Patients With Anxiety Symptoms Sent to Therapist

Recently, I conducted an initial consultation with a man in his early 60s. His symptoms included a general anxiety that’s been increasing gradually for several years. While appearing relatively calm, he confessed to avoiding social situations and that at times he feels physical sensations similar to panic attacks.

He also admitted to having been anxious since adolescence, but managed his anxiety in such a way as to be able to work and function in society. Without any prompting on my part the man stated, “I went to my GP and he sent me to you”. I then reassured the man that with cognitive therapy used in conjunction with hypnotherapy, I could help him alleviate and manage his symptoms.

The tendency for GPs to send patients with symptoms of anxiety to a therapist is very encouraging, particularly as the GP in this case did not prescribe medication. That the man appeared relatively calm may have influenced the GP’s decision not to prescribe medication and send him to me, but I believe the GP understood that the symptoms were emotional in origin and that prescribing medication masks the symptoms without getting to the cause.

I was also pleased that a man in his 60s was willing to follow the suggestion of the GP and come and see me. Some people would rather take a tablet initially, but eventually the symptoms either go away, diminish or if undiminished or worsening the person has to address the underlying emotional causes.

I have no doubt I can and will, help this man.