Updated: Nov 20, 2020
I had an insight in to the nature of anxiety during my one and only panic attack. I had been under unrelenting stress because of the miserable, dysfunctional home business I ran for so many years. My neighbor, who was an MD, gave me a prescription for Paxil, which gave me a panic attack. The anxiety was so intense, all I could do was stand in the corner of the living room and stare at the wall while my poor family hovered around in distress.
The insight that I had was that, in my case, anxiety is a condition produced by something going wrong in the body. Once it gets going, it roots around in order to find an object to fix on. During that panic attack, my mind fixed on to a large insurance bill that was coming up which I didn’t have funds to pay.
I had always lived with a certain level of anxiety. It was low-key so I thought that was just the way I was. When I lived in a village in Goa I was anxious about getting kicked out of India for overstaying my visa. When I woke up in the morning this fear would enter my body and keep up as a kind of background static all day. Plenty of other people were in the same boat but they all seemed perfectly calm and relaxed.
The other insight I got about anxiety I learned from Andy Cutler. Once you decide your anxiety is not from trauma but from some physical cause, you have to ask what that physical cause is. Yes, it is mercury poisoning half the time, but what about the mercury causes anxiety? The answer to this is that mercury interferes with your adrenal function. “Sometimes it is because the adrenal glands themselves have become poisoned and sometimes it is because the parts of your brain that control these glands have become poisoned. All too often both the brain and the glands are poisoned” (The Mercury Detoxification Manual, p.80). When your adrenal glands are screwing up how they secrete the “flight or fight” and “rest and digest” hormones, anxiety arises. So, if you are dealing with a constant background of anxiety, look to your adrenal glands. Take some good supplements to support them and learn to recognize when to stop and rest!
At the end of the book I wrote with Andy, I say that when you get detoxed from mercury it will feel as though your body can finally relax and the clouds will part to reveal the blue sky overhead. I don’t have anxiety as a constant background noise in my life anymore.