If you ask a neurotic a question about whether something very bad happened to him in childhood, whether there was any kind of trauma, then most will answer – “no”. Either they will not immediately remember some traumatic events, or they will attach little importance to them when telling.
But, in fact, almost every neurotic is accompanied by childhood trauma: mental or physical, and sometimes more than one. And as an adult, such a person automatically avoids traumatic thoughts about such an experience.
Perhaps I’ll start with hyper -anxious and hyper -protective parents. And no matter how paradoxical it may sound, but
adults who are nervous had parents who were nervous!
Here the mechanism of imitation and social learning is launched. Such a child in childhood hears mainly that “the world is dangerous”!
“Don’t go out late – it’s very dangerous!”
“Don’t forget to wear a warm hat and gloves – you’ll get cold!”
“Don’t cross the road without adults – a car will hit you!”
And what can be concluded here? You have to be always on the alert. The world is dangerous, it cannot be trusted and everything must be controlled at all times.
Adds fuel to the fire, the lack of warmth in the relationship between parents and children. Together with hyperprotection , the lack of warmth and affection teach such a child to believe that not only the world is dangerous, but there is no such calm and safe place where they can always support and accept you as you are.
Very in vain, some parents share their adult problems with the child, subconsciously trying to find support and support. There is a certain reversal of roles between a child and an adult, which also forms anxiety, especially in relation to other people. This is where adult neurotics already have a concern for relationships. They begin to feel that they do not care enough about their loved ones, they do not help much. They so sensitively accept and worry about the slightest offense or dissatisfaction with another person that they try with all their might to warn and guess his feelings and desires.
Another opposite is the parents, who, on the contrary, believe that the excessive manifestation of emotions is not acceptable, seeing them as empty pampered, indulging their “low” feelings and not being able to manage and control themselves and others.
A separate role in adult nervousness is played by problems with attachment to loved ones in childhood. Often this is the loss of one of the parents, real or imaginary. Which in adult life leads to the avoidance of conflicts and quarrels, which is perceived as the likelihood of a break in relations, which is unbearable and unacceptable for neurotics.
A young woman, C, once came to me for a consultation. Her difficulties were related to the anxiety that she experienced almost every day. Despite the fact that she was married and had an excellent relationship with her husband, not a day went by that she did not worry about a possible break in relations. And when S. told that in childhood her mother often threatened suicide – everything fell into place! We understood where this fear came from and why it remained with her already in adulthood.
Well, the last thing I want to note is the feeling of shame that parents clumsily feed their child in order to manage and control. The constant desire to shame in any situation makes the future neurotic hide his desires and needs deep inside, hide and give out who he really is not. And also to live with constant fear that people can see all these imperfections and flaws, as well as reveal deceit.
And gradually, he drags along, already into adulthood, a heavy cart of anxiety and anxiety, bit by bit collected by his parents. And it is clear that he does not want to be nervous and suffer a lot. But deep down he believes that only anxiety makes him be responsible, warns the worst fears and fears, helps to avoid unpleasant feelings and achieve his goals. What is nowhere without her!
But only after a person understands what anxiety really means for him, only after he agrees with the inaccuracy of his past ideas, only after that you can start working with your fears, reduce their level and begin the path to a happy and calm life! But, about what meanings the average neurotic puts into anxiety, we’ll talk tomorrow 😉
Thank you for your attention, your psychologist Lyubov Charkina!