Alternate Treatment Options For Anxiety and Panic Disorders
As of March 2020, the world is a different place. Many people are out of work or furloughed. Many medications are in short supply. As a result, anxiety related issues are very much on the rise. With people sheltering in place and wondering if they'll have jobs to come back to, many are suffering in the form of stress and stress related disorders. We call this “generalized anxiety”.
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States, and a major public health problem in the world. According to large population-based surveys, up to 33.7% of the population are affected by an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Substantial under-recognition and undertreatment of these disorders have been demonstrated.
One study estimated the annual cost of anxiety disorders in the United States to be approximately $42.3 billion in the 1990s, a majority of which was due to non-psychiatric medical treatment costs. This estimate focused on short-term effects and did not include the effect of outcomes such as the increased risk of other disorders.
In the 1950's psychiatry started turning to sedatives in the form of benzodiazepines. These are still the most popular form of treatment today, even though the body becomes tolerant quickly to them and thus creates the need for higher dosages.
For anxiety patients, learning how to self- modulate chronic stress without the aid of drugs can provide a solid path to freedom from anxiety, and from the side effects and tolerance that develop with medication. This can include alternative therapies like meditation, yoga, acupuncture and neurofeedback.
Why neurofeedback is so effective:
With neurofeedback, the brain learns to moderate it's stress response and to create a healthy pattern in it's place. The process is painless and easy. Small sensors are placed on the scalp and the brainwaves are then measured and displayed on a monitor. A person learns to control these brainwaves to achieve a desired state. Often times the brain waves are rewarded with different forms of feedback including movies, video games or even the individual's favorite music.
Long term studies with neurofeedback have shown continuous positive success stories, with results often being permanent for a period of more than 10 years. This is primarily because anxiety is a brain problem, and neurofeedback targets the brain specifically, normalizing brainwaves so that the brain can function more optimally.
For those looking for help during this critical time, neurofeedback could be the best option available for improving stress related conditions and overall mental health.