Anxiety, according to a study cited by Peter Sergo in the Scientific American Journal Mind, (March 2008 p. 15)is the most common mental/emotional disorder in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, or 18.1% of the population. It can occur generically as in “generalized anxiety disorder, or manifest specifically as in phobias or obsessive-compulsive disorders as very specific kinds of symbolic situations that evoke the anxiety (closed or open spaces, or in OCD, contact with “contamination.) Anxiety has further complex dimensions in that as a quality, or “sensed feeling” it accompanies depression (as in “agitated depression). (According to the same survey, all mood disorders considered together are second with 20.9 million or 9.5% of the population.) Anxiety can occur in relation to environments like performance, or the job with a hostile boss. Anxiety resembles fear in its symptom: pounding heart, shallow breath or hyperventilation, clammy palms, paralysis. But in the clinical literature it has been called: “fear without an object.”
People who have suffered from anxiety know what a terrible, gnawing sensation it can be, and so efforts are made, from self-medication, to widely distributed and used anti-anxiety-agents, such as the benzodiazapenes, and the categore of agents called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s). Anxiety is usually (not always) asociated with overarousal, while depression is associated with underarousal. The LENS practitioner routinely tries to find where patients lie on a continuum from under aroused to over aroused. At times both conditions can be found in different parts of the brain (hence the use of brain maps.).
The over-aroused people fall to the right side of the accompanying chart, that is to say, they wear themselves out with hypervigilance, insomnia, irritability. Because in a sense, these people drive themselves to exhaustion, they are more complex in responding to treatment, and may take longer than someone with a simple focal head injury (before which they were just fine).
In our 100 person study in The Journal of Neurotherapy (Vol 10, 2/3) Anxiety responded in a comparable way to the other symptom categories that we examined, such as mood instability and insomnia.
Some kinds of anxiety are physiologically driven and accompany hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, TBI and PTSD, and cardiac problems. In these cases, consult your physician or cardiologist. The LENS is more helpful in cases where the anxiety is due to customary brain conditions of arousal and vigilance. People are relieved to have the tyranny of anxiety lifted from them.