Autoimmune & Coronavirus: Beating the Panic & Fear in All of Us

Safe at home Tiny BuddhaPhoto Credit: tinybuddha.comWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
April 7, 2020
Published at Tiny Buddha

“This post was republished with permission from You can find the original post here.

It is such a privilege to be a guest author for the Tiny Buddha Community. I encourage all of you to visit no matter your interests or desires for self-growth. This community offers beautiful stories, messages of hope and inspiration, and a sense that "you are not alone" 

“The problem is not the existence of stressors, which cannot be avoided; stress is simply the brain’s way of signaling that something is important. The problem—or perhaps the opportunity—is how we respond to this stress.” ~The Book of Joy

For the past few weeks, I took pride in being able to keep fear at a distance.

My motto was “Don’t let the fear in. The fear makes you a vulnerable host to coronavirus.”

Since I have Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune condition, I know about stress and how it harms my immune system. Stress steals energy from the necessary functions my body performs to keep me alive. Fear adds stress to the body.

As I drove up to the parking lot of my favorite grocery store, people were gathered outside—and the store wasn’t open, yet. My sensitive nervous system scanned the environment and registered that something was wrong.

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Karen Drucker--releasing stress and fear through music

Several years ago a dear social worker colleague gave me a small box. In the midst of my busy life, I placed the box on my dresser and forgot about it. It is very unusual for me to leave a present unopened. In fact, I cannot recall a time in my life where I didn't enthusiastically tear open a present. I love presents. Who doesn't? But this small gift must have needed to wait for me until the right time and right place. I stumbled upon the unopened package when I was going through a very tough time physically and emotionally. Revealing its contents, I discovered a cd by a local musician, Karen Drucker. Her music is now a resource for my mind and body--a way I can recalibrate and calm my nervous system after stress. 

Below is one of my favorite songs. Please play and sing along with it. You cannot help but hold on to the very important words of affirmation, I relax, let go, release, and surrender---All is well. This catchy tune will stay with you no matter how hard you might try to resist. Frankly, I would rather have these words going through my head than my stressful anxious thoughts (what ifs). What a great way to replace anxiety--with words of affirmation! If you love it, check out her CD Songs of the Spirit III, one of my favorites, available on amazon*

*This post contains affiliate links

  If you want to hear more of Karen Drucker's Music, I highly recommend this cd---

  *FTC Disclosure:, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon and affiliated sites. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

Coronavirus--How I support my immune system

I have Crohn's disease, an autoimmune disease affecting the gut/small intestine. My immune system is compromised and so I feel vulnerable during health crises. The coronavirus has triggered some of my fears and while I am doing my best to keep it at a distance, I feel best when I can make a plan for how to keep my body strong. Stress weakens the immune system, and I don't want to get sick! In this video I share a supplement I am using--Source Naturals Wellness Formula-- and some steps I am taking to feel empowered over illness and to increase my body's ability to keep me healthy. This helps reduce my fear and gives me a meaningful focus. Source Naturals is available on Amazon* and other retailers such as vitacost, iherb, wholefoods, and local coops. 

*This post contains affiliate links 


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Trauma can make us sick: How I found a key to healing

key 1200x900Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
March 24, 2020
Published at Tiny Buddha

“This post was republished with permission from You can find the original post here.

“Our bodies contain our histories—every chapter, line, and verse of every event and relationship in our lives.” ~Caroline Myss

I could hear my teacher talking, but I wasn’t listening. Staring at the math homework in front of me, I couldn’t get the sound of my heartbeat out of my head.

Two times two equals, thump thump, equals thump thump, four.

The more I focused on my heartbeat, the louder it became. I could even feel beating in my chest.

Noticing the clock, I had ten more minutes before my mom would meet me in the school office. We had a meeting scheduled with the school nurse. I dreaded it.

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Stress and Early-Onset Chronic Illness

Millennial and illness Hi ResWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
March 2020 issue
Published at Taste for Life Magazine

This story originally appeared on Taste for Life

For most of us, when we think about the age range of 24 to 39, certain defining characteristics come to mind. This is a time when people consider pursuing an advanced degree, decide where they want to live, buy a home, make career choices, and explore relationships and parenthood. These are normal milestones of adulthood.

Nearly 73 million people in the United States are Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996). When we think about Millennials, we think YOUNG!

What we might not think about is chronic illness. Yet, reports from 2017 health insurance data show that “over half (54 percent) of Millennials reported having been diagnosed with at least one chronic illness.”

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Health Benefits of Dance

TasteforlifehiresCasey and Bumchin Tegshjargal, Three Time United States Youth and Under-21 Latin champion.

Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
January 1, 2020 
Published at Taste for Life Magazine

This story originally appeared on Taste for Life

Moving can seem unbearable if you are suffering from chronic fatigue and pain. Autoimmune illnesses and other medical conditions invite undesirable symptoms, frequent medical appointments, and stressors that can push exercise to the bottom of a to-do list. But moving doesn’t need to be yet another stressor. It can be soothing, healing, and even joyful.

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Living with Autoimmune Disease

In this brief video I share about living with autoimmune illness. This was made in honor of Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, one year ago, but the message still applies. This is one of the first videos I made speaking publicly about my story and living with Crohn's disease and a history of trauma. 


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