Today’s guest is Dr. Friedemann Schaub to talk about The Fear and Anxiety Solution – A Breakthrough Process for Healing and Empowerment with Your Subconscious Mind
Friedemann Schaub, MD, PhD, is a physician specializing in cardiology and molecular biologist who has helped thousands of people to overcome fear and anxiety with his breakthrough and empowerment program that combines his medical expertise with NLP, Time Line Therapy™, clinical hypnotherapy, meditation, and more.
Please tell us about your current release and what inspired you to write this book?
Anxiety is the most common mental health challenge in the U.S. More than 50 million people have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Countless others continue to struggle with low self-esteem, isolation, insomnia, and other debilitating effects of anxiety. Most people who suffer from anxiety feel powerless in the face of these overwhelming emotions. They feel flawed and stuck. The Fear and Anxiety Solution introduces a new, self-empowering perspective on fear and anxiety, one that helps readers understand and connect to the innate wisdom and healing potential of these emotions. This book is a step-by-step guide that explains how to transform fear and anxiety into powerful allies, messengers, and healing catalysts that lead to greater confidence, self-worth, and success.
Is Anxiety a Biochemical Problem Requiring a Biochemical Solution?
Medical research has focused largely on a physiological solution to emotional problems such as anxiety and depression. The most prescribed antianxiety drugs are either benzodiazepines (such as Valium and Xanax), which are often used for anxiety, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs, such as Zoloft and Prozac), which are more commonly used for depression. While benzodiazepines directly affect the amygdalae by reducing their activity, SSRIs increase the level of serotonin in the brain, which is associated with mood improvement.
The good news is that using prescription drugs to alter the brain’s physiology and chemistry can indeed successfully dampen fear and anxiety and make these emotions more manageable. However, this “improvement” often comes with a price. One of the challenges with antianxiety medications—besides their common side effects, such as drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and lower sex drive—is that they potentially lead to physical addiction, and you must wean yourself carefully when you want to stop taking them.
Many of the clients I have worked with complained that their medication didn’t only reduce their anxiety; it also dulled or even turned off their emotions in general. It appeared to my clients as if their minds had been wrapped in cotton or a lid had been placed on their ability to feel anything. But what still hadn’t vanished were their deep-seated insecurities and the limiting core beliefs they had struggled with for a long time. Beliefs such as “I’m not good enough” or “The world is not a safe place” still remained a part of their mind-set, even though they didn’t have the same emotional impact. As a client put it, “I basically still have the same issues, but I don’t feel them as intensely. They seem to be further out of reach. It’s a relief, but not really a resolution.”
Unfortunately, the development of effective pharmaceutical treatments fostered the belief that emotional challenges are mainly caused by neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain and are therefore more a biochemical than a psychological problem. More and more people subscribe to a “let’s get it fixed” attitude, which has been reflected in the fact that the use of antidepressant drugs in the United States doubled between 1996 and 2005. At the same time, the number of people who visited psychotherapists declined.
There is no doubt that changes in the brain chemistry are connected to different emotional states. There is also no doubt that antianxiety medications have helped countless people disrupt the downward spiral of fear and anxiety and escape a state of emotional paralysis and entrapment. But what came first—the chicken or the egg? Are neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain the root cause of fear and anxiety, or are they a consequence, a biochemical symptom of our emotions? If the latter is true, does restoring the biochemical balance really address the root causes of fear and anxiety?
It boils down to a very fundamental question: what is a human being actually? Are we just an accumulation of cells controlled by neurotransmitters and hormones? Are our emotions, thoughts, and beliefs nothing but random biochemical and electrophysiological signals? Or are our minds and bodies, with all their connections and interactions, much more complex than that? And does what we call “consciousness” transcend far beyond our current scientific understanding? I believe the answer to both of the last questions is yes and that the human mind is simply unable to wrap itself consciously around its own complexity and vastness. To quote Albert Einstein, “Do you remember how electrical currents and ‘unseen waves’ were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy.”
I like to look at antianxiety drugs as a form of emotional painkiller. The purpose of pain medication is not to mend the fracture or close the wound that causes the pain, but to make the time it takes to heal more tolerable. It would be denial or plain ignorance if you would drown out the pain without tending to its root causes. If fear and anxiety are like physical pain, then their natural purpose must be to call your attention to the deeper emotional and mental wounds they are caused by. What if tending to these inner wounds—whether they are unresolved traumas, self-sabotaging patterns, or limiting beliefs—could lead to greater peace, wholeness, and self-empowerment? Would it still be enough for you to just fix and get rid of fear and anxiety? Or would you want to take advantage of their true meaning, heal yourself from the inside out, and gain access to your true potential? This is what I call the healing power of fear and anxiety. As you’re moving step by step through this book, bridging the conscious with the subconscious and higher consciousness, you will learn how to address fear and anxiety and take advantage of their healing power.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take antianxiety medication or can’t work on the deeper root causes of fear and anxiety while you’re on it. Taking medication can be a first empowering step. Just don’t let it be the entire journey.
One final note on this subject—something taught to me by my father, who was a truly amazing physician. To paraphrase him: “Remember, it’s the patient who does the healing, not the doctor or the drugs.” Our potential to heal is much greater than we believe or have been led to believe. In fact, the power of belief is a major key. Clinical studies have shown that placebos, sugar pills without medicinal value, can significantly reduce moderate depression and anxiety. So just believing that you will feel better can be as effective as using a drug that is designed to alter your brain chemistry. Imagine what is possible when you apply the same trust and belief in your own power to heal, change, and thrive.
What writing project are you working on next?
I am working on two projects – one on developing confidence and self-worth, another on discovering and healing the root causes of chronic illnesses.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As a physician and molecular-biologist I became increasingly fascinated by the role of our emotions when it comes to health and healing. Studies have shown that positive emotions can boost the immune system, decrease diabetes, and improve heart conditions. On the other hand, negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, have the opposite effects and can cause serious health problems.
The problem is that we usually interpret negative emotions such as fear and anxiety, as flaws and weaknesses that need to be overcome, managed, or suppressed, rather than trying to understand their deeper meaning. In other words, the real problem is that we don’t know how to listen or relate to our emotions, let alone consciously guide and work with it. This is why it is so important to learn how to consciously work with the source of our emotions – our subconscious mind.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am working with clients all over the world via Skype or the phone on breaking through physical or emotional challenges. But I dedicate at least twice per week several hours to work on my writing projects.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?