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In this fast growing world, the problem of anxiety disorders is also rising. Every year, nearly 18 percent of the population of United States gets diagnosed with this mental illness. It has also been declared that one in every thirteen suffers from anxiety disorder.
What is an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety disorder refers to the situation in which a person lives in tension, anxiety, and fear all the time. The person suffers from panic attacks in which intense anxiety and fear suddenly disturb or shock him. The causes of this anxiety disorder relate to the behavioral and personality factors, and some unforgettable life events.
Although it does not appear to risk your health, in the long term the disorder can have dangerous consequences. Not only does it affects the daily activities of the victim but can also inhibit his personal, career and mental growth. One can even take life-threatening steps in such a situation. Just like any other health problem, anxiety disorder can also be treated. The treatments include therapy sessions and medications. However, Cognitive behavioral therapy is said to be more effective as compared to medications. But is that so? Find out in this article!
What is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)?
CBT refers to a treatment that aims to transform the psychology of a patient on a positive note. The therapist helps the patient in realizing the feelings, thoughts or attitude responsible for certain behavior, and transform them to make the patient lead a normal life. The negative attitude and thoughts are addressed in a way that the patient is made to identify them, and their impact on daily life and decisions. Such thoughts are then replaced by positive ones by the therapist.
How does CBT work?
CBT is based on the fact that our behavior and feelings are decided by what we think, not by external situation. Therefore, it works on the same in the following steps:
- In the first step known as functional analysis, the thoughts that
makesone anxious in a situation are identified. The patient is made to realize the way he think, so as to know his thought patterns. It is essential because our worries, behavior or actions in any situation originate from whatever is going on in our mind. From the thought patterns, the negative and destructive thoughts that leadsto anxiety are identified.
- In the next step, the negative thoughts are evaluated. Questions like how they originate in mind and how they impact the victim are found answers and explained to the patient.
Patientis made to challenge such bad thoughts in real-life situations by identifying and avoiding them.
- This is the last step where positive and constructive thoughts are made to home inside the mind of
victimin place of the negative ones. Therapistexplains the pros of thinking positive and putting it into practice. During their talks, the therapist helps the victim in gaining positive vibes. One is made to note down the positive, calming and realistic statements, which can be recited or reminded in any real-life situation.
After the CBT sessions are over, one becomes open to talking about his feeling and thoughts with friends, which in turn help him leading a normal life. The good point about the therapy is that it is generally tailored as per the needs and conditions of the victim. It can either be Interpersonal therapy or in the form of thought diaries/records. Therapy sessions can be taken in personal or in a group, as per the comfort of the client.
Therefore, it can clearly be said that the cognitive behavioral therapy aims to cut the roots of causes that leads to anxiety, which is not the case if one depends upon medicines to treat the anxiety disorder. Since it is for the problems like anxiety disorder for which the cognitive behavioral therapy is designed, this therapy is for sure helpful in treating anxiety disorder.
The effectiveness of the therapy on the anxiety or panic disorder has also been proven by the research. By helping you in controlling your thoughts, worries and fears, the cognitive behavioral therapy till now is the best treatment for getting rid of anxiety disorder.
Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
Lucas Borza, PsyM “Cognitive-behavioral therapy for generalized anxiety”: 2017 Jun; 19
Webmd “Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat Depression?“: