11 September 2014

Suzanne’s Anxiety Caused Panic Attacks and Exhaustion

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Suzanne was a 37-year-old college teacher.  She had panic attacks, and was always exhausted.  Her doctor couldn’t find any physical cause, and suggested therapy.

Suzanne was the youngest of four children.  She had an alcoholic father who was very critical, especially so of Suzanne.  Her mother was deferential, taking care of her father whenever he was drunk. There was no one for her to turn to at home.

Suzanne became worn down by the demands that students and colleagues made on her.  She realized she had unwittingly become a caretaker, a people pleaser, and a “fixer”; she was worn out due to emotional exhaustion.  We practiced EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), for relaxation.  As a wife and mother, Suzanne had little time to practice, but found the time.  She used EFT to reduce her anxiety whenever someone at work asked for something.  Gradually, she became less exhausted.  We then used EFT while talking about her father’s criticism.  She realized she would try to please her father to avoid the anxiety his criticism provoked.   As her anxiety decreased, she saw him through adult eyes, rather than the eyes of a frightened little girl.   Her panic attacks stopped.