What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a common, healthy emotion that everyone occasionally feels when they have to deal with a stressful situation. It is believed to be based on the natural fight or flight response that all humans have whenever they feel that they are in danger. Evolution seems to have played a large role in its development because studies have shown that early humans needed it the most in order to make decisions regarding when they should fight potential predators or flee them in order to survive.
Usually, anxiety and stress goes away after the situation or event has passed. So it does not normally pose a person any problems. In fact, many mental health experts consider experiencing anxiety to be a healthy reaction in some cases as it is a protective mechanism.
However sometimes the emotion becomes so overwhelming that it begins to affect a person's life in numerous negative ways. At this point, it is considered to be an ongoing mental health condition that requires treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
The symptoms that a person with this mental health condition can vary depending on what is triggering their strong emotional reaction, and the person's personality and naturally response.
For example, many people experience this emotion whenever they have to interact with others in uncomfortable social situations because they have developed a fear of being humiliated, hurt, or bullied. In response, they will begin to display some type of avoidance behaviors whenever they have to attend events where there will be a large group of people. Or, if they have no choice but to attend, they may find that they feel physically ill the entire time.
Those who suffer from this emotion when they feel pressure to achieve high performance standards may notice that their pulse races, they begin to sweat profusely, and their mind becomes overwhelmed with thoughts about the possibility of failure.
Other common symptoms of this mental health condition may include:
- High blood pressure
- Racing thoughts
- Constant worrying about future events
- Headaches, stomach pain and other physical reactions
- Urge to escape
Is This Condition Common?
Over 40 million people in the United States from all different ages and backgrounds suffer from this mental health condition. However, less than half of them receive treatment for the symptoms that they have.
One of the main reasons for this lack of treatment is that many doctors are only willing to help their patients who are affected by this condition by offering them prescription medications.
The negative about these medications is that they only conceal the symptoms of anxiety. So, if a person stops taking them, their symptoms quickly return. Additionally, The medications often cause a long list of serious side effects that are dangerous to a person's health, especially if children or people who have other mental or physical health conditions take them.
Have you ever listened to some of the advertisements for new mental health treatment drugs on television? Many of them discuss the possibility of a person experiencing suicidal thoughts or withdrawal symptoms if the medications are suddenly discontinued, a pretty huge price to pay for stopping a drug treatment.
Are There Any Lifestyle Changes That Can Help?
Those who suffer from this mental health condition may be able to find relief by making a few healthy changes to their lifestyle. The first one to try is to avoid caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and soda, that can exacerbate the condition. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise are also both important because a person's physical health can have an impact on their mental health.
There are several types of mental health counseling techniques that may be effective as well, especially those that directly expose a person to the things that make them feel the most anxious.
Why is Neurofeedback a Good Option to Treat This Condition?
Neurofeedback is essentially a method of training the brain to respond differently to stressful situations that would usually induce anxious feelings. The way that it works is by attaching special sensors to the affected person's scalp, these sensors read their brain waves. The sensors collect data which is used to determine what their current mental health state is, and where it eventually needs to be.
Then, a plan of action is created based on those results. Some may find that understanding this treatment method is easier if it is compared with biofeedback, which is another common method used for other mental health conditions. Biofeedback is different in the way that it monitors a person's physical response to stressful stimuli. During Biofeedback, instead of someone's brain waves being recorded, it tracks their heart rate and blood pressure.
Neurofeedback is helpful for treating this high anxiety because it can offer a clear picture of the specific areas of the brain that are contributing to the problem. More often than not, those who struggle with constant anxious feelings do not understand why they are occurring or what they can do to turn them off. So the therapy allows them to get a visible image which can help them to better understand the problem and quickly correct the negative thought process.
This is done in different ways depending on a person's individual needs. One common technique for this process that is used is to have a person watch a movie while their brain is being monitored. When they do not feel anxious, the movie will play normally. But if their brain waves reflect negative changes to their mood, the movie will fade out to alert them that they need to correct their mental health state.
While anxiety can at times be a regular, healthy emotion, for many anxious thoughts elevate to a point where it becomes unhealthy, and detrimental to everyday life. Thankfully, there are many ways to combat over anxiety, and treatments can be personalized to fit each sufferer’s specific needs.
Contact TMS Health and Wellness Today if you suffer from high anxiety, and would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about treatment options.