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Anxiety Made Easy

How to Eliminate Anxiety for Life

Carolle Jean-Murat, MD

Hibiscus Productions
P.O Box 2348
La Mesa, CA 91943-2348
info@drcarolle.com
www.drcarolle.com
619-741-7261
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Other Books by Dr. Carolle

Menopause Made Easy: How to Make the Right Decisions for the Rest of Your Life
Mind Body Soul & Money: Putting Your Life in Balance
Natural Pregnancy A-Z

To Order Any of these books


Go to: www.drcarolle.com

Anxiety Made Easy: How to Eliminate Anxiety for Life


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Introduction
In June 2000, my niece Judive graduated from Ohio University Medical School. She had
always wanted to be a doctor like her “Tattie” Carolle. When I walked with her to the
podium to receive her diploma, it was the proudest moment of my life.

On my way back to San Diego, my plane had a stopover in Dallas. There was a big storm
in the area so we were stuck on the ground, inside the plane, for a while. The pilot
announced that no one was available to open the outside door because so many planes
were landing at the same time. I began to experience fear; I was trapped inside and
needed to get out. I concentrated on looking out the small window of the plane at workers
handling luggage, but the longer we sat, the more I panicked. I tried to breathe slowly
because it felt like I was suffocating. They finally opened the door after what seemed an
eternity. I worried about the next leg of my journey to reach home, but the panic
subsided… until I took another airplane trip.

This time I was on a book tour in New York, promoting my books, Menopause Made
Easy and Natural Pregnancy A-Z. The plane trip was ok but at my brother Lesly’s
home, I was unable to sleep and unable to stop the awful feeling that the whole world was
caving in. The next morning I needed to retrieve an important e-mail. The computer was
in the basement, but I could not walk down those few steps. If I went underground, I
thought I would be buried alive. Anxiety had gotten the best of me and I knew it.

Thus began my journey to find what I call my balance. It was not easy. I had to admit that
my body was giving me many signals that I chose to ignore. Debilitating panic attacks
could not be ignored. Now I had no choice but to listen and to start making changes.

I had to let go of a lot of baggage, change my overall outlook on life, and cut a few
umbilical cords. I had to gain perspective in order to make wiser choices. It had to be
done, so I did it.

If you follow even some of the advice in this book, you may be saved from having to go
through what I did. I learned so much about what works and what doesn’t that I couldn’t
keep it to myself…

Anxiety Made Easy: How to Eliminate Anxiety for Life


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Chapter One

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, dread, and fear that happens as a result of thoughts
rather than real and immediate danger in your present environment. There is a feeling of
uneasiness, insecurity, and uncertainty about the future.

Over 65 million Americans are living with anxiety. More than 30 million have been
diagnosed with clinical anxiety disorders including panic disorders, phobias, and post-
traumatic stress disorders. Another 35 million with anxiety suffer mild to moderate
symptoms. Nearly twice as many women as men are affected.

How do I know that I have anxiety?

Anxiety can present itself in many ways.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Check all that apply to you:


[ ] I feel nervous whenever I have to perform at work or in public
[ ] I worry about things out of my control
[ ] I feel emotionally drained
[ ] I have difficulty planning holidays or travel without anxiety or fear
[ ] I fear leaving my home
[ ] I fear being alone
[ ] I cycle through working like crazy, then crashing and burning out
[ ] I’m so stressed, my body rebels with out-of-control female problems or other health
issues
[ ] My stress is affecting my relationships, work, and health
[ ] I often feel like crying
[ ] I get angry easily
[ ] I have fainting spells or feel like I will faint
[ ] I can feel my heart beating fast
[ ] Unexpected changes make me nervous
[ ] I have obsessive worries and unwanted thoughts
[ ] I occasionally have an overwhelming fear that something awful is about to occur

I have:
[ ] Dry mouth
[ ] Dizziness
[ ] Numbness and tingling in my fingers and toes

