Introduction to Why Emotions Create Symptoms

Updated: Mar 21

Hi my name is Patricia Worby, PhD and I am a specialist Chrysalis Effect recovery practitioner who specialises in healing unresolved emotions and complex relational trauma from Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). I have been working solo for over 7 years and now joined forces with Carol Greenwood to form the Greenwood Holistic Health Group: a team approach to treating these multifaceted conditions.

In this short blog I wanted to explain why :

emotional healing is SO important to recovery from chronic exhaustive conditions and why it’s often missed out.

This could be for a variety of reasons because are concerned:

  • you’ll be overwhelmed/it will make you worse

  • it’s not relevant to you – you’re ‘fine’ (but actually repressing them)

  • you have done some work already, but it didn’t make any difference

  • that emotions can affect you physically

Often these understandable concerns prevent us making that last leap into recovery. It’s really necessary to overcome these fears or blocks . The main reason we avoid it or we try and it fails is that WE DON’T FEEL SAFE.

So, safety is absolutely paramount before tackling this emotional imprint. And that’s a lot easier when we have others alongside us who get where we are and what we’ve been through. So that’s what the Greenwood Holistic Health Group team approach is designed to do – it's collaborative, it’s supportive and it takes the whole person into account rather than the symptoms they present with.

In recovery from CFS/ME/long covid and other chronic exhaustive conditions the important question is not 'what's wrong with you?' but 'what happened to you?'. Because unprocessed emotions or trauma is common and can show up in surprising ways:

  • pain or fatigue that doesn't get better with rest

  • mood swings/anxiety/depression

  • inattention (ADHD) like symptoms/brain fog

Most of these symptoms defy current medical explanation because it has no model with which to understand them. But if we understand that our emotions are the currency of our mindbody control system (autonomic nervous system), linked to our emotional brains (limbic system), then we can think of the symptoms as the messenger not the problem!

In fact they are better thought of us 'neural dysregulation' - an imbalanced nervous system that cannot regulate itself so if flip flops between states of fight and flight or freeze. This down-regulates (reduces) repair and sends our mitochondria (cellular energy factories) into freefall - they become inflammatory and go into battleship mode! This is painful to live with - low energy states affect everything, and especially so when hope has been lost.

Add to that these are often hidden conditions; we feel isolated, alone and misunderstood. No-one seems to understand why we can’t just ‘snap out of it’. And, although we try hard, there is a limit to how much we can achieve on own as our emotional coping strategies will undermine us. Sometimes we need others to help us process our emotional experiences – we need to be supported and that’s why team support is SO powerful

Looking forward to introducing you to more mindbody concepts and a way to Thrive! in my next blog....

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