Anxieties Around Meeting Needs

“My needs are not being met” is a common complaint in relationships. You may be experiencing loneliness due to a lack of fulfilling connections with a partner or family, friends, and/ or social connections. Perhaps you are not feeling respected or esteemed by others within your current role and feel as though you are “not living up to your full potential”. While these needs are stressful, they are compounded when the foundational basics are not met.

Meeting basic needs of nutrition is a need for survival, represented as a foundational element of Maslow’s-Hierarchy-of-Needs pyramid along with other physiological needs such as clothing and shelter. Financial insecurity, housing insecurity, and food insecurity are stressful! It is important that healthcare professionals recognize potential unmet needs and assist individuals and their families with accessing support through appropriate referrals.

  • Did you know that approximately 68% of Americans who report experiencing financial-insecurity also experience anxiety?

No one is immune to experiencing the impacts; however, people without a college degree, communities of color, and women are those who most commonly face financial insecurity.

Living paycheck to paycheck or relying on assistance to get by can bring up emotions such as fear of judgment, and feelings of worthlessness or inferiority, in addition to depression and anxiety. Many people do not share these struggles with those closest to them for these reasons. Cultural messages, especially through social media can further lead to feelings of inadequacy and begin to affect physical health. Migraines, heart disease, diabetes, and sleep problems are just some of the health conditions in which ongoing stressors have been linked.

When one is preoccupied with meeting needs such as finding affordable housing, paying the bills, and getting access to adequate nutrition, it is hard to be fully present in other areas towards the top such as love and belonging or esteem needs.

The top point of the triangle is self-actualization. A person seeking therapy to work on self-actualization or becoming the “best version” of themselves, is typically one who has all basic needs met, feels safe and secure in their environment and relationships, and is doing well in social, and self-esteem needs.

Wherever you are, we want to help whether it is assisting with names or numbers for a referral, learning free ways to reduce anxiety at home, discussing concerns (e.g., relational, existential), or learning ways to live life more authentically.

Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

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