What does copper toxicity have to do with anxiety?
If you are looking at this article you most likely are familiar with anxiety. But I bet curious about what copper toxicity has to do with anxiety.
Copper toxicity is an inability to detox copper from the body properly. The excess accumulation of copper floats around freely with nowhere to go. Then it becomes a free radical that disrupts neurotransmitter activity. This happens because copper is an electrical chemical that stimulates brain activity. Copper in excess can give a feeling that the mind is racing, spaciness, brain fog and/or high anxiety. If you have high anxiety, you may want to get tested for excess copper. Also if you have been prescribed an SSRI for anxiety and feel worse you may want to be tested. These types of drugs can cause an increase in anxiety if you have high copper levels.
Once the copper is brought into balance it is possible to no longer have the symptom of anxiety. However, if anxiety has been long-term for many years or is the result of trauma it may take some time to overcome. Therapy for anxiety during and after detoxing excess copper is advisable. It helps with correcting behaviors for faster healing. A psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy uses solution-based treatment. They help change attitudes and behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, and beliefs of the cognitive processes. The main concern is how a person deals with their emotions. This is particularly helpful for those with anxiety due to copper toxicity because copper is known to be a sensitive mineral and can enhance emotions.
Anxiety like copper can be good
Copper is good for many processes of the body. It is only a problem when it is in excess and becomes oxidative stress. Anxiety like copper can be good too. It keeps us motivated and excited about life. It also is meant to protect us from danger. Allowing us to react faster to emergencies, better known as the fight-or-flight response. When it turns into fears and prevents us from living our life is when it’s not good.
Anxiety is sneaky . . .
On a couple of occasions, after being in a high adrenaline situation I have felt myself close off the room around me. I felt like I was observing rather than being present. I would attribute this lack of focus to exhaustion and never associate it with anxiety because I didn’t have typical anxiety symptoms. But I was wrong because anxiety is sneaky. What happens is when you overcome or no longer allow those anxious feelings of the nervous stomach or trembling hands and/or voice, anxiety will come at you in another way.
The shutting down or detaching from the current situation is a byproduct of anxiety known as depersonalization/derealization. It closed off my surroundings to get my attention. I’ve always associated depersonalization/derealization with schizophrenia of hearing voices or having hallucinations. But it can also manifest as closing off or shutting down in people like me who have been through a trauma. I unconsciously use it to protect themselves. The good news is there are exercises that with enough daily practice can extinguish the undesirable symptoms. That is because it is not a biochemical imbalance but rather a mental patterning. Deep thinkers are susceptible which is why it is important to retrain the brain to be in the moment.
Mindfulness vs. Awareness . . .
Being mindful and aware are very different. It sounds simple to be aware of your actions or responses but awareness as I just pointed out can be unconscious. Mindfulness is the ability to consciously direct awareness. Thus, making you aware of the conscious and unconscious emotional responses to the actions. Regular meditation to sit with thoughts has proven to help with being in the moment. It brings the mind to the here and now by focusing your attention on what you are doing and what emotional thoughts are causing your reaction. Like anything else, it takes patience and lots of practice for it to help with anxiety disorders.
I share my personal experiences for anyone like me who has lived with anxiety most of their life and thought they knew how to recognize the signs. If there is one thing I have learned through my emotional journey is there is never a simple reason for behaviors. Our minds and body are very complex. There is much overlap of emotional responses that involve ongoing learning, adapting and changing.
Below is an article from an author who shares how depersonalization/derealization affected her and how it is very common. She also goes on to explain the technique she uses to train her mind away from the behavior.