Deep TMS for Anxiety

Anxiety has long been a key targeted condition in the battle for greater mental health. Described as excessive, adverse anticipation of a future threat, anxiety is considered a disorder due to its over-responsiveness to an intimidating thought, stimulation or scenario.

Anxiety shares certain traits with fear while differing in other regards. While fear is an adverse, emotional reaction to an actual and real threat, anxiety is a similar reaction to the possibility of a threat. Additionally, while fear is considered a proportional response to a present threat, fear (or temporary anxiety) tends to pass, while anxiety disorder is defined by its persistent nature.

Anxiety disorders are fairly common, with an estimated 19.1% of US adults facing some kind of anxiety disorder, and 31.1% of US adults facing one at some point during their lives. It should also be noted that anxiety disorders are diagnosed more commonly among females than males, with a 2:1 ratio.

The DSM’s current edition, the DSM-V, was released in 2013 and is the main mental health diagnostic manual used within the US. It describes a number of disorders within the anxiety family:

  • Separation anxiety disorder.

  • Selective mutism.

  • Specific phobia.

  • Social anxiety disorder.

  • Panic disorder.

  • Agoraphobia.

  • Generalized anxiety disorder.

  • Substance/medication-induced anxiety disorder.

OCD: A Diagnosis Rising in Visibility

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is an anxiety-based mental health condition that includes anxiety-inducing thoughts, actions, or both. In OCD, ruminative and stressful thoughts cause the individual to carry out repetitive behavior intended to calm down the anxiety they are experiencing. However, rather than helping assuage their distressing thoughts, OCD behavior contributes to their rising anxiety, creating a cycle that is detrimental to their own well-being, relationships to others, and general quality of life.

It should also be mentioned that OCD is currently a part of a number of OCD-related disorders. This spectrum of conditions includes trichotillomania (hair pulling), hoarding, excoriation (skin picking), and body dysmorphic disorder (a preoccupation with one or more perceived defects in physical appearance).