Archive for Anxiety

vision board, determination, motivation, weight loss, quit smoking

Anxiety, depression, Different Approaches, Mindfulness, Quit Smoking, Self Esteem, Stress, stressed out, Weight Losson February 6th, 20183 Comments

Vision Board workshop

DREAM IT, BELIEVE IT, ACHIEVE IT!

 

For info, please do not hesitate to contact Barbara, at:
barbara@hypnoticimpact.com.au

The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorders

Anxietyon June 21st, 2014No Comments

Anxiety disorders include a range of disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, panic disorder and even post natal anxiety. While the presentation of anxiety is the same for all anxiety disorders; namely the consistent, yet vague feeling of nervousness and apprehension coupled with physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, trembling and dizziness (to name only a few), each anxiety disorder has a specific pattern of presentation that allows it to be distinguished from the others.

Generalised anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder in which the person experiences uncontrolled and unfocussed worry that is not necessarily rationally related to any recent stressful events.

The person struggles with a persistent feeling of nervousness and threat and experiences restlessness, sleep disturbance, muscle tension along with the common presentation of anxiety Tyrer & Baldwin, 2006).

Social anxiety differs from generalised anxiety disorder as it becomes more situation specific. In this sense, people struggling with social anxiety experience a persistent fear of drawing any attention to themselves when they are in social situations. They believe that others will see their negative attributes and judge them negatively, leading to rejection (Morrison & Heimberg, 2013). Their anxiety, thus, is situation specific and experienced only when in social situations.

Panic disorder, on the other hand is less situation specific and is characterised by spontaneous and unpredictable panic attacks, which are episodes of acute anxiety coupled with a fear of dying as well as physical symptoms of heart palpitations, shortness of breath, racing heart, sweating, dizziness, numbness and disorientation (Sadock & Sadock, 2003). These attacks can occur at anytime and anywhere and, as such, they exacerbate general anxiety as the person is often feeling apprehensive about the next possible attack, especially as the person can have several attacks one day and then only one attack every few days or weeks.

Essentially, they are unpredictable and therefore result in a general feeling of anxiety. As a result, panic disorder sufferers may become agoraphobic and fear going out into public lest they experience another panic attack (Sadock & Sadock, 2003).

Separation anxiety is more commonly experienced during childhood and is an expected part of childhood when the child learns that it can be separated from the mother. A separation anxiety disorder, however, is diagnosed when there is excessive and inappropriate anxiety relating to the possible separation from a significant care-giver (Sadock & Sadock, 2003).

Adult separation anxiety disorder is a relatively recent term that has symptoms paralleling those of childhood separation anxiety, but with onset after age 18 (Silone, Momartine, Marnane, Steel & Manicavasagar, 2010). In this sense, those struggling with separation anxiety disorder will experience persistent and excessive anxiety about separating from significant people in their lives. They may also struggle with excessive worry about harm befalling those they love (Silone et al, 2010).

Post natal anxiety is anxiety experience after childhood and in relation to mothering and parenting in general. The adjustment to becoming a parent is a frequent source of stress and the anxiety experienced by new parents is quite common. A significant percentage of women, however, struggle with pathological anxiety and depression (Giakoumaki, Vasilaki, Lili, Skouroliakou & Liosis, 2009).

In the past symptoms of anxiety were associalted with post natal depression, but recently, post natal anxiety has been given more attention as a disorder on its own. Mothers struggling with post natal anxiety will experience the common presentation of anxiety in relation to their mothering and nurturing skills resulting in frequent self-doubt about their parenting skills and anxiety around whether they are harming the child and doing a good enough job of mothering.

All anxiety disorders present with the common symptoms of nervousness and apprehensiveness that is bigger than and inappropriate to the given situation. This sensation is coupled with physiological symptoms such as heart palpitations and shortness of breath. There are a variety of specific anxiety disorders ranging from panic disorder, to social anxiety and even post natal anxiety. While they all have a general experience of anxiety common to them, they each present in a very specific way.

