Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Anxiety


25/05/2023

It is normal to occasionally feel some anxiety at some point in our lives, especially when the individual is subjected to stressful situations for which he/she is psychologically unprepared.

However, there are people who have fears and feelings of intense, persistent worry, for no apparent reason or motive, and which can occur at any time of the day.

In anxiety disorders these feelings of intense anxiety usually occur suddenly and repeatedly, almost daily in varying intensity, causing from feelings of fear and avoidance behaviors to feelings of terror that in a matter of seconds can lead the individual to a panic crisis.

The patient with anxiety lives in a persistent nightmare, their life is continuously conditioned and their quality of life denigrated because they are limited, they are not able to carry out daily activities that do not entail a real danger and that, nevertheless, in them causes panic, from where the behaviors of avoidance of certain places or situations are derived, thus conditioning also, their relationships and social life.

Symptoms may begin as early as childhood or adolescence and continue throughout life.

If you present or feel identified with any of these signs and symptoms, it is likely that you suffer from an anxiety disorder:

  • Sensation of nervousness, agitation or tension.

  • Sensation of imminent danger, panic or catastrophe.

  • Increased heart rate.

  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation) that may be accompanied by numbness of the hands and a cramping sensation in the hands.

  • Sweating.

  • Tremors.

  • Feeling of tiredness.

  • Problems to concentrate in the task that is being carried out or to think of another thing that is not the preoccupation that is generating the feeling of anxiety.

  • Sleep disorders (conciliation, maintenance and/or premature awakening).

  • Gastrointestinal problems (irritable bowel syndrome).

  • Difficult control of daily worries.

  • Need to avoid any situation that may generate anxiety (avoidance behaviors).

If you feel identified with any of these symptoms it is quite likely that you suffer from any of the different types of anxiety disorders that I will describe briefly below and we can help you through repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, a painless and non-invasive treatment, which does not require pharmacotherapy (thus avoiding the risk of addiction to substances used in the treatment of the same, such as benzodiazepines).

What types of anxiety disorders can we suffer from?

There are several classifications, but to be concise and try to focus on the basic concepts that alert the patient that may be suffering from this disorder we will summarize them in:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder, where there is persistent and excessive worry and anxiety about activities or events, for activities as routine as "going to the street to buy bread". The degree of concern presented is disproportionate to the real situation, is difficult to control and affects the way the individual feels physically. It is usually associated with depression.

  • Panic disorder, where suddenly intense feelings of terror and fear are experienced, reaching a peak within minutes (known as "panic attacks"). Chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, sweating, feeling tired and dizzy. These panic attacks cause the person, in turn, to fear having the experience again.

  • Agoraphobia, where what you fear are places or situations that may make you panic or feel trapped, helpless or ashamed. Often the individual tries and does everything possible to avoid them, conditioning multiple social life situations that are actually pleasant.

  • Anxiety disorder due to a disease, where there is a physical health problem that produces symptoms of anxiety or intense panic, for example in some types of epilepsy (therefore, it is important that all patients with anxiety disorder have an EEG to rule out a possible epileptiform activity generating the symptoms, not previously known).

  • Selective mutism, which occurs mainly in children and makes them unable to speak at school, with other children, even in their own home.

  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia), which implies that the individual experiences high levels of anxiety, fear or rejection of social situations due to feelings of shame, insecurity and concern about being judged or perceived negatively, rejected by other people or social group.

  • Substance use (drug) anxiety disorder.

When should you consult a doctor and how can we help you with TMS?

If you find yourself in any of the following cases:

  • Excessive worry that interferes with your work, relationships and other aspects of your daily life.

  • You find it difficult to control that feeling of fear, worry or anxiety.

  • You feel low in mood, depressed, have problems with alcohol or other drug use, or have other types of mental health disorders that may be associated with anxiety. You think that your physical health is failing and is causing your anxiety symptoms.

  • You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors (in this case, the consultation must be strictly urgent).

IF YOU HAVE COME THIS FAR... WE CAN HELP YOU THROUGH THE EMTr

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a noninvasive modality approved by the FDA to treat major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder with similar levels of effectiveness to the treatment of depression.

Each case will be studied individually in consultation, with the support of our Psychiatrist, Dr. Abejaro, with high qualifications and great professional experience in the field of Psychiatry and in consultation of Clinical Neurophysiology, where I will perform the Electroencephalography, localization of individualized stimulation area according to each patient and optimal protocol according to anxiety disorder and based on publications in continuous updating and pioneers in this field, such as those made in the journal Brain Stimulation.

We are here to help you. You deserve to live a full life. And our ultimate goal is for you to achieve the best quality of life and enjoy it.