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[ ] A hot and flushed face


[ ] A rapid or irregular heart beat
[ ] Increased rate of respiration
[ ] Diarrhea
[ ] Nausea
[ ] Frequent need to urinate
[ ] Irritable moods
[ ] Sleeping difficulties
[ ] Decreased concentration
[ ] Sexual problems
[ ] Trembling
[ ] A lump in my throat
[ ] Preoccupation with illness
[ ] Fear of embarrassment
[ ] Fear of rejection
[ ] An obsession over details
[ ] Fear of being ugly or fat
[ ] Racing thoughts
[ ] Nightmares

The more you have checked, the more likely that you have anxiety, and the more severe it
may be.

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Chapter Two

Causes of Anxiety

The following are what have been shown to cause anxiety, from the obvious to the subtle:

1. Genetic predispositions or exposure to certain stresses, particularly during


early childhood. Those who suffer from childhood traumas and with issues of
abandonment and neglect are more likely to suffer from anxiety as adults.

2. Medical illness such as a hyperactive thyroid; low blood sugar; cardiac problems;
a rare condition called pheochromocytoma -- a tumor of the adrenal gland. Those
with intractable diseases, not knowing the source of symptoms, or an
overwhelming concern about an illness, facing death, or not having adequate pain
relief.

3. Side effects of prescribed medications such as corticosteroids, metoclopramide,


or Reglan, used to relieve nausea and vomiting, heartburn, stomach pain;
theophylline, used to prevent and treat wheezing asthma and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD); albuterol, a bronchodilator used in treating asthma
and other conditions with reversible airway obstruction and in patients with
exercise-induced asthma; antihypertensives; neuroleptics/antipsychotics such as
chlorpromazine, Largactil, Thorazin, anti-parkingonian and anticholinergics,
medications that calm muscle spasms in the intestine; antidepressants; and
thyroid supplements.

4. Side effects of over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as cold remedies,


decongestants, and drugs that contain caffeine.

5. Your diet. At one time I found myself very anxious, only to realize that since I
had reacquainted myself with home-brewed coffee I was having a large cup of
coffee every morning. It took me days to realize that my symptoms were due to
this caffeine habit.

6. Withdrawal from substances such as morphine, codeine, heroin, alcohol, drugs


(psychostimulants such as amphetamines and methamphetamines), caffeine,
nicotine, and sedatives.

7. Emotional stress caused by stressful situations at home like being a caregiver,


having relationship or work related problems. Dealing with the managed care
system and the inability to practice medicine the way I felt was right for my

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patients, was MY main trigger. Being in situations where you feel out of control
can be one of the greatest triggers of anxiety.

8. Unresolved emotional issues. This is the most common finding in women who
come to see me at the Center to make sense out of their lives. Midlife women who
are still dealing with issues with their parents and siblings are more likely to
suffer from anxiety. These issues many times surface when they become the
caregiver to a parent that was absent, emotionally unavailable, or abusive to them
as a child.

9. Negative and self-deprecating thoughts, caused mostly when one has no sense
of self-worth.

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Chapter Three

How Does the Body Work?

Anxiety can be caused by an actual danger, but in contrast to natural fear, it can be a
physiological state of a stressed body. In order to understand the emotional and physical
reactions caused by anxiety we need to learn first how the body works.

As humans, our core is formed by our mental, psycho-emotional, and spiritual aspects.
For us to be in balance, we have to attend to all three, or like a three-legged table, it will
be off kilter, or out of balance. Imbalance is usually caused by stress. See Table I: Being
in Balance

We need a certain amount of stress to survive. It boosts our immune system and gives us
a zest for life – otherwise, without any stress, getting whatever we want whenever we
want it, life would be boring.

But in our modern society, stress comes at us from every direction, and not in the form of
a saber-toothed tiger that can be vanquished. Stress can be caused by problems at work,
with a spouse, partner or significant other, with our children, relatives, an illness, our
finances, the environment, the community where we live – too noisy, prejudiced,
dangerous, etc; and last but not least --ourselves, due to unresolved emotional issues. We
are usually our worst enemies.

