Most people feel anxious or depressed at times. Losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, and other difficult situations can lead a person to feel sad, lonely, scared, nervous, or anxious. These feelings are normal reactions to life’s stressors. But some people experience these feelings daily or nearly daily […]
A well-established, highly effective, and lasting treatment is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. It focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns. Benefits are usually seen in 12 to 16 weeks, depending on the individual.
In this type of therapy the patient is actively involved in his or her own recovery, has a sense of control, and learns skills that are useful throughout life. CBT typically involves reading about the problem, keeping records between appointments, and completing homework assignments in which the treatment procedures are practiced. Patients learn skills during therapy sessions, but they must practice repeatedly to see improvement.
A form of CBT, exposure therapy is a process for reducing fear and anxiety responses. In therapy, a person is gradually exposed to a feared situation or object, learning to become less sensitive over time. This type of therapy has been found to be particularly effective for obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias.
Also known as ACT, this type of therapy uses strategies of acceptance and mindfulness (living in the moment and experiencing things without judgment), along with commitment and behavior change, as a way to cope with unwanted thoughts, feelings, and sensations. ACT imparts skills to accept these experiences, place them in a different context, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behavior change.
Integrating cognitive-behavioral techniques with concepts from Eastern meditation, dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, combines acceptance and change. DBT involves individual and group therapy to learn mindfulness, as well as skills for interpersonal effectiveness, tolerating distress, regulating emotions.
Often referred to as IPT, interpersonal therapy is a short-term supportive psychotherapy that addresses interpersonal issues in depression in adults, adolescents, and older adults. IPT usually involves 12 to 16 one-hour weekly sessions. The initial sessions are devoted to gathering information about the nature of a person’s depression and interpersonal experience.
Under certain conditions eye movements appear to reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts. A treatment known as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR, seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Basically, it helps a person see disturbing material in a less distressing way.
EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for posttraumatic stress disorder. And clinicians also have reported success using it to treat panic attacks and phobias.
Whether an individual is in crisis, or looking for personal growth, a pastoral counselor can provide the guidance, skill, longer-term relationship and information needed to promote wholeness, with the context and support a person needs to make changes to live life more fully.
Medication treatment of anxiety is generally safe and effective and is often used in conjunction with therapy. Medication may be a short-term or long-term treatment option, depending on severity of symptoms, other medical conditions, and other individual circumstances. However, it often takes time and patience to find the drug that works best for you.
Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) is a recent development in understanding the causes of mental health problems and in treating them. The approach is backed by scientific evidence from a wide range of studies. Metacognition is the aspect of cognition that controls mental processes and thinking. Most people have some direct conscious experience of metacognition. helping patients develop new ways of controlling their attention, new ways of relating to negative thoughts and beliefs, and by modifying metacognitive beliefs that give rise to unhelpful thinking patterns. This approach has been developed into specific ways of understanding and treating disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, depression, and health-anxiety.
Hypnosis is used for many purposes in the modern day. It has actually grown more in favor in recent years as a treatment for mental health issue, and hypnosis/hypnotherapy has become one of the more mainstream alternative treatments.
Evidence for the use of acupuncture – the Chinese practice of inserting needles into the body at specific points to manipulates the body’s flow of energy – to treat anxiety disorders is becoming stronger.
The best way to heal chronic, ongoing, or disabling anxiety is a comprehensive consultation with a professional homeopath, along with supportive psychotherapy as needed. Treatment may change as you heal and grow. Here are some remedies that homeopaths often use to help people with anxiety.
These therapies are generally defined as therapeutic interventions that involve both nonphysical and physical forms of touch. They include Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, External Qigong, Johrei and other similar therapies. Health-promoting effects of these types of therapies are felt to utilize electromagnetic fields as a therapeutic leverage as well as mechanisms other than those currently being investigated in most biomedical interventions.
The benefits from massage therapy have a multi-tiered approach. The massage treatment: directly helps the feelings anxiety and depression, targets the physical symptoms that occur due to the client’s reaction to their anxiety and depression, and massage increases the clients perceived feelings of energy. Massage therapy can reduce the cortisol levels (a stress hormone) of the client that helps to decrease the stress symptoms like increased blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of anxiety. The treatment also can affect neurotransmitters in the brain, increasing serotonin and dopamine levels that can help reduce depression.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a holistic body/mind self-help method – a process of mindful and intentional tapping (gently, with fingertips) on several acupuncture meridian end-points on the face and upper body. An EFT intervention utilizes the same pathways/channels found in traditional Chinese energy medicine.
EFT or “tapping” is easy to learn and flexible enough to be used by anyone. It can allow us to transform the way we respond to uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and troubling memories (with pain, tension, stress…). Whether it’s used alone or together with an experienced practitioner, EFT can bring surprising (and lasting) relief, change the energy we bring to any life situation, and so much more.
With a global increase of medical marijuana use to treat health conditions, advocates and studies are showing that medical marijuana can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Advocates believe that the chemical makeup of cannabis can be beneficial in treating anxiety, while others argue that it can actually cause anxiety.
Self Help Options
An ordinary person may consider meditation as a worship or prayer. But it is not so. Meditation means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. “Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
Yoga, which combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and a distinct philosophy, is one of the top ten CAM practices. Studies suggest that practicing yoga (as well as other forms of regular exercise) might confer health benefits such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure, and it may also help alleviate anxiety and depression.
Relaxation techniques may produce modest, short-term reduction of anxiety in people with ongoing health problems such as heart disease or inflammatory bowel disease, and in those who are having breast biopsies, dental treatment, or other medical procedures. These techniques have also been shown to be useful for older adults with anxiety. In people with generalized anxiety disorder, studies indicate that cognitive-behavioral therapy is more effective over the long term than relaxation techniques. For symptoms of depression they may have modest benefit, but they are not as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other psychological treatment.
Art, Music or Dance Therapy is also known as the expressive therapies. Expressive arts therapy or creative arts therapy, is the use of the creative arts as a form of therapy. Unlike traditional art expression, the process of creation is emphasized rather than the final product. Expressive therapy is predicated on the assumption that people can heal through use of imagination and the various forms of creative expression.
More and more people are straying from modern medicine and turning to natural and herbal supplements for their daily health needs. This shift has come as the list of side effects for numerous medications continues to grow, while more and more reports indicate that the medications themselves are not working as promised, or are not powerful enough to warrant the side effect risk.