Anxiety is becoming a normal part of our daily lives. It is a biological reaction that results in a general sense of apprehension and worry. Anxiety serves to keep us from harm and prepares us to react accordingly when faced with danger. However, anxiety is different for some individuals – just like anxiety treatment can be. It can be persistent, overwhelming and irrational such that it interferes with daily activities. This is usually the first sign of an anxiety disorder. This can be defined as a group of mental conditions that are typically characterized by the feelings of fear as well as anxiety. Anxiety disorders tend to occur with other mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders and personality disorders.
There are two types of anxiety; chronic and acute anxiety. Chronic anxiety is characterized by drawn-out daily symptoms that reduce life quality. Acute anxiety is characterized by short spurts of stressful and sporadic panic attacks. Depending on the affected, anxiety symptoms can range in number, frequency and intensity, which also directly affect the anxiety treatment and success therein. The physiological symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, dry mouth, tremors, fatigue and unexpected perspiration. The psychological symptoms include feelings of apprehension and dread, tension, irritability, restlessness, anticipating the worst and nightmares. It is imperative to understand the differences in anxiety on a comprehensive level before one can narrow in on particular anxiety treatments.
Safe and effective treatments for anxiety are available. The majority of patients who look for treatments do experience notable improvements and upward progression in the quality of their life. Anxiety treatment options can be categorized as either Non-drug or pharmacological (medicinal), both of which are offered in a clinical setting.
Non-drug Treatment Options
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very effective and lasting treatment that has been well established. The main focus of this type of therapy is understanding and correcting any thinking and behavioral patterns that may be causing anxiety. Depending on the patient, improvements are usually visible within a few months. In CBT, the patients learn crucial skills during the sessions, but they have to repeatedly practice these skills. One of the benefits of this option is that the patient is actively involved in their recovery.
2. Direct Neurofeedback: Direct Neurofeedback refers to a revolutionary technique that helps your brain get out of dysfunctional neural patterns while restoring optimal neural function. The Dubin Clinic utilizes this specialized technique that employs very low-strength electromagnetic currents to help improve a patient’s sense of well being. The innovative anxiety treatment works by sending a small, imperceptible signal to your brain based on your unique EEG pattern. This signal causes slight changes in brainwaves. This slight fluctuation enables your brain to reorganize and get out of dysfunctional, rigid patterns. The Dubin Clinic likens the procedure to re-booting a frozen computer. As such, direct Neurofeedback facilitates mental self-regulation in the patient without their efforts. This makes it effective as a general treatment option for various mental disorders including anxiety. Direct Neurofeedback leads to nervous system relaxation and optimization that can manifest as improved moods in anxiety and depression patients. During the clinical session, sensors that read your brainwave activity are applied to your scalp. The equipment then sends back a tiny signal to your brain via the sensors on your skin. This allows your brain to reorganize itself out of rigid patterns. The patient does not have to do anything during the procedure. The treatment itself can last for about 30 seconds to a few minutes. The rest of the session will be spent monitoring progress and assessing symptoms. The overall process usually lasts about half an hour. A change may be noticed during the first or second sessions for ninety percent of the patients. For some patients, changes may even be noticed immediately during the procedure.
3. Other Psychological Approaches: Other forms of psychological treatment options focus mainly on attempting to find possible causes and triggers of anxiety. They also involve coping mechanisms and skills to better deal with the symptoms of anxiety. They may include exposure therapy, Interpersonal therapy, acceptance as well as commitment therapy and Dialectical Behavioral.
Pharmacological Treatment Options
Medication treatment options available today for anxiety disorders are generally safe and effective. There are four main types of drugs that are normally used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. These include selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRI), Serotonin-norepinephrine inhibitors (SNRI), tricyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines. The pharmacological course of treatment for anxiety is often individually tailored and altered as required. It may take some time in finding the right medications that work perfectly for each individual patient. Some medications are fast acting and effective for short-term use, while others require time to become effective.
If you are currently living in Santa Monica California and are in need of anxiety treatment, please reach out to us today.