Hypnotherapy for Anxiety
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Hypnotherapy for anxiety can often help relieve symptoms. Learn more about the benefits of hypnotherapy and who it is good for.
Transcript: Hypnotherapy is a component of talk therapy that can be very effective in treating anxiety disorders....
Hypnotherapy is a component of talk therapy that can be very effective in treating anxiety disorders. The term hypnotherapy is derived from the Greek word hypnos, which means "to sleep." Since a person is put into a state of deep physical relaxation during hypnotherapy, the name makes sense. But the brain is anything BUT sleeping during this process! In fact, hypnotherapy allows a patient's mind to enter an extremely focused, altered state of consciousness. While in this altered state, or trance, a person will be highly responsive to suggestion. Despite funny media portrayals, this does not mean a hypnotist can control a person's free will or thoughts. Rather, the trance allows the hypno-therapist to make proposals that may help end or alter certain behaviors in the hypnotized patient. For example, a person with phobias may benefit from the suggestion that his irrational fear is really no big deal. Or a person with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder may find that a hypnotherapist's proposals make this disorder's all-consuming rituals less necessary. This type of hypnosis is also known as suggestion therapy, and it is one of the two ways in which hypnotherapy can be used to treat anxiety disorders. The other method is called analysis, and it uses the hypnotic state to find the ROOT of an anxiety disorder. The idea behind analysis is that a person may have hidden traumatic events in parts of his or her memory, which are more likely to surface while in a trance. Once these memories are brought to light, a therapist can then address and treat them during psychotherapy. Analysis, while often very helpful, can pose a risk of creating false memories, called confabulations. These confabulations are usually the result of unintended suggestions made by the hypnotherapist. Careful care is taken by reputable psychotherapists when utilizing hypnosis to help ensure that this will not happen. Hypnotherapy is considered a valid treatment for anxiety disorders by both the American Medical Association AND the American Psychological Association. Still, hypnotherapy should always be performed by a licensed mental health professional trained in the technique. To find one in your area, visit The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis at www.asch.net.More »
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Antidepressants for anxiety are also used to treat disorders such as depression. Learn more how antidepressants work to restore your body's chemical imbalances.
Transcript: Although antidepressants were originally developed for people suffering from medical depression, they...
Although antidepressants were originally developed for people suffering from medical depression, they are also quite effective at treating the symptoms of anxiety. To understand how antidepressants treat anxiety, consider that part of the brain is constantly releasing brain chemicals that act like messengers, called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine have been shown to have a calming, positive effect on mood. But after release, these chemicals have only a short time to do their job before they are reabsorbed by the brain. After this reabsorption, or reuptake, neurotransmitters cease to have any effect. In anxious people, this quick release and reuptake process may be the root of dizziness, racing heartbeat, and other panic symptoms. To counteract these symptoms, antidepressants decrease neurotransmitter reabsorption, in turn lessening anxiety symptoms. The newest antidepressants focus on limiting the reabsorption of anxiety-reducing serotonin in the brain. As such, they are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. SSRIs are most effective at treating certain types of anxiety disorders, like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, social phobia, and Generalized Anxiety disorder. The most frequently prescribed SSRIs that have been FDA-approved to treat anxiety include: fluoxetine, which is branded as Prozac, Sertraline, or Zoloft and Paroxetine, which is known as Paxil. SSRIs have a close cousin in a type of antidepressants called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs. Venlaxfaxine, or Effexor, is one SNRI helpful for treating the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Both SNRIs and SSRIs have few side effects and are among the most common medications prescribed for anxiety disorders. Another type of antidepressants, tricyclics, act to decrease reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Imipramine, which is branded as Tofranil, is a tricyclic prescribed for both GAD and panic disorder and clomipramine, or Anafranil, is a tricylic used for treating OCD. Although the tricyclic antidepressants can be very effective at treating anxiety disorders, their side effects like weight gain, dizziness, and drowsiness may make them less desirable than SSRIs. Finally monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs, are the oldest and final class of antidepressants. MAOIs also reduce reuptake of all three-mood neurotransmitters. MAOIs, like phenelzine, which is also known as Nardil, may be useful in treating panic disorder and social phobia. But because these medications can have serious side effects like increases in blood pressure and seizures, and severe reactions to certain foods like cheese, beans, wine and beer they are very infrequently used today. All antidepressants have no risk of addiction as compared with the benzodiazepine medications that are also used to treat anxiety disorders. The downside is that four to six weeks are required before a real reduction in symptoms is noticed. Antidepressants should always be taken under the direct supervision of a doctor, so talk to yours if you're concerned about anxiety.More »
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Psychotherapy can be very helpful in treating anxiety. Psychotherapy for anxiety can involve behavioral therapy and trauma therapy. Learn more in this video.
Transcript: Psychotherapy can be a life-altering treatment option for people suffering from anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy...
Psychotherapy can be a life-altering treatment option for people suffering from anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy involves meeting regularly with a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist. During these meetings, patient and doctor seek to discover what caused the anxiety disorder, and how to deal with its symptoms. The most common forms of psychotherapy are behavioral and cognitive therapy. During behavioral psychotherapy, a patient learns to change undesirable thought patterns that may be leading to the behavioral manifestation of his anxiety. For example, an individual with panic disorder may learn calming phrases to repeat at the onset of a panic attack. Or a person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, might explore the ways in which his anxieties are disproportionate to reality, in an effort to offset the physical expression of the anxiety. cognitive psychotherapy focuses more on a patient exploring his past, in the hopes of finding the source of anxiety. Once a source of anxious feelings is found, an individual can then learn to rationalize and control them. During behavioral psychotherapy, meanwhile, a patient seeks to change reactions to anxiety-inducing situations. So a patient with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, may be slowly asked to cease the rituals that help them deal with anxiety. For an OCD-sufferer obsessed with germs, this means going several hours between hand washings or it could mean repeat exposure to an oven for someone accustomed to checking it repeatedly. In contrast, in cognitive therapy, the focus is on the ideation and thought patterns that lead to the behavior. Behavioral psychotherapy can also be as simple as teaching a person with ANY anxiety disorder to engage in deep breathing or meditation. Often, these cognitive and behavioral approaches are combined into a therapy technique called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. During CBT, physical and mental reactions are given equal consideration by a therapist. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, the benefits of CBT may have a greater impact on anxiety than even medication. But for CBT to be effective, it must be tailored to an individual's specific anxiety disorder, and should be continued for an adequate period of time. This period can range from as few sessions as 12, to a lifetime of them, although three months of therapy is considered the base minimum in order to achieve results. If you or someone you love is experiencing problems with anxiety, discuss psychotherapy with a mental health professional!More »
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