Giakoumaki, O. O., Vasilaki, K. K., Lili, L. L., Skouroliakou, M. M., & Liosis, G. G. (2009). The role of maternal anxiety in the early postpartum period: Screening for anxiety and depressive symptomatology in Greece. Journal Of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology30(1), 21-28

Morrison, A. S., & Heimberg, R. G. (2013). Social anxiety and social anxiety disorder. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 9, 249 –274

Sadock, B. J. & Sadock, V. A. (2003): Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences / Clinical Psychiatry. Philedelphia Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Silove, D., Momartin, S., Marnane, C., Steel, Z., & Manicavasagar, V. (2010). Adult separation anxiety disorder among war-affected Bosnian refugees: Comorbidity with PTSD and associations with dimensions of trauma. Journal Of Traumatic Stress23(1), 169-172.

Tyrer, P., & Baldwin, D. (2006). Generalised anxiety disorder. The Lancet368(9553), 2156-2166

What is Social Anxiety?

Anxietyon June 20th, 2014No Comments


Social anxiety
is a type of anxiety disorder that is typically characterised by a fear of negative scrutiny by other people (Hedman, Strom, Stunkel & Mortberg, 2013). Most people have some level of anxiety when entering new and unfamiliar social situations.

To some extent, most people fear negative judgement by others. Social anxiety disorder is when this anxiety becomes debilitating and results in impairment in social and occupational functioning.

Those struggling with social anxiety disorder experience an exaggerated and inappropriate fear of being negatively evaluated by those around them in both social and performance situations (Seedat, 2013) to the point at which their performance and functioning in social situations is impaired or they avoid them altogether by withdrawing completely from social situations.

social anxiety

Hypnotherapy to Treat Social Anxiety

In these situations people may experience the usual symptoms of anxiety; namely racing heart or heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, stuttering, and feeling dizzy, nervous butterflies in the stomach, upset stomach such as diarrhoea, dry mouth and shortness of breath.

This intense anxiety is situation specific, unlike generalised anxiety disorder, and the person tends to experience anxiety only when in social or performance situations, or when anticipating such events.

Due to the fact that a primary characteristic of social anxiety is a heightened sensitivity to a perceived threat of negative evaluation, it has further been suggested that people struggling with social anxiety also tend to have a general hypersensitivity to threats in their environment (Kimbrel, 2008).

As such, people with social anxiety disorder tend to be hypersensitive to any evaluation from those in their social and occupational situations. Perceiving risk of negative evaluation and a fear of being excluded is a common anxiety to most people. Social anxiety, however, is more debilitating and those struggling with it find it very difficult to cope in those situations.

Due to the fact that this form of anxiety is so common, some have even theorised that social anxiety is an evolutionary way of preventing an individual from behaving in ways which
may exclude them from the general community or society (Hedman et al., 2013).

Social anxiety disorder, along with specific phobias, have an earlier onset than other anxiety disorder and typically start at around 13 years of age with an onset age of 25 or later being rare (Seedat, 2013). It is typically an adult disorder and there are more females that struggle with social anxiety disorder than males (Seedat, 2013).

The most studied and effective treatment for social anxiety disorder is cognitive behaviour and behaviour therapy where important factors for success include the individual’s motivation and commitment to treatment and having available alternate coping strategies and support structures (Sadock & Sadock, 2003).

The cognitive behaviour therapy techniques involve psycho-education around the disorder – the symptoms and presentation as well as education around the factors that maintain it. In this sense, the individual is shown how his anxiety behaviours (such as withdrawing from conversation) actually exacerbate and feed into the social anxiety.

People struggling with social anxiety tend to have a heightened awareness of self and often negatively evaluate their own behaviours in social situations, leading to anxiety attacks and anxiety behaviours, which then feed back into negative self-perceptions and fuel the belief that others are also evaluating them negatively. Cognitive behaviour therapy looks at these irrational beliefs and self-perceptions and attempts to challenge the negative thought patterns that result in anxious behaviours.

tumblr_n8zm0d48Jx1st5lhmo1_1280Relaxation training and other coping skills are also taught alongside the therapy (Seedat, 2013). Hypnotherapy can be a very useful tool in therapy to reinforce relaxation and coping skills and to adjust self-perceptions in social situations. Overcoming social anxiety disorder is no easy task, but is certainly achievable through committed treatment with a psychiatrist or psychologist and the use of cognitive behaviour techniques.

