I often have to educate of my patients about primary emotions, secondary emotions, and tertiary emotions.
The primary emotion of disconnectedness and loneliness can lead to a secondary emotion of fear/anxiety which then can lead to a tertiary emotion of anger/frustration/avoidance/withdrawal or distraction through food, smoke, alcohol, drugs, gambling etc.
People tend to fix the problem at the tertiary and secondary level because these are what people can see, but it’s much more effective if one can fix it at the primary level. Fix the relational issues. Fix the disconnectedness. Fix the loneliness, and many other health issues will be much easier to manage.
Do you often see patients like the above?