SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Forty million adults suffer from anxiety disorders; yet, only a small percentage seek professional help. It is highly treatable…so, why do so many continue to suffer?
Monica Reveley is finally loving life after being haunted for years by anxious and unwanted thoughts.
“The violent intrusive thoughts…the sexual intrusive thoughts, especially. They were really uncomfortable, you know. You’re not supposed to have those kinds of thoughts. On the outside, I was straight A, involved in all the clubs, had all the friends. But on the inside, I was really miserable,” explained Monica.
If an anxiety lasts for two weeks or longer, depression may be right around the corner. And that combination is not something you can think your way out of.
Harry A. Croft, MD, Psychiatrist, says, “Despite your efforts at self-talk and whatever else you do, you can’t get rid of it.”
Prescriptions like Xanax and Klonopin help, but…
Dr. Croft continues, “Far and away, the best treatments for anxiety disorders are therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy or desensitization therapy.”
Cognitive behavioral therapy – that means facing anxieties head on.
“It’s like the bear. The bear comes to get us and how do we respond? We respond with rapid heartbeat and all these other things. It’s simply a way to help us get away from the bear…to stay alive. I’m a big believer that if you change the thought, the feeling will follow. So, I put a lot of emphasis on again the cognitive part of it,” Randy Pollock, MA, Licensed Counselor, told Ivanhoe.
If it’s been two weeks or more and anxiety is still tormenting you, here are a few quick tips:
Avoid caffeine which amps you up even more, exercise will help drain away anxiety, and every day, breathe deeply.
“I wish that a lot of people had a lot more awareness about mental illnesses, so that people could be more open about it,” Monica shared.
Alleviating stress and addressing any childhood trauma with a professional can go a long way toward keeping anxiety at bay.
Contributors to this news report include: Donna Parker, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor and Gary Boyer, Videographer.
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ANXIETY IS TREATABLE!
BACKGROUND: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9 percent of those suffering receive treatment. People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Many people with an anxiety disorder also have a co-occurring disorder or physical illness, which can make their symptoms worse and recovery more difficult. It’s essential to be treated for both disorders. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder are closely related to anxiety disorders, which some may experience at the same time, along with depression.
CURRENT TREATMENTS: Depression and anxiety disorders can often be treated similarly. In many cases, therapy can be tailored to an individual so that it works to reduce the symptoms of both disorders. Several forms of psychotherapy are effective. Of these, cognitive behavioral therapy works to replace negative and unproductive thought patterns with more realistic and useful ones. Treatment often involves facing one’s fears as part of the pathway to recovery. Interpersonal therapy and problem-solving therapy are also effective, as well as prescribed medications. Symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders often occur together, and research shows that both respond to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medications. For people with severe symptoms, or functional limitations, psychotherapy and medication treatment may be combined. More than one in 10 Americans take antidepressants, the number one type of medication used by people ages 18 to 44. Joining a support group is always encouraged along with trying relaxation techniques, meditation, and breathing exercises.
RESEARCH BREAKTHROUGH FOR MENTAL HEALTH: Pioneered by researchers at Monash University in Australia, a promising new “whole person” approach to the treatment of anxiety and depression has been developed in an effort to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of current treatments, and further improve the lives of those who are living with these mental health disorders. Following the discovery of considerable genetic, neurological, developmental, behavioral and cognitive data, which suggested commonalities across anxiety and related disorders, transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions have been developed to form a new approach to treatment. This new disorder-independent approach considers the biological, physical and psychological symptoms, targeting the person and their emotional difficulties as a whole to deliver tailored treatment. “As well as providing better treatment for those experiencing anxiety and other emotional disorders, transdiagnostic treatments offer a number of appealing advantages to the mental health field,” shared Professor Peter Norton, Director of Translational Research at the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences. The FEAR Clinic, housed within the Monash Psychology Centre, is adopting the transdiagnostic approach, so those who attend are first in line to benefit from this new ground-breaking approach to treatment.
* For More Information, Contact:
Harry A. Croft, MD Randy Pollock, MA
(210) 602-9418 (210) 558-8200