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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Anxiety of Physical Illness

Physical illness involves feeling different, disconnected from the usual experience of possessing control over oneself, having the ability to reason, and considering oneself omnipotent in the world. While unrealistic, feeling all-powerful is needed for it enables one to function in the world, to engage in needed routines without anxiety. Yet this critical sense can be disrupted by physical change, even one so insignificant as suffering a conventional cold or stomach upset for these deny the person the feeling of intactness and affect reasoning.

 

Suffering a severe illness can be far worse as thinking processes change and helplessness ensue, the latter being the scariest of all feelings: when the ill person becomes passive, and his body no longer respects his commands.

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Anxiety Disorders, and the Retreat from Relating to Unconscious Motivation

This past weekend’s edition (April 29-30, 2017) of the Wall Street Journal contained the review of a book describing the author's painful experience with anxiety (“On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety” by Andrea Petersen). Her long-term symptoms included the usual: multiple fears, and non-medically caused, odd bodily sensations.
After years on various medications and ( Read More 
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The Difference Between Fear and Anxiety

Like conjoined twins, it can be hard to emotionally separate fear from anxiety though they differ. Fear is the suspicion of danger, whether actual or merely imagined. Anxiety is the resultant physical experience with symptoms that can mimic virtually any medical disorder: increased heart rate, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and/or pain in  Read More 
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