Missing words and Anxiety

Missing wordPeople with generalized anxiety disorder often report difficulties in finding words in association with reduced concentration, fatigue and sleep problems. Despite the phenomenon is common and well known there are only few scientific studies that investigated it. Anxious individuals say that they have blackouts of few seconds during which the normal mental activity is suspended and the searched word is canceled or absent. These patients report to forget the goal of an activity they just started. However, when those individuals are assessed with standardized neuropsychological tests their capacities of naming and working memory are normal or in the inferior norms. I think that the issue is the reduction of mental speed as the energy is consumed by the anticipation of negative events or ruminations.
The frontal lobe circuits are clogged and mental process of retrieval or lexical access are less performing. It would be interesting to know whether there are categories of words which are spared and for which the lexical access is rapid. Fear-related words could be an example. I am sure that it would be interesting to create experimental verbal priming paradigms to distinguish anxious from non-anxious patients. If a psychiatrist is interested we can do it together.
Meditation and other relaxing techniques could be the way to restore mental energies and let the brain forget (specific or not specific) fears of negative future events.

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