New insights and aspects of anxiety
While there is no specific remedy for anxiety, a team of researchers scatters light on the source of unease of tension to help effectively treat it as soon as the symptoms appear.
The study was conducted by researchers of the University of Trento, which has just been published in Scientific Reports, pursues these goals, and helps draw a line between different aspects of anxiety and to find the best treatment for each one.
The team of researchers concentrated on what goes on in the brain of people with the two main types of the condition: trait and state anxiety, respectively the temporary and the stable, chronic form of the disease.
Difference between different aspects of Anxiety
Nicola De Pisapia, a researcher of the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science of the University of Trento and scientific coordinator of the study, explained the difference between the two: “If you are feeling very tense today, but you usually are calm and quiet, you have high state and low trait anxiety.”
“Whereas if you are unusually quiet, while in general, you feel nervous, you may have low state and high trait anxiety. Therefore, state anxiety is a temporary condition, while trait anxiety is usually a stable feature of a person,” the researcher said.
Clinical experience shows, among other things, that individuals with trait anxiety have difficulties managing stressful situations, are at risk of depression, have altered cognitive functions, are less socially competent, and tend to develop psychopathological disorders.
Differentiating between trait and state anxiety is helpful to choose the most appropriate treatment for patients and to prevent the condition from becoming chronic. “Our study makes it clear that it is fundamental to treat individuals with state anxiety so that they do not develop trait anxiety, which is a chronic condition.
Ways to improve well- being in general
One way to treat it is to reduce anxiety as soon as it manifests itself, for example using relaxation techniques, physical activity, and other means that improve personal well-being in general”, commented De Pisapia.
The study conducted by the University of Trento also led to findings that can be useful in clinical practice. “Based on our results- a strategic improvement in anxiety regulation in high trait anxiety individuals could be achieved via pharmacological and/or neurostimulation methods (for example with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or transcranial Direct Current Stimulation).
Finally, these findings may lead to the creation of new diagnostic tools and treatments aimed at ameliorating the symptoms of anxiety disorders and treat them before they become chronic”, concluded Nicola De Pisapia.