Anxiety is a mental disorder that affects more than 40 million American adults, or 18.1% of the American population. There are different disorders that cause a patient to experience anxiety, with Generalized Anxiety Disorder being one of the most common. Even though common, it is estimated that only approximately 36.9% of patients with an existing anxiety disorder are obtaining adequate treatment. Understanding how to identify symptoms of anxiety disorders and how to act upon them can bring great relief to affected patients, and early treatment can also help to prevent the symptoms from escalating.
While different types of pharmaceutical products have been introduced for the treatment of anxiety disorders, there are also non-invasive options that do not utilize any pharmaceutical approach. The Alpha-Stim device is a prime example, providing a way to stimulate the right brain waves to place the patient in a more relaxed state-of-mind. This helps to reduce stress and alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety disorders.
Conventional Treatments For Anxiety Disorders
There are many different kinds of treatments used to assist in the relief of anxiety-related symptoms. Patients first need to undergo an examination and often an evaluation at a therapist to determine the type of anxiety symptom that is present. An appropriate treatment plan is then compiled for the patient based on their unique situation.
Sessions at a therapist are often included in these treatment plans. There are also some pharmaceutical drugs used to relieve symptoms. In some cases, antidepressant medication may be used to treat an anxiety disorder. Antihistamine medication is sometimes used if the patient’s anxiety symptoms are considered to be mild. Newer treatment options include the use of pregabalin and gabapentin medicines, but these are not as widely used as other pharmaceutical drugs.
A wide range of side-effects has been associated with these drugs. Depending on the specific drugs provided to a patient, side-effects that may develop include nausea, weight gain, insomnia, blurred vision, constipation, and changes in appetite. Among men, it is also not uncommon to experience erectile dysfunction as a side-effect when utilizing some types of antidepressants.
The Role Of Alpha-Stim Devices In Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Alpha-Stim devices have become a popular alternative treatment for various mental disorders, including anxiety. These devices were developed more than two decades ago and had been used in military settings for the past five years. These devices have been heavily researched and proven to be an effective option for patients with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, as well as those patients who experience milder symptoms of anxiety during their day-to-day activities. Alpha-Stim has also been proven an effective non-invasive therapy for reducing stress levels on-the-spot.
These devices utilize cranial electrotherapy stimulation in order to stimulate alpha brain waves. The idea behind Alpha-Stim is to mimic the natural electrical waves that are already present in the brain. Although it may seem a little alarming to some that the device pushes electrical signals into the brain, it should be noted that these currents are extremely mild and will not cause any adverse effects to occur.
A clip is placed on each earlobe. The device is then turned on, and it will start to send these micro-electrical currents through the patient’s brain. Nerve cells are then modulated with the use of these microcurrents. When alpha brain waves are stimulated in turn, the patient will experience an almost immediate reduction in their anxiety symptoms.
A full session of Alpha-Stim lasts for approximately 20 minutes and can bring about great relief of stress and anxiety. Most patients do find that it takes far less than 20 minutes to experience the benefits, but a full session is still provided for maximum efficiency.
One study in the Journal of General Dentistry tested the efficiency of cranial electrotherapy stimulation on anxious patients prior to undergoing a dental procedure and found the use of this therapy to be more effective than a placebo treatment provided to the second group of patients.
Another study monitored the efficiency of Alpha-Stim devices on a group that consisted of 115 participants. All patients had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in the past. The study revealed a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms compared to the baseline results that were recorded at the start of the study. Results were obtained after one week of therapy, three weeks, and again at week five. All results provided positive results. The study also found that patients with comorbid depression experienced improvements in related symptoms. Additionally, no patient reported any type of side-effect while undergoing cranial electrotherapy stimulation.
Anxiety disorders are common and cause great discomfort and mental stress to those experiencing the symptoms. These disorders cause people to withdraw themselves from society and can contribute to the development of depression. Different types of anxiety disorders have been identified by doctors, and symptoms can range from mild to life-altering. Scientific studies have indicated that Alpha-Stim devices offer an affordable, yet effective approach to reducing stress levels in the body and alleviating symptoms of anxiety, as well as to produce a calmer state in the treated patient.
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