Hedman, E., Ström, P., Stünkel, A., & Mörtberg, E. (2013). Shame and Guilt in Social Anxiety Disorder: Effects of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Association with Social Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms. Plos ONE8(4), 1-8.

Kimbrel, N. A. (2008). A model of the development and maintenance of generalised social phobia. Clinical Psychology Review. 28, 592-612

Sadock, B. J. & Sadock, V. A. (2003): Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences / Clinical Psychiatry. Philedelphia Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Seedat, S. S. (2013). Social anxiety disorder (social phobia). South African Journal Of Psychiatry, 192-196

More Resources 

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/social-phobia

[customcontact form=3]

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Causes, Assessment and Treatment | Hypnotherapy Perth

Anxiety, Mindfulness, Stresson April 10th, 2014No Comments
Jorg Thonnissen | Hypnotherapy Perth

Jorg Thonnissen

    By Jorg  Thonnissen – Registered  Psychologist | Hypnotic Impact for Hypnotherapy In Perth

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a serious problem that affects a large cross section of society. According to Kessler, Chiu, Demler, Merikangas, & Walters (2005) it affects as many as 6.8 million Americans will be diagnosed every year with the condition with twice as many women being diagnosed than man. In Australia a large survey (10641 participants) found that 3·6% of the population experienced GAD for 12-months at the time of the study (Hunt, Issakidis, & Andrews, 2002). The onset of GAD in the American sample is reported as being between the ages of 31- 32 (Kessler, et al., 2005). What follows is a brief outline of the theory, assessment and treatment options used to address GAD and a number of closely linked anxiety disorders. In addition to this I will provide a brief explanation of how I apply some of these findings in my own clinical work as a psychologist in private practice.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Causes and Assessment

 

GAD is characterized by excessive worrying about everyday life events to an extent that can be defined as irrational(Comer, 2013). In GAD the anxiety provoking stimuli might be a lot less defined compared to other anxiety disorders such as:

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder where a specific traumatic event can later on lead to flash backs (Ozer, Best, Lipsey, & Weiss, 2008),
  2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder where the sufferer employs rituals to control persistent anxiety provoking thoughts (Abramowitz, Taylor, & McKay),
  3. Panic Disorder where symptoms are characterized as a sudden attack of terror and the sufferer then worries about that it might happen again (Westen & Morrison, 2001), and
  4. Social or specific phobias where the anxiety provoking cause is well defined to a particular stimulus (Comer, 2013)

This means sufferers of GAD usually anticipate the worse possible outcome when it comes to matters of health, work, family or relationships for example and thus find themself in a position where they have lost the ability to effectively control their worry (Comer, 2013; Fricchione, 2004).

The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder can vary and besides psychological indicators include a whole rafter of physiological signs such as headaches, nausea, issues with breathing, muscle tension, numbness of limbs, irritability, agitation as well as insomnia, difficulties in maintaining focus and concentration (Fricchione, 2004) to name only the most common examples.  If these symptoms persist in excess of 6 months GAD is likely to be diagnosed (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

To use examples from my own clinical experience, sufferers of GAD usually define themselves as constant worriers – sometimes more, sometimes less- who just can’t relax no matter how hard they try. They may worry about what to wear to a dinner party or what to buy for someone as a birthday present. They may worry about getting sick and then lose their job or that someone they care for will have an accident even though there is no real reason for this right there and the question of “what if?” is a constant chatter in the back of their minds.

