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Mental health treatment in Tennessee, as well as the rest of the United States, seeks to help individuals dealing with a variety of mental health issues and disorders. Although there are numerous types of mental health conditions, one of the most common is anxiety. Fortunately, there are many ways anxiety disorder can be treated, including through the use of red light therapy.

Understanding Anxiety and Anxiety Disorder

Whether it is wanted or not, anxiety should be an expected part of any person’s life. Work, education, decisions, relationships, and more can all cause a person to feel anxious. Fortunately, most feelings of anxiety will fade over time or can be coped with. However, for those living with anxiety disorder, their anxiety does not fade over time. In some cases, it may even become worse as time goes on. 

Anxiety disorders are split up into different categories based on what causes them and how they affect a person. The three most common types of anxiety disorders are General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and phobia-related disorders. Although each of these will cause a person to feel some level of anxiousness, the symptoms a person feels and exhibits can vary widely based on the type of disorder. 

Symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder often include:

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Issues sleeping

Panic Disorder is different from General Anxiety Disorder because it involves an individual having recurring, unexpected panic attacks. The symptoms of a panic attack usually include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Loss of control

Lastly, phobia-related anxiety disorders are unique because they stem from one cause, phobia. The symptoms of this form of anxiety disorder typically include:

  • Irrational or excessive stress about the feared person, place, thing, situation, etc.
  • Avoiding the fear
  • Immense anxiety when encountering whatever is feared  

Red Light Therapy for Mental Health Treatment

Red light therapy and light therapy, in general, originated in Denmark in the early 1900s. Physicist Niels Ryberg Finsen studied and utilized this form of therapy to treat people suffering from skin tuberculosis. Through his work, Finsen discovered that certain kinds of light, such as red light, can actually encourage skin cell growth and increase cellular functioning. By exposing these individuals to red light, Finsen was able to help people with skin conditions like tuberculosis. However, as work and research with light therapy has expanded over the decades, researchers have discovered a number of benefits red light therapy can have for those who use it, including in mental health treatment. 

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Anxiety 

Red light therapy may not be a cure or comprehensive solution for anxiety or other mental health disorders, but it can offer those living with an anxiety disorder several significant benefits, including:

Extra Energy

The red lights used in red light therapy penetrate the skin, allowing skin cells to absorb more energy. In doing so, these cells increase their productivity and growth. Oftentimes, this translates throughout the body and makes a person feel more energized in general. In some cases, extra energy is exactly what a person needs to combat their anxiety. 

Improved Sleep 

Many individuals living with an anxiety disorder often have trouble sleeping. Fortunately, the lights used during red light therapy sessions help to subconsciously establish the difference between waking and non-waking hours. This typically makes it easier for individuals using red light therapy to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. 

Rejuvenated Skin

The body and mind are connected. One cannot exist without the other. Oftentimes, by improving one’s physical body, such as rejuvenating their skin through the use of red light therapy, it has a positive impact on their mental health as well.  

Mental Health Treatment in Tennessee 

Anxiety disorders are hard to combat alone. If you or a loved one are living with an anxiety disorder and are in need of assistance, quality mental health treatment in Tennessee is available! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our team of mental health professionals provide several treatments and therapies, including red light therapy. Contact us today for more information!

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