Anxiety – Stopped Arousal

In Gestalt therapy, there is a view of the experience of anxiety as a stopped arousal.Of course, arousal in psychotherapy does not mean a generally accepted association with sexual tension, or rather not so much and far from only that.Arousal is a sensory impulse to action that has not yet been executed. An impulse for any experience. That is, the excitement in us is almost constantly present. We want to say something, we want to eat, we want to go to the toilet, we dream of a promotion at work, we want to kiss someone, or kick in the face, we got scared by a loud sound, we want sex, or ask something, or cry – all this is excitement … It precedes any non-automatic action. And it must find a way out, a discharge; otherwise, this impulse turns into anxiety. Anxiety, especially long-term, hard-to-bear, interfering with work or family life, or simply one that is exhausting and exhausting in the background – this is a lot of your arousal that you have stopped. Some desires, feelings that do not reach the consciousness of experiences.So, a long frustration in the zone of self-realization, when a woman’s husband constantly repeats to a housewife that she doesn’t need to go to work, but she still wants to, but for some reason doesn’t go, can lead to anxiety.Or very polite, well-mannered people who are not allowed by their internal attitudes to openly express their irritation, disagreement, anger, if they do not go to the karate or dance section to compensate, may attend anxiety attacks. Especially before an important meeting. Especially in the company of these wonderful people who must always be kept in mind. What a cramola!For traumatics, anxiety is an almost constant companion in life if they are not in therapy. The experience of trauma is very phonetic, no matter how you displace it from consciousness, with a multitude of unlived feelings, which means – unexpressed impulses of arousal.Any person who is dissatisfied in some way for a long time and does not find a way out of this energy, by definition, accumulates anxiety. – “I am afraid of rejection, or that I will be poorly appreciated.” Any fear can be translated into desire. For example, this one in – “I really want acceptance and a positive assessment of myself.”- “I’m afraid that I will not cope, that I will not succeed.” Possible options for stopping arousal: “I want support”, or “I want confirmation that I am getting it,” or “I want to figure out why I am not succeeding, and for this I need support.”- “I’m afraid of death.” Or the often described irrational fear of non-existence, non-being. During research, such anxiety is decomposed into the same simple constructs as in the previous cases, but in greater numbers. For example: behind the fear of death, there may be the fear of living the wrong life, not your own life, and the fear of loneliness and the fear of opening up in a relationship, being alive, and much more. And behind the fear of non-existence, there may be a desire to be seen and accepted, without trying to absorb or destroy. These simple things are very natural. If I don’t get something important for myself for a long time, and also don’t really understand that, my anxiety will grow. If I begin to cope with my desires, suppressing and denying them, anxiety will increase significantly. If you continue to supplant it, you can get a symptom – a panic attack, for example.It is not customary in our society to pay attention to our mental life. This is sometimes considered something almost embarrassing. But we are not machines, not robots, we do not live in the fantasy worlds of blockbuster writers and directors. We are living people with a living psyche, which, whether we like it or not, works according to its own laws. And we depend on it, because it is a part of us.Our anxiety is the part of ourselves that speaks to us. It’s important to listen. Another important point. Anxiety grows when our attention is directed either to the past or to the future.For example, apples. If I want to bite off an apple that is fresh, washed in my hands, I most likely will not face anxiety. I’ll just start eating. The action is minimally delayed in time. I understand that I want an apple. It is at hand. I bite off a juicy flavorful crunchy bite and chew, enjoy. If there is no apple, I can start thinking: are there apples in stores at this time; but how can I get it; and what will people think if I go out to the store in old leggings. Substituting instead of the desire to eat any need: am I worthy of this apple; maybe a banana is tastier; maybe apples are not mine, too risky; or not prestigious, or – what will this lead to in the future, or – how bad it will be for me to live without apples, I will be lost without them. Conflict is growing, and so is anxiety.I may also be faced with a choice: go at one in the morning for the desired apple in the rain a couple of dark quarters, or accept the fact that right now I will have to get by and fall asleep hungry. I chose – I won’t go outside at night, I was honestly upset that I didn’t eat apples, I resigned myself and fell asleep. If at this point I deliberately do not choose to abandon the idea for a while, but begin to twist thoughts from the series: why is the store so far from my home; why the damn apples are so hard to come by; I am an apple addict and my life is going downhill; but Tanya always has apples at hand; all normal people have apples growing in flowerpots at home, but not me; Why do I need all this! If I often deal with my desires and emotions in this way, accumulate dissatisfaction, do not notice it for a long time, then I turn it into anxiety.You can choose to apples and live at the same time somewhere in the desert or in Antarctica (where they do not deliver in general ) and hope – suddenly will deliver the apples in half a year? Imagine how much of your attention will be held on this issue. Anxiety by the end of the term will sound oh-ho! And if apples were not brought to this delivery, even though they were promised? If you continue to wait, over the next six months you risk becoming a very anxious person.All that was needed was to admit that apples are not observed in the present, and there is no way to get them. Get upset about this, grieve, and start thinking – what to replace them with. Or move to a place where these apples are heaps, if you can’t be able to live without them. But to do this, you need to listen to yourself, to admit that without apples you can’t, to find in yourself the willingness to give up your sedentary life, get yourself together and go towards a brighter future. True, this is a lot of internal work. But if the need is so significant, and nothing is done with it, after a while the person will become unwell. Anxiety will remind him that there is a case and something needs to be decided.Of course, the apple example is very simple, albeit illustrative. All jokes aside, a person has a lot of complex needs. And few of us were taught to recognize them. You can simultaneously experience frustration in different areas of your life and simultaneously strive for opposite things. We humans are so arranged that experiences happen to us against our will. We only choose how to deal with it. We are sometimes more difficult than we would like, and it can be terribly inconvenient. But not boring.
event_note July 17, 2021

account_box Winona Tse MD

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