Often, anxiety, fear, and panic manifest as physical symptoms. These symptoms lead patients and the patients’ families and friends on months to years of emergency room visits, repeat visits to primary care physicians and specialists, blood testing and imaging, all the while missing the actual problems (and root causes) of fear, anxiety and panic.
In addition to physical symptoms, those who suffer from fear, anxiety, and panic, at times, will manifest additional, confounding, behaviors such as anger, irritability, depression, work-related and relationship problems, substance abuse, self-mutilation/cutting, eating disorders, and personality disorders.
Often, families and other supportive loved ones are so entangled with their loved ones’ symptoms and behaviors, that they themselves start advocating for anything to help decrease the symptoms and acting out/ behaviors that their loved one is demonstrating. Unfortunately, this misplaced advocacy and help, actually worsens everyone’s situation. Many times, I have asked families and other supportive loved ones to obtain their own counselor in order to help them understand their own feelings and responses to their loved ones’ psychological difficulties and behaviors. Often these families and loved ones have slipped into a codependency role with the patient: the families’ and loved ones’ behaviors and responses ACTUALLY WORSEN AND FURTHER ENTRENCH THE PATIENTS’ SYMPTOMS AND BEHAVIORS.
Charles Tadros, M.D.
April 20, 2022
Saint Louis, Missouri