Ironically, this constant worry may be so intense that sleep patterns are interrupted and so the elevated stress levels eventually contribute to the development of physiological symptoms described earlier and thus sufferers may indeed need to miss work, thus confirming their fear by living a life of self-fulfilling prophecy. Consequently they find themselves in a nightmarish cycle of negativity that greatly diminishes their pleasure of living a life with a sense that could offer any kind of positive aspiration.

This being said, GAD sufferers are capable of normal social and occupational functioning when their anxiety levels are low, however, when at any given time their anxiety levels are elevated even routine tasks can become an impossible chore due to overthinking and an ominous feeling that a disaster is about to happen at any time (Fricchione, 2004; Westen & Morrison, 2001).

According to statistics the typical demographics where GAD is most prevalent is defined as middle to low income earners with individuals experiencing separation, divorce or loss of partner being at increased risk of developing the disorder (Kessler, et al., 2005).

The diagnosis of GAD is defined by the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) as follows:

  1. Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more-days-than-not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).
  2. The person finds it difficult to control the worry.
  3. The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more-days-than-not for the past 6 months).
    1. restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
    2. being easily fatigued
    3. difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
    4. irritability
    5. muscle tension
    6. sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
    7. The focus of the anxiety and worry is not confined to features of other Axis I disorder (such as social phobia, OCD, PTSD etc.)
    8. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
    9. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism), and does not occur exclusively during a mood disorder, psychotic disorder, or a pervasive developmental disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

The causes for GAD are difficult to determine. However, Kendler (1992) believes that the increased propensity of women to suffer twice as much from the condition is due to the fact that they are more likely to be poorer and suffer from higher levels of abuse and discrimination than man. Others believe that the factors that can lead to GAD are linked to influences to do with environmental, genetic and brain chemistry (Etkin, Prater, Schatzberg, Menon, & Greicius, 2009; Fricchione, 2004; Westen & Morrison, 2001).

Thus, there are many causes that can lead to the condition.   For instance higher stress levels as a consequence of living in larger cities, an unsafe political climate, traumatic life experiences or trauma as a consequence of life changes that come with challenging circumstances such as job loss, loss of a significant other, physical illness or having a baby and the subsequent changes that take place can all be causes for GAD (Baker, 2010).  Drug use and withdrawal as well as excessive use of caffeine or other stimulants can also trigger anxiety (Farach et al., 2012). Drugs such as benzodiazepines as well as alcohol dependence have been implicated as anxiety triggers and so has been the dependence on tobacco (Cohen, 1995).

Considering nature versus nurture factors, even though one or any number of these external circumstances outlined above may lead to GAD researchers also found evidence that allows for the assumption that the disorder has a genetic link (Silberg, Rutter, & Eaves, 2001). In other words, a sufferer of the disorder may be biologically predisposed to the condition because of his or her family history. In terms of nurture, behavioral patterns can be learned from significant others (Tammen, Friso, & Choi, 2013).

Neurological research by Etkin, Prater,Schatzberg, Menon, & Greicius (2009) found that certain regions of the brain are linked to the development of anxiety.   The central nucleus of the amygdala especially has been identified as an important part in the regulation of anxiety. On the one hand it has been found that individuals suffering from GAD not only have greater gray matter in that area, but they also have less distinct neurological connections between amygdala, brainstem, cerebellum and hypothalamus which is suggesting a reduction in functionality. On the other hand the same research by Etkin et al. (2009) also found that in those individuals the neurological connectivity  between the amygdala, parietal cortex and prefrontal cortex is more pronounced. By the same token the neurological connectivity between amygdala, insula and cingulate brain regions are also decreased allowing for the assumption that individuals suffering from GAD aim for a reduction in emotional involvement through the utilization of cognitive strategies in an attempt to reduce anxiety (Etkin, et al., 2009).

The Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorders

Generally speaking, anxiety disorders are typically treated with psychotherapy, medication or a combination of the two (Comer, 2013). The good news is that GAD can be managed and greatly reduced if effectively treated with the proper methods (Comer, 2013). For example, even though in the initial phases of withdrawal from long term alcohol or benzodiazepines use anxiety levels might be heightened however, shortly thereafter they are likely to decline significantly, however in some cases this process may take up to 2 years (Cohen, 1995).

