In the following text we mainly focus on anxieties that may affect adolescents and young people, and treating anxiety with a Lucha T8 device.

Keywords:

Lucha T8, anxiety

Anxieity disorder basics

Anxiety is an adaptive response to stress that enables coping with adverse situations and represents a completely normal condition, not solely characteristic for humans. Thus, animals also experience anxiety and many experiments on animals have helped to understand the impact of anxiety on human health. In spite of representing a normal response to stress, the anxiety may become excessive or disproportional in relation to the conditions that evoke it or when there is no special reason for it. In cases like that, anxiety becomes a disabling disorder and is considered to be pathological. Anxiety disorders comprise the most frequent psychiatric disorders and can range from relatively benign feelings of nervousness to extreme expressions of terror and fear. It is interesting that women are more likely than men to experience anxiety disorders. 

In the following text we mainly focus on anxieties that may affect adolescents and younger people, since the disorder may pass on to adulthood.

Anxiety Disorders Include:

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation Anxiety disorder is characteristic for persons who are fearful or anxious about separation from people they are very close to and attached. The feeling is beyond what is appropriate for the person’s age and the period of persistence which is at least four weeks in children and six months in adults, causes various psycho-social problems. A person with separation anxiety disorder may be persistently worried about losing the person closest to him or her, may be reluctant or refuse to go out or sleep away from home or without that person, or may experience nightmares about separation. Physical symptoms of distress often develop in childhood, but symptoms can carry through adulthood.

Selective mutism

Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder characterized by the inability of a person to speak in certain social situations, such as with a group of people or to a group of people they do not see very often. An example involving young persons is inability to speak in front of their classmates. It usually starts during childhood and, if left untreated, can persist into adulthood. A child or adult with selective mutism does not voluntarily choose not to speak. The expectation to talk to certain people causes inability to start verbal communication accompanied with feelings of panic so that talking is impossible. In time, the person will learn to prepare for the situations that provoke this reaction and do all they can to avoid them. However, people with this distressing disorder are able to speak freely to certain people, such as close family and friends, when nobody else is around to trigger mutism. Approximately this disorder affects 1 in 140 young children. It’s more common in girls and children who are learning a second language, such as those who’ve recently migrated from their country of birth.

Signs of selective mutism

Selective mutism usually starts in early childhood, between age 2 and 4. It’s often first noticed when the child starts to interact with people outside their family. The main sign of caution is the marked disparity in the child’s ability to engage in communication with different people characterized by a sudden numb facial expression when they’re expected to talk to someone who’s outside their comfort zone. Signs and precursors of this disorder may include, not all of them at the same time, nervousness, uneasiness, sometimes rude attitude, shy and withdrawn posture, poor coordination when in company, temper changes, becoming angry when questioned by parents, particularly about their performance in school, etc. More confident children with this disorder can use gestures to communicate instead of verbal response.  For example, they may nod for “yes” or shake their head for “no”. However, children with more serious conditions tend to avoid any form of communication, although certain children may respond with whispers, for example.

Social Anxiety Disorder (previously called social phobia)

A person with social anxiety disorder has severe discomfort (anxiety) about being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected or looked down on in social interactions. People with this disorder will try to avoid the situation or endure it with great anxiety. Common examples are extreme fear of public speaking, meeting new people or eating/drinking in public. The fear or anxiety causes problems with daily functioning and lasts at least six months.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by an overwhelming combination of physical and psychological distress with the recurrent panic attacks which lead to several health conditions which may include one or more of the following:  palpitations, pounding heart or rapid heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking, feeling of shortness of breath or smothering sensations, feeling dizzy, chills or hot flashes, feeling detached, fear of losing control, fear of dying etc. Under certain circumstances the symptoms may be severe causing the person to experience feedback panic, by believing, for example, that they are having a heart attack or other life-threatening condition. The mean age for onset of panic disorder is 20-24, although it may occur in teenage years. Panic attacks may occur with other mental disorders such as depression or post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Various phobias

Phobias are also versions of anxiety that may affect human health in a variety of ways.  They are characterized by intense, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. There are many specific phobias. Some of the more frequent ones are 

Claustrophobia (Fear of being in confined spaces)

Aerophobia (Fear of flying)

Arachnophobia (Fear of spiders)

Driving phobia (Fear of driving a car)

Hypochondria (Fear of becoming ill)

Zoophobia (Fear of animals)

Aquaphobia (Fear of water)

Acrophobia (Fear of heights) 

As an example of phobia, we look at agoraphobia in more detail.

