Our weird world can make people anxious | VailDaily.com

Our weird world can make people anxious

Scott N. Miller
NWS Anxiety PU 8-24

VAIL – It’s a strange world we live in these days.Between this country’s involvement in a couple of wars, sky-high gas prices and a host of other problems, it could be easy to lose sleep.A handful of shoppers at Vail’s City Market recently talked about what makes them nervous and how they deal with it.”God, there’s the war, the traffic, the state of the world,” Staci Stokes said. Asked how she copes, she said, “Tequila. I’m headed back to Aspen now for a drink.”Stokes was joking, but only sort of.With her grandson Parker in tow, Penny Terhar said life is pretty good for her these days.

“I’d like to think I don’t have any anxiety,” Terhar said. “I’d like to think I can handle just about anything.”Coping with life can be harder for some people than others. That’s where Mike Gahagan comes in.Gahagan, a licensed counselor, runs Eagle Valley Counseling in Edwards. A former counselor with Colorado West Mental Health Center, Gahagan has been out on his own for a few years now. Starting a practice from scratch can lead to its own anxious moments, so he understands people who are on edge.

“I’m definitely seeing more these days,” Gahagan said. Most of the people Gahagan sees come to him because of court orders. Most of them, he said, take an order to see him as a wake-up call. But, he said, coping with life can challenge nearly anyone.”People deal with it in different ways,” Gahagan said. “They develop different coping skills, like biking, or going to the gym. Some people start self-medicating.”George Radell doesn’t think much of the state of the world, and firmly believes this country’s government is as bad as it’s been in his 73 years.”But I’m old enough and withstood enough to deal with all these pressures,” Radell said. “I try to relax and take life as it comes. I’ve been married 48 years, and I try to enjoy my kids and my grandkids.”

Pat Andersen recently saw “An Inconvenient Truth,” the movie in which former Vice President Al Gore lays out many of the details of some theories of global warming.”That makes me anxious,” Andersen said. “So it’s good to get out on my bike and I hike. My dog’s my trainer, and I’m not using any fossil fuels.”Youngsters have their own forms of stress.Asked what he’s anxious about, Kristjan Gannon had a quick reply.”The police,” he said.”Getting pulled over,” said his friend Jake Schneider.Asked how they try to avoid that anxiety-creating situation, Gannon had a quick answer for the adult asking him.”I try to be careful,” Gannon said.Dylan Bidez had similarly adult-friendly anxieties and answers.”School,” he said when asked what made him nervous. Asked how he planned to cope with that anxiety he had answers any parent would love.”Get my work done as soon as I can, and get good grades.”The small sample of people talking about anxiety mostly displayed what Gahagan would probably consider healthy coping skills. But even the clients he sees because of court orders have an advantage.”We live in Vail, Colorado, and not a big city,” he said.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado

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