See Table II: Stress Triggers

High blood pressure, gastrointestinal upsets, headaches, depression, irregular bleeding,


chronic muscle tension, weakening of the immune system and heart disease have all been
clearly linked to stress. Stress has been linked to motor-vehicle accidents, and can also
lead people to mentally or physically abuse their spouse and/or children.

See Table III: From Balance to Disease

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Spiritual

Physical
Psycho/Emotional

Table I: Being in Balance

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Table II – Stress Triggers

Work
&
Career

Intimate
Partner Children

Triggers

Self Family

Spirit Community

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When there are too many stress hormones in your body for a long period of time – such
as having the feeling of not being in control of one’s life, during a terrorist attack, war,
abusive relationship, not being able to escape an ongoing negative environment – you
will eventually show the symptoms of anxiety. And when the situation is chronic, the
body will respond as a last-ditch emergency defense with a panic attack. During a panic
attack, the mind, body, and energy system become so chaotic that something has to give.
It is like using a pressure cooker. After a certain time on the fire, steam will have to
escape. A panic attack has been called nature’s restart button.

See Table III: From Balance to Disease

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Table III:
From Balance to Disease
Body’s Response to Triggers

Triggers

Release of ACTH From the Brain

Release of Stress Hormones


Epinephrines, Norepinephrine and Cortisol

Hormonal Imbalance
&
Creation Of Anxiety

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Chapter Four

How Can I Find Out What Triggers My Anxiety?

As a medical intuitive, my gift is to quickly discover what triggers a woman’s anxiety.

The following is a list of life experiences that generally cause significant amounts of
stress and trigger anxiety, and if left unchecked, will result in panic attacks.

Check all that apply to you:


[ ] I am having problems communicating my feelings to my partner
[ ] I have to take care of small children (or parent, brother, sister, grandparent…)
[ ] I am, or one of my family members is, having legal problems
[ ] There was a recent death of a family member or close friend
[ ] There is a serious illness in my family
[ ] I have to take care of a sick or elderly family member
[ ] My caregiving responsibilities have resulted in a financial strain for me
[ ] I feel pulled in so many directions
[ ] I need my family’s support but we are experiencing many conflicts
[ ] I no longer like what I do for a living
[ ] Other people make too many demands on me
[ ] I have too little control of my own work situation
[ ] I am not satisfied with the work I do
[ ] I often feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities
[ ] There is not enough time to finish my work
[ ] I take my work home with me
[ ] I don’t get along with my boss/employees
[ ] I am having problems with people I work with
[ ] I worry about money a great deal
[ ] I have an illness and I am not sure what is going on
[ ] I don’t express my feelings easily
[ ] I don’t feel in control of my personal life and career
[ ] I am taking prescribed medications
[ ] I am using over-the-counter medications
[ ] I feel mentally and emotionally overstressed.

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Chapter Five

Finding the Root Causes of Anxiety

Many women who come to my healing center to try to make sense out of their life often
suffer from anxiety, but cannot identify its source.

Without finding the root cause, the basis, of anxiety, there cannot be real healing. Any
abnormal symptom experienced by the body is only the tip of the iceberg. Unless the root
cause – the bottom of the iceberg – is found, healing won’t happen. Treating only a
symptom is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a gapping wound or broken bone. The
only way to truly heal is to find the root cause of anxiety and then treat it.

Understanding the root cause is the first step towards getting rid of anxiety forever and
preventing panic attacks. You will continue to experience anxiety, as this is a normal
reaction of the body to stress, but the frequency and intensity will diminish with time.
When you feel anxious, you will stop, ask yourself consciously what is going on, then use
whatever modality you have chosen to prevent it or get rid of it.

