It’s human nature to seek out the reasons why we feel anxious. Very often we look at external factors for the root cause; current events, being unhappy in a job, unhappy with living situation, or conflict with family or significant others tend to be our “go to”. We may also look at our past experiences, upbringing, or past trauma, to explain this unrelenting uneasy feeling we have inside.
The truth is that anxiety is a pattern of neuron firing in the brain that can be present from birth and life situations can exacerbate it to the point of dysfunction. Brain neural patterns don’t necessarily dictate how we will behave, however, trying to change the environment, situation or behavior won’t alter the patterns. Therefore, you can’t talk someone out of anxiety. Anxiety is also not reserved for adulthood, it can cause dysfunction and issues in life regardless of age. Adults are unable to “change” their way out of anxiety and for children and young adults, you can’t change their routines or discipline them from feeling anxious.
Anxiety can manifest in different ways, here are a few:
- Excessive worrying
- Nagging sense of fear
- Overly emotional
- Negative thinking
- Poor sleep hygiene
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Exhaustion or Fatigue
According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Anxiety and depression are treatable, but 80 percent of children with a diagnosable anxiety disorder and 60 percent of children with diagnosable depression are not getting treatment, according to the 2015 Child Mind Institute Children’s Mental Health Report.”
Many health professionals believe that anxiety is a normal part of childhood and symptoms are not cause for alarm. Others believe that parenting and discipline need to be improved or implemented to treat the symptoms. In severe cases, medication is introduced as a treatment, but unfortunately, many children who suffer with symptoms, are medication resistant or not severe enough to medicate.
Adults can experience similar frustration when treating anxiety with medication. The diagnosis is a broad one and there may be very different neuron patterns causing the anxious feelings. This can cause treatment to be somewhat of a guessing game. Others struggle with side effects and dependency.
Neurofeedback can help. Neurofeedback can not only help reduce the anxiety symptoms specific to you, but it can “retrain” the neural patterns in the brain so that anxiety is better managed or controlled throughout your life. Through Neuroplasticity, Neurofeedback becomes a permanent correction of the anxiety patterns in the brain.