When a new client first comes in to see me in my Santa Barbara office, I ask a lot of questions.  I want to begin the process of understanding this person, and what might be causing them to be suffering emotionally.

One of the first questions I ask is when they last had a thorough physical, complete with lab work.  If they are not normally anxious or depressed, and their degree of suffering seems more intense than their life situation would seem to warrant, it’s possible that there’s something going on physically.

It’s important to rule out thyroid, hormone, and blood sugar problems, among other things.  Some health conditions can strongly impact our emotions.  If it’s been longer than 6 months to a year since they’ve had lab work done, I encourage them to talk with their doctor about scheduling an appointment.  When I see a client, I consider all areas of their well-being to be important.  We discuss how they see themselves, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

If you’re feeling really anxious or depressed, and you don’t know why, it might be time for you to pick up the phone and call your doctor to schedule a check-up, complete with lab work.  If there is a health problem, you can begin to formulate a plan with your doctor to deal with it.  If there are no physical issues, you will know that it’s time to call a therapist to begin working through whatever emotional issues are weighing you down, and causing you to be so unhappy.

Until next time,



  • Linda,
    I’m delighted that you include a health inquiry in your practice. As a person with diagnosed hypo-thyroid I know how that can effect one. And it could mimic a mental tiredness. And a less responsible person could reach for a prescription pad or go digging around stirring things up to no good result.
    Dealing with the thyroid would stop that from occurring.
    Great post about your practice Linda!

    • Thank you, Calla! I take my responsibility to my clients very seriously. I want to be sure that if there’s something physical going on, we deal with that first. Sometimes, I find out that it’s been a really long time since my client has seen a doctor. Taking good care of our physical well-being is very important!


  • Your information is critical for many people to read, especially women. Many women over 40 are afflicted with Hashimoto’s THypothyroiditis, and suffer with the problems with depression. I also wonder what the radiation from Fukishimi is doing to our thyroids.

    • Thank you for commenting, Valerie! I’ve seen people get so impatient with themselves, when they can’t just “snap out” of sadness or anxiety, and I want them to know that there could be a physical problem that needs to be diagnosed and treated. That’s out of my expertise, but if I bring the possibility up to them, then they have a chance to follow up on it. We live with so much toxicity around us! It’s important to do what we can to protect our health and well-being.


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