Anxiety is what we feel when we are scared, worried or afraid about things that are about to happen or that we think could happen in the future. Most people feel anxious at times, for example, when we start a new job or just before a big exam, this is normal. However, children, teens and adults who have anxiety disorders live with an overwhelming amount of anxiety that can disrupt daily life. They may not be able to go to school, work or have normal social relationships.
Anxiety is a natural response we have as humans that can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. There are various types of anxiety and different contributing factors as to why one may have anxiety. Anxiety can often be treated without medication, which can lead to adverse side effects.
Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback
Can Help All Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
excessive anxiety or worry with no clear cause
Social Anxiety Disorder
fear or anxiety about one or more social situations in which the individual may be exposed to possible scrutiny by others. (Examples include meeting new people, being observed by others, or giving a speech)
recurrent unexpected panic attacks. During a panic attack one may experience pounding heart (palpitations), sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain and trembling.
feeling scared (fear) or excessive distress when anticipating or experiencing separation from home or major attachment figures.
fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation, such as flying, heights, animals, or blood.
fear or anxiety of being in a place where one can’t escape or get help in an emergency, such as using public transportation (trains, planes, buses), being in a crowd or even Being Outside of the Home Alone.
Substance/Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder
use of certain illegal substances, medications, or withdrawal from certain drugs, can trigger panic attacks or anxiety.
consistent failure to speak in social situations where there is an expectation to speak in public (e.g., at school) despite speaking normally with their family.
Contributing Factors and Sources of Anxiety
This may include trauma of any kind or dysfunctional family systems. We call these reactionary forms of anxiety as they may begin after one scary event or many events over time. This type of anxiety is triggered by certain things in the external world that re-stimulate the trauma. One may or may not be aware of the connection to the original events. The person’s brain is stuck in a predictably reactive state with symptoms that create great distress for the individual and often for their loved ones. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and phobias fall into this category, (for more information see our page on PTSD).
Brain Over Arousal
The brain is over activated, leading to a person feeling ‘ramped up’ as if they’ve had too much caffeine. They usually dislike caffeine or activities that are highly stimulating because their brains are already over stimulated. Symptoms may become more pronounced with life stressors or hormone changes such as with puberty, menstrual cycles, and menopause. They may be described as an “anxious person”. The potential for a brain to be over aroused may be present at birth, suggesting that there could be a genetic component. An individual may believe external events are causing the overwhelming feelings of anxiety, when the reality is, the brain is over aroused or out of balance.
Brain Under Arousal
The brain is under activated, or too slowed down. People experiencing an under aroused brain try to unknowingly correct the anxiety created by keeping very busy, taking on excess responsibilities, engaging in risky behaviors or having chronic worry. This may elevate brain activation to a degree but not sufficiently to correct the imbalance. They may be described as ‘adrenaline junkies’ because of this chronic pattern of needing to stimulate an under-activated brain.
Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback can address these three primary sources of anxiety (life experiences, brain over arousal and brain under arousal) in different ways. Sensory motor rhythm neurotherapy training can slow a brain down from over arousal, making everyday stress much easier to manage. Our alpha-theta protocol was also designed to address an over aroused brain and triggers from life experiences that stimulate the original event(s). Our beta-biofeedback helps teach the brain to speed up which helps calm an under aroused brain. A thorough evaluation will determine which types and combinations of training are right for you.
Benefits of NeuroFeedback Therapy for Anxiety
- A safe and natural approach
- Involves no medication
- No risky side effects
- Teaches the brain without chemicals
- Does not change your personality
- Effects are long-lasting
- While under an MD’s supervision most people can either cut down or stop using medication after successfully completing the required number of sessions
Risks of Untreated Anxiety Disorders
- Physical Health – fatigue, weight gain, body aches and pains, headaches, heart issues, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic illness
- Relationships – feeling misunderstood, irritability, social isolation
- Career – panic attacks, isolation (may affect people going to work or their work performance)
- Co-occurring Conditions – substance abuse or other mental disorders such as depression