How can TMS Therapy Help with Anxiety?
It can be normal to feel anxious from time to time; worrying about the future or overanalyzing a stressful situation, wondering what the outcome may be. Yet, when someone finds this behavior to be inhibiting them from living a normal life, they may be suffering from a clinical and more serious form of anxiety.
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is a mental disorder and chronic condition that is characterized by extreme discontentment, worry, restlessness and irritability that lasts longer than a period of six months. Over 5% of the population suffers from GAD, and many of these individuals also suffer from some form of chronic depression at the same time.
Some of the more common treatments for GAD include medication with benzodiazepines and antidepressants, at times coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy. Though making lifestyle changes and integrating coping techniques into their lives can provide some relief, more often than not a long-term solution is sought.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder may include:
- Finding it hard to relax
- Being uncomfortable with uncertainty
- Finding normal situations threatening
- Difficulty concentrating
- Not being able to let go of worry
- Thinking of all worst-case scenarios
Individuals living with this disorder can find it to be incredibly difficult to deal with every-day life. Especially because GAD is often coupled with other anxiety or mood-altering disorders such as depression, anxiety can be crippling when it comes to dealing with almost any situation that a person finds uncomfortable.
How Can TMS Help with Anxiety?
Though there are many forms of holistic and medical treatment for anxiety disorders, non-invasive options such as transcranial magnetic stimulation have shown significant promise in mitigating some of the symptoms over time. Though TMS therapy has only been FDA-approved for clinical depression, many patients have noted significant relief in their anxiety symptoms as well, providing long-term and lasting relief.
While there are many regions of the brain connected with the symptoms anxiety, most often the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and limbic regions are affected. Brain scans and neuroimaging support the idea that much of anxiety is connected to poor biological mechanisms that function in these areas of the brain that control emotion. This is why TMS, even though focused on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (which is focused on specifically for depression) has shown improvement in GAD patients because of its role in emotion regulation as well.
Because of this, there is a lot of data now available to support a larger and more definitive scope of the potential for TMS as a treatment for anxiety. Though more clinical trials are needed, it is important for research in the future to find the optimal treatment parameters and predictors and the treatment’s response.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Solution
If you have suffered from depression coupled with anxiety and your doctor has run out of options in terms of pharmacological treatment, transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy may be the right fit for you. If you would like to find out more information about TMS therapy and whether you qualify, contact South Bay TMS today.