The nervous system is a highway of communication between the brain and the rest of the body, allowing us to interact with the physical world around us. It's also what keeps us safe. Known for being the body's security alarm, your nervous system is constantly on the lookout for danger and ready to respond in a split second to protect you,
Unfortunately, sometimes the nervous system can go into overdrive and become dysregulated. This leads to feeling overwhelmed, tired, anxious, or having trouble processing sensory information. Anxiety and panic attacks are often due to your nervous system perceiving a threat where there is not one.
When your nervous system is regulated, you’ll feel balanced and able to handle the activities of daily life. This state of balance is known as the “window of tolerance.” Outside the window of tolerance, many people experience symptoms of “shutting the world out” or feeling unable to relax or constantly “on edge.” Here, we’ll discuss the symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system and what you can do to get back in balance.
You are probably familiar with feeling nervous or anxious. Perhaps you’ve felt like you can't focus, or like you were on edge all the time. These are symptoms of nervous system dysregulation. Like a security alarm inside of you, your body is sending signals that it thinks something is wrong or that you are in danger. You may have heard this described as fight-or-flight mode. A number of factors can cause this, including:
While this response is helpful in times of true danger, it's not helpful when it happens outside of real threats, or when it happens constantly. Nervous system dysregulation can cause you to experience anxiety, insomnia, depression, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating.
Many of us walk around in the chaos of modern life feeling dysregulated. The good news is that there are things you can do to become more aware of your nervous system’s state and bring yourself back into your window of tolerance.
The link between your brain and your body is so strong, that they often work independently just as much as they work together—creating the perfectly balanced life we’re accustomed to. When we experience a threat to life or feel in danger, our amazing nervous system kicks into gear to help us fight or flee. However, sometimes this reaction can get stuck in an "on" position due to chronic stress, even when there's no threat present. This can lead to the feeling of being constantly on edge, as well as a host of other symptoms. The great news is, with the right help, you can learn to regulate your nervous system and improve your mental health and well-being.
If you or someone you know struggles with nervous system dysregulation, Medens is accepting new patients in the California and Nevada areas. Reach out to us by filling out our online contact form or calling us at (833) 624-5400.
The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.
If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.