It is important that you do a personal anxiety inventory. If your experience with anxiety is
sudden, examine your lifestyle and diet. Could it be too much caffeine, a prescribed or an
over-the-counter medication?

If you have chronic anxiety or panic attacks, I’m going to suggest you get a small journal
to use as you search for the root causes of your distress. In your journal, divide each page
into two columns. In the first column, jot down any anxiety triggers as they occur, and in
the second column describe exactly what you experience, in other words, your reaction.
When you feel closed in, for example, does it stimulate a sense of powerlessness, or
abandonment?

Keep track diligently and you will have valuable clues to a solution – usually involving
some kind of lifestyle change – for you to prevent anxiety.

Anxiety Made Easy: How to Eliminate Anxiety for Life


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Chapter Six

Dealing With Anxiety

If you feel anxious, I advise you to:


• Take an inventory, keep a written record, of what might be causing your
reactions. This involves becoming more aware of your body, the content of your
medications and supplements, your environment, your diet, habits and vices,
what thoughts occupy your mind, and what emotions are dominant.
• Avoid triggers such as over-the-counter medication, caffeine, and other
stimulants.
• Have a checkup with your health-care provider to rule out a medical condition.
• If you are having difficulty finding the root cause of your symptoms, work with
an experienced intuitive such as you will find at Dr. Carolle’s Wellness Center
for Midlife Women.
• Learn stress management and relaxation techniques, including yoga, meditation,
massage, and biofeedback.
• Find someone you trust who will listen to you. Self-help groups, hotlines, chat
rooms on the Internet, your minister, your health-care provider, family, and good
friends can all play a therapeutic role.
• Avoid using "mood-altering" drugs.
• Use alternative healing modalities such as aromatherapy, and herbs like
chamomile and valerian, etc.
• Get psychological support that allows you to explore your fears and concerns.
• Practice forgiveness.
• Learn to heal your inner child
• Develop a closer relationship with your higher power. This will allow you to be
able to surrender, really forgive, and have faith that you will be taken care of
regardless of the situation.
• Know what to expect when you are anxious.
• Consider taking a prescribed medication while you are working with your issues.
• Identify your current goals and ask yourself: Are these goals really mine, or have
I internalized someone else’s?
• Are you living your life focused on someone else’s dream, maybe your parent,
spouse, child, or boss’s?
• If you find yourself doing things because you bought into someone else’s idea,
ask yourself, why did you do so?
• Do you spend most of your time doing things that don’t further your personal
goals or own priorities? Find out what your own priorities, values, and principles
are.

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• Choose what is right for you. This applies to all work and personal relationships,
otherwise your health will suffer with symptoms caused by anxiety.
• Listen to your body. In many instances, women “know” when something is not
quite right. But women have been told so many times that what they are
experiencing is “in their head.” Consequently, they stop listening to their own
intuition.
• Learn to think realistically and face your fear.
• Have a healthy lifestyle.

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Conclusion

Your body will tell you when something is not right. Listen to it as you would a friend
and become more self-aware of the underlying cause of your symptoms before reaching
for medication.

The next time you are experiencing abnormal symptoms, ask yourself the following
questions:

• Have I been ignoring or denying intuitive messages from my body?


• Have I been reaching for a quick fix for symptoms?
• What is my body trying to tell me?
• Am I under increased stress due to the way I’ve been leading my life?
• Is it time to do things differently?

Listening to your intuition can be a great self-protection tool. It can be the lifeline you
throw to yourself to get away from what is adversely affecting your body and your good
health.

It has been years since I had a panic attack. The road to recovery was painstakingly long.
But I had the desire to continue, heal myself, find my life purpose, and continue to help
others.

I am now living in one of the most powerful stages of my life.

It is the same for many women who have come to my center to make sense of their lives
and rid themselves of anxiety.

If we can do it, you can do it too.

Anxiety Made Easy: How to Eliminate Anxiety for Life


www.drcarolle.com © 2006 info@drcarolle.com