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The Anatomy of Anxiety

We are not only facing the global pandemic of COVID-19, we are also facing an Anxiety pandemic due to the current set of circumstances we face.

Lockdown started for many of us with rather romantic notions about what it means to "work from home". But what we did not factor into our notion was that we also went from 2 - 3 hours a day of contact with our children to 24/7 parenting. As lockdown is repeatedly extended and no clear end in sight we now experience isolation fatigue and caution fatigue - just when the infection rates are at their peak in SA. We are experiencing unprecedented levels of trauma, loss and fatigue which is an unbelievably uncomfortable place to be. Recent polls suggest that 33% of us are feeling overwhelmed and confused; 33% fearful and anxious while 37% of people manage to muster some positivity about the future. So what does Fear and Anxiety do to our brain and body? When the senses pick up on a threat the information takes two routes through the brain: A: Once startled the brain automatically engages an emergency hot line to the fear centre - the Amygdala. This sends a high alert signal to other structures in the brain and body signalling a fear response. Before you know why you are afraid - you are. B: Only after this fear response has been triggered does the information take a more circuitous route through other structures in the brain to make sense of the stimulus and decide whether or not the fear response is warranted. Living under conditions of continual stress and uncertainty can escalate the body's response resulting in adrenal fatigue. Neurofeedback can help re-set this loop, putting you back in control.

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