Anxiety and Stress

About the Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress
Symptoms
of anxiety and stress are associated with feelings of tension, fear, worry, and apprehension. Physiological reactions to these symptoms may include increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, sleep disturbances, weakness, and fatigue. Deep relaxation provided by some of the Inhibitory Programs may induce feelings of tranquility and reduce the intensity of anxiety and stress symptoms.

Suggested Programs Recommended for the Symptoms of Stress:
(1) Beginning Inhibitory      35 minutes
(2) Inhibitory                       35 minutes
(3) Inhibitory                       35 minutes
(5) Double Inhibitory           35 minutes
(12) Inhibitory Crossover    35 minutes

Important Note with Regard to the Symptoms of Anxiety
These programs have been used as an intervention for the symptoms of anxiety in a clinical setting in conjunction with psychotherapy. Occasionally, the use of these programs can induce slight feelings of anxiety which may be accompanied by physical discomfort such as “pressure” in the chest or nausea. It is commonly believed that the activation and surfacing of these feelings and sensations may result in the “release” and resolution of trauma and “fear based” responses. These feelings of anxiety and fear can be associated with current stressors such as worry, unpleasant  memories, loss, past or current emotional pain, or trauma. The interruption of stress responses and the release of these feelings can be vital factors in the resolution of anxieties and fears.  Because each of us can be affected by daily stresses and negative or emotional events, the experience of some  anxiety can be a normal response to auditory and visual stimulation. However, if you experience intense emotional distress discontinue the session immediately.

The Inhibitory programs in the SST can cause a decrease of brainwave frequencies which may result in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and calm the physiologic stress response. The slowing of beta and high alpha states may aid in the control of emotion, inhibit feelings of agitation, and induce physical relaxation.

Suggested programs that may address some of the symptoms of Anxiety:
(1) Beginning   Inhibitory    35 minutes
(2) Inhibitory                       35 minutes
(3) Inhibitory                       35 minutes
(5) Double Inhibitory           35 minutes    

Treatment of Acute and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder/Anxiety
By Ruth Olmstead, Ph.D.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a syndrome in which the stressor is unusually severe, involves intense fear, helplessness and horror, and is psychologically traumatic. The stressor or cause can be involvement in a life-threatening situation, being the victim of physical and emotional violence, or witnessing violence or death.

Some symptoms of PTSD are as follows:

  • The persistent avoidance of any stimuli associated with the event.
  • The numbing of emotional responsiveness and the inability to feel normal affect.
  • The persistent re-experiencing of a traumatic event through symptoms such as recurring thoughts or repetitive nightmares about the event.
  • Persistent symptoms of increased arousal such as anxiety, chronic tension, irritability, the inability to relax, often accompanied by insomnia, and the inability to tolerate noise.
  • Impaired concentration and memory.
  • The experiencing of depression, withdrawal and avoidance of social contact, and loss of sexual interest.
  • Acute stress disorder occurs within four weeks of a traumatic event and lasts for a minimum of two days to four weeks. If symptoms last longer than four weeks, the diagnosis is PTSD.

 

Use of Audio/Visual Stimulation as Therapy

Supportive therapy, psychopharmacology, relaxation training, and cognitive behavior-oriented therapies have been found to be useful in alleviating some of the symptoms of PTSD. The use of audio/visual stimulation also has been found to reduce these symptoms by inducing the repressed memories and feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and fear associated with the original trauma. It is only in stimulating the surfacing of these memories and feelings from the subconscious to the conscious mind that resolution can be achieved.

Audio/visual stimulation evolved from Biofeedback and is a form of brain wave entrainment. It occurs by stimulating an increase or decrease of brain wave activity through the use of flickering white lights placed over the eyes. These flickering lights also cause an increase in the production of particular neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine and endorphin. In may cases treated, an increase in these brain chemicals has aided in alleviating depression and has increased cognitive abilities, memory, focus and concentration. The audio stimulus consists of familiar and unfamiliar sounds which aids in memory induction.

A session using audio/visual stimulation is twenty to thirty-five minutes in length. Results that are usually experienced include an overall increase in emotional stability. Sleep patterns become more consistent and nightmares and levels of anxiety gradually decrease. However, the PTSD client initially may become more aggressive and unstable as repressed feelings are brought up prior to their resolution. Supportive psychotherapy conjointly with audio/visual stimulation will help clients understand and accept the emotional intensity while issues are being resolved.

 

Disclaimer: These programs were not designed to be a substitute for medication, or behavioral therapy. Please contact a licensed therapist or mental health care professional for severe symptoms.