Physical, Psychic, Pneumatic - In This Order
anonymous Asks ...
I feel like my adrenalin system is out of whack and overacting and I am not sure what to do about it. What is happening is that small stressful things seem to get me really amped up and then I can’t calm myself down for hours after. For example today I had to make a normal sales call. I don’t really like sales calls but it’s not a cold call and it’s a part of my job I have grown used to and good at. A normal call like this always gets me feeling a little nervous but after it is done I used to calm down normally almost right away. Today my heart started pumping as I dialed the phone and I was so amped I could barely think or talk normally during the call and then the worst part was my heart rate stayed up and I had butterflies in my stomach for hours after and I could not focus on my work at all. This has been going on for about 2 weeks. Is this anxiety or panic? I do not feel like I am dying or in danger I just feel really amped up like before a big football game for no reason…?
Dr. Mark Abrahams Says ...
The three terms in the title refer to an ancient tripartite division of human nature which still applies today. As a non-medical practitioner, if a client (Note, I do not say patient), inquires about a symptom such as yours, I direct him/her to a physician first, in order to rule out physical causes. In your case, it is a question about your adrenal glands, situated on the kidneys, which produce epinephrine and norepinephrine, as well as corticosteroids. I am not qualified to make any determination of a medical problem, and indeed, a physician would probably have to send blood samples to a lab for indication of a medical problem.
If there does not appear to be a medical problem, then I would be in a better position to investigate your symptoms and then perhaps to treat a psychic (psychological) problem with anxiety. Since I specialize in the use of hypnosis, I would proceed along the lines of a hypnoanalysis, looking for an event that has resulted in anxiety and which is somehow emotionally 'stuck' in the subconscious. Often, there are triggers of a panic attack, such as a situation similar to whatever situation one was in when the anxiety first appeared. I would want to know why sales calls always get you feeling a little nervous - but not your conscious explanation. I would want an emotional response that issues from subconscious processes. If you live in the U.S., I suggest making phone inquiries from a qualified hypnotherapist: www.natboard.com .
A third type of problem lies within the pneumatic (spiritual) domain, and may entail what is called a "spiritual emergency," but this type of abreaction results from more global concerns, such as an experience of meaninglessness, lack of purpose, or the emergence of the conviction that 'nothing matters' (nihilism), and these too can be triggered by particularly distasteful aspects of one's everyday life. Clearly the psychic and pneumatic (psychological & spiritual) aspects are interwoven with each other but there are difference of order and degree.
Begin at the beginning with a medical examination, and perhaps a blood profile, at your physician's discretion.