. Before even considering food, consider that certain physical constitutions (body-type or "somatatype") experience more anxiety than others. This idea belongs to the Constitutional Psychology of W.H. Sheldon. "Ectomorphic" or "Meso-ectomorphs" (like myself) experience greater degrees of anxiety than other types. So, certain types of people constitutionally are 'less comfortable' in their own skin, by nature.

I would need to know a whole lot more about you to determine whether your anxiety stems from constitutional factors, or whether there are specific events behind it that should be addresses therapeutically. The 'mother' of all anxieties is "death anxiety," and an excellent book on the topic is 'The Denial of Death' by Ernest Becker. It would be important for you to understand to what extent human beings behave in ways that are engineered to have us deny the inevitability of death, and the concomitant anxiety of being aware of our mortality. Another book with more curative than descriptive powers is 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle. THIS book has been immeasurably therapeutic for me during my most anxious times over the last several years. It is rarely shelved! Reading is also a form of therapy - Bibliotherapy.

Lastly, I would suggest hypnotherapy, since that is my specialty area of therapy. I have helped others to relieve anxiety due to more specific causes (e.g., public speaking, or athletic performances), as well as full-blown phobias, through hypnotherapy. If you live within the USA, here is the National Board that I belong to: www.natboard.com. I cannot adequately evaluate the degree to which nutrition can alleviate symptoms of anxiety (besides the obvious elimination of caffeine, or theobromine in chocolate, and other food stimulants), but I can attest to the efficacy of hypnotherapy from professional experience. If you mention money, it must be an issue, and if you seek non-medicinal treatment for anxiety, my money would be on hypnotherapy.


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Page last updated Dec 30, 2013

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