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Depression, anxiety, liver qi stagnation & feeling watched


Submitted By: cchope

Hi everyone,

Thank you in advance for listening and responding.

I went to see an acpuncturist for a chief complaint of depression at the end of last year. One interesting question she asked me was if I felt like I was being watched or as if someone was watching me. At the time, I didn't think too much of it and responded no. However, as time as gone on and I'm getting better from my depression, I've discovered I actually have a lot of anxiety (no surprise since depression and anxiety often go hand in hand). I wasn't as aware about the anxiety until recently because I've found ways to relieve it like meditating, deep breathing, and talking through it. However, I just realized this week that I've had a constant basal level of anxiety for so long that I can't remember when it started (perhaps 10 years ago) and that it feels normal. Only now have I noticed I constantly have a tense abdomen/stomach knots. For some reason, that question the acupuncturist asked came back into my mind and now I realize the answer to that question is yes. I want to say it's me watching myself, constantly judging, self-criticizing, and telling myself all these "shoulds" to conform to society's rules.

So my question is, what does "someone watching you all the time" have to do with depression or liver qi stagnation? Or does it have to do with anxiety? Are the two conditions linked in the TCM diagnosis? Any recommendations on what I can do about it?

Thanks again and have a great day!


First, I&#39m glad to hear that you are improving and taking steps to further assist your own healing - that&#39s great to hear. It&#39s difficult to say exactly what the practitioner meant with that question. There are two main ways to look at it however. The first way is it is a common question to help guage if people have stronger psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, or bipolar depression. The second way is to speak about it in more energetic terms, like a stronger energy following you so to speak. Your practitioner may have meant one, both or none of those...

The self checking that you are describing is probably not what the practitioner meant, but it is important clinically. It is a very common behavior with higher states of anxiety. Anxiety is a state where you are running from the bear in metaphoric terms, so it&#39s normal in those states to be constantly analyzing yourself and your situation. As the anxiety dies down, then the watching will lower as well.

In some ways depression and anxiety are just two sides of the same coin. So as you unstagnate the depression can lift and then the anxiety can be more pronounced. Over time these fluctuations between states will even out to a more "normal" level where they seem balanced for lack of a better word.

As far as recommendations, continuing with acupuncture is a great idea along with the regular meditation, etc. There are also a variety of Chinese herbal formulas that can be quite helpful, but your practitioner will have to decide what is best for you based on their understanding of your signs and symptoms.



A feeling of been watched is normally a gall bladder Qi issue if there is intense paranoia phlegm could be obstructing .

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