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,