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is the fear of being in situations where a person thinks the escape may be difficult or embarrassing, or help might not be available in the event of panic symptoms. The excessive fear may last several months during which a person experiences fear in one or more of the following situations:

  • Using public transportation
  • Being in open spaces
  • Being in enclosed places
  • Standing in line or being in a crowd
  • Being outside the home alone

Usually the person who experiences this disorder avoids such situations or requires a companion to overcome the fear, or just learns to endure the anxiety. However, untreated anxiety can become so serious that a person may be unable to leave the house. A person can only be diagnosed with agoraphobia if the fear is intensely upsetting, or if it significantly interferes with normal daily activities.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD) is characterized  by severe, exaggerated anxiety and concern about everyday life situations for no obvious reason. People who exhibit symptoms of this disorder tend to always expect catastrophic outcomes and can’t stop worrying about health, family, work, circumstances related to money or school.

Substance/medication-induced anxiety

Due to the drug or medication abuse persons may develop various types of anxieties, fears and phobias caused by uncontrolled or improper use of medications. Young persons may also be subject to anxieties caused by substance abuse, among other possible health conditions that accompany drug addiction. 

Anxiety due to another medical condition

Anxieties may accompany more serious health conditions such as cancers, for example. 

The highest percentage of persons suffering from anxieties pertains to specific phobias, followed by social anxiety disorders, agoraphobia in adolescents and adults, generalized anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety can be very disabling and there are many available methods of treatment, including medications, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy etc. Although most of these methods are safe, certain medications carry the risk of addiction and do not show satisfactory  therapeutic results.  About one fourth of persons undergoing anxiety therapies do not respond favorably and new treatments are considered and sought after.  In order to look for new methods for treatment and therapeutic approaches it is necessary to understand the neurophysiological causes of anxiety, which although known to a certain degree, still remain elusive for complete understanding.  

Neurobiological basis of anxieties

There are speculations that an imbalance between the hemispheres of the brain may be at the root of the disorder. Also, a deficit of limbic and brain cortex control may be involved. This could imply that causes of anxiety may be attributed to the emotions occurring in the right hemisphere, since the emotions related to joy and happiness are located in the left hemisphere. Brain scans of persons with anxiety disorders show that limbic or frontal brain regions were activated with a high degree of delay in response to stressful stimuli. The same areas were unresponsive in certain anxious individuals when exposed to stress or anxiety provoking circumstances.  Changes in the EEG patterns were also noticed in patients with anxiety disorder. Some of these changes include imbalance in the frontal lobes in alpha and beta frequencies. Specifically, excessive beta frequencies in various parts of the brain were noticeable as well as excessive alpha frequencies surpassing 11 Hz. Furthermore, disruptions and irregularities in the circadian rhythms were noticed. 

Based on these findings it may be stipulated that electrical and magnetic stimulation of the human brain which lowers the alpha and beta activities may be beneficial for the persons suffering from anxiety disorders. The same reasoning applies to the causes of circadian pattern changes, suggesting that electrical and magnetic stimulation of various parts of the human body may be also beneficial for treating anxiety symptoms and causes. There is evidence that pulsed electromagnetic stimulation causes changes to the underlying brain EEG patterns, the phenomenon known as entrainment. Many other forms of entertainment have been tested and used, particularly cranial electrical stimulation (CES) and Audiovisual Stimulation (AVS).  Evidence indicates that pulsed electromagnetic stimulation penetrates deeper into the skin and thus to the body, including the brain when applied to it, so it is reasonable to assume that the therapy based on this type of stimulation may reach the underlying causes of anxieties. In addition, research shows that Schumann frequency entrainment stabilizes circadian rhythms and use of this frequency can restore jet lag and other sleep disturbances.

Pulsed electromagnetic field is the basis of Lucha T8 functioning and in combination with the pulsed red light effect it may be of great therapeutic importance for treatment of various anxiety disorders. 

Most alpha and beta brain stimulation research is conducted by stimulating the brain directly. However, stimulating other parts of the body may have an indirect action on the brain as we have explained in previous texts on the scientific basis of Lucha action.  It appears that individuals exposed to the effects of electromagnetic fields, as we all are,  and who feel anxiety problems,  may greatly benefit  from using the Lucha device as explained in several texts on the site. There is no doubt that alternative treatments of anxiety and panic disorders are needed and one of the more effective ones could be administered by a Lucha device. The advantage of using Lucha is not just in its effectiveness but also in its applicability in home settings and possibilities for treatment on demand as required by circumstances and feelings of the person suffering from anxiety.  Nevertheless, since anxiety disorders are complex health conditions, combination approaches, including various psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy may well be necessary to produce the best results  in addition to the application of Lucha T8 device.