Have you ever felt the symptoms of anxiety? A feeling of anxiousness, perhaps for no particular reason. Racing heart, feeling frazzled, waking at night startled, panic attack, explosive diarrhea without warning, jittery, sweaty palms, feeling faint, nauseous, mind races at night and won't allow sleep, clenching of the teeth? If so, you know how devastating these symptoms can be and how negatively they can impact your life.
There are a number of treatments for anxiety, most involving pharmaceutical drugs that may or may not work and may or may not be addictive in nature. It is important to treat anxiety, not just to diminish symptoms and improve quality of life, but to improve longevity.
A recent study, conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California, has discovered that "frantic and frazzled people" have a 48 percent higher risk for dementia, compared to those who do not frequently experience feelings of anxiety. USC-led researchers studied 28 years of data from Swedish Adoption Twin Study of Aging, overseen by the Karolinska Institute of Sweden. The research included 1082 participants who were either fraternal or identical twins. Participants answered several questionnaires, completed in-person tests every three years, and were screened for dementia throughout the process. Numerous others studies have explored the link between dementia and psychological variables, such as depression and neuroticism. However, this study established that the anxiety-dementia link was independent of the role of depression as a risk factor.
The twin who developed dementia had a history of higher levels of anxiety, compared to the twin who did not develop dementia. To determine whether anxiety levels correlated to demential risk, researchers compared those who reported high anxiety with those who reported lower anxiety levels. “Those in the high anxiety group were about 1.5 times more likely to develop dementia,”. According to the study, people who have high levels of anxiety tend to have higher levels of stress hormones, including cortisol. There’s outward signs that chronically high levels of cortisol damage parts of the brain such as the hippocampus, which stores memory, and the frontal cortex, which is liable for high-level thinking.
Natural methods to treat anxiety are many, including yoga, aerobic exercise with its production of endorphins, and supplements including lavender, L-theanine, 5-HTP, Magnesium, omega-3's, chamomile tea, ginger and valerian root, to name a few.
But the newest treatment for anxiety, which is drug-free and long lasting, is neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a type of bio-feedback, which normalizes brain wave patterns that are provoking the anxiety. We do it here in the office, and start out measuring the brain waves, utilizing a qEEG, or brain mapping procedure. Then, based on the results, we can set up neurofeedback to directly change the abnormal brain waves to normal. It takes on average of 20 sessions, done twice a week, and also helps with depression and insomnia.
Symptoms such as depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and memory impairment are frequently a result of an abnormality of the EEG or brain waves. This can now be easily measured and a treatment plan devised based on results.
If you are suffering from chronic anxiety, do NOT let this continue to drain the joy from your life. There are great treatments available to give you your life back again.