Clinical anxiety is debilitating. In some it is low-level and chronic, sapping one's strength and zest for life. In others it takes the form of panic attacks which may feel like a heart attack and sends them to the nearest emergency room. And there's often the fear of when the next panic attack will descend upon them.
The physician is likely to address such anxiety with an SSRI anti depressant, a benzodiazepine, or she may refer for talk therapy. These may help manage the anxiety but meds can be hard to discontinue because of withdrawal side effects. The benzodiazepines were intended for very short term use but it is not uncommon to encounter patients who have been on them for many years.
The brain maps of individuals with anxiety often show excessive fast Beta activity.
Often these patients give history of their mother , father, or a relative struggling with anxiety. Depending on the brain map patterns, there can be several ways to address this excessive Beta activity. Here are four possible protocols which have proven to decrease Beta and decrease anxiety:
* Training Beta down
* SMR (sensory motor rythm) training. Here the neurotherapist trains up low Beta activity in the 12 to 15 hz range. Basically we are training up "calmness".
* Alpha Theta Training. Here we have the patient relax with eyes closed and train up the slower brain waves of Alpha and Theta which in effect reduces fast Beta.
* Four Channel Multi-variate Coherence Training. This is a newer protocol which when treating anxiety, focuses on training high coherence down. Some preliminary clinical experience suggests this is a faster way to reduce excessive fast Beta.
My point is there are several protocols which reduce excessive fast Beta, thus reducing anxiety.
Other patient's have anxiety but it is the result of trauma. In the extreme they may be diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Perhaps they were the victim of a crime, fought in the military, or experienced a life-threatening event. Other people's trauma may have been from childhood abuse or spousal abuse, sometimes not a single event but many abuses over time.
Peter Levine, noted trauma expert, explains how trauma often gets locked inside. A person is in a dangerous, threatening situation. They may be the victim of violence from another or they may be the victim of an accident. The normal instinctive response is fight or flight. Sometimes a victim can do neither, they are trapped. What may happen is a freeze response under this extremely helpless situation. They can't master the threat through running away or fighting back. They freeze and endure it. The trauma is locked in and carried. Areas of their brain are over-activated to be hyper-alert so this never happens again. They may live the rest of their life in fear and with great body tension. This can be helped.
Whatever the traumatic situation, their brain and their body was traumatized and is on high alert to avoid future abuse. Three areas often changed in the brain after trauma are: amygdala, hippocampus, and the pre-frontal cortex. The brain maps will show which deeper area in the brain is most over-activated, and a protocol is chosen to calm this area.