The treatment choices vary based on the kind of problem a person faces. Nevertheless, it is my view that those suffering from anxiety should make a medical professional their first port of call so that it can be determined whether the symptoms are in fact of psychological and not potentially of physiological origin. As such, the medical practitioner needs to investigate whether intervention in the form of medication might be warranted before referring his patient for psychological treatment to a mental health professional. It is important that the patient explains to the medical health professional whether he or she have had previous treatment for anxiety, and if, which therapeutic methods and type of medications  have been used, as well as how effective the approach has been so that the medical practitioner can determine the next step in therapy.

It is not uncommon that individuals suffering from GAD have to try several different approaches before finding the one that works for them and if coexisting conditions such as alcohol abuse or depression are prevalent for example then, depending on the severity, it may also be possible that such conditions need to be controlled first before the symptoms of the anxiety can be addressed (Evans et al., 2008).

The Role of Medication in Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The medications that doctors can prescribe for anxiety vary depending on the specifics of the condition. The most commonly prescribed are anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants and beta blockers to bring the physiological symptoms under control (Rickels & Rynn, 2002) . There are three types of antidepressant medication that are most commonly prescribed, these are called tricyclics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and they all work rather uniquely in their own way, however, they usually have to be taken for at least a few weeks before their effectiveness becomes clear. Dosages typically start low and may be increased over time to get the desired effect (Rickels & Rynn, 2002).

For example, the SSRI’s work in the brain by altering the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin which plays a key role in many aspects of mental health such as in depression, and anxiety which are associated with low levels of serotonin production. By increasing and sometimes decreasing the levels of serotonin these symptoms are counter balanced and anxiety levels should ideally decrease (Pum, Huston, & Müller, 2009). From my own clinical experience I know that typical medications in that class here in Australia would be known by the brands of Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil and there is Effexor which is commonly used to treat anxiety disorder.

Similarly, tricyclics are antidepressants that block the absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine therefore increasing levels of these chemicals available in the brain (Allgulander et al., 2003). However, these antidepressants are of an older generation and thus may have more side effects than the newer class of SSRI’s. Nevertheless, tricyclics may work where SSRI’s have failed to show the desired effects and thus they still have a place in the anxiety treatment arsenal (Allgulander, et al., 2003). From my own clinical experience some commonly prescribed medications for panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder are known by the names of nortriptyline, desipramine, amitriptyline, doxepin, imipramine and trimipramine for example. Likewise, MAOIs by the brand names of Marplan, Nardil and Parnate are also often used to combat a variety of anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It is worth noting that medications will potentially have a variety of side effects, hence anxiety sufferers should always ensure observational vigilance when taking psychoactive drugs.

In comparison, anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines have fewer side effects but a user might develop a dependence that could be difficult to manage as ever higher doses are required to get the desired anxiety reducing effect (Shorter & Tyrer, 2003). These drugs work by increasing the effects of what is called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter responsible for the reduction of neurons that are associated with anxiety and stress. Benzodiazepines have a sedative effect and are known to be muscle relaxants, anticonvulsant and hence have the desired anxiety reducing effect (Shorter & Tyrer, 2003). Probably the most commonly used benzodiazepines containing brands used in Australia for panic disorder in my experience would be Ativan and Xanax the latter of which is also used to treat generalised anxiety disorder whereas the brand Klonopin is often prescribed for people suffering from social phobia.

The use of beta-blockers is also an option in the fight to reduce anxiety. Beta blockers, work by blocking norepinephrine and adrenaline from binding to beta receptors on nerves (Silvestri et al., 2003) – hence the name. Thus, even when facing an otherwise anxiety producing situation, the physiological responses of anxiety would be suppressed. One of the most commonly prescribed medications here in Australia in my view would probably be known by the brand name of Inderal.

However, utilizing medication alone will not be sufficient in dealing with the various symptoms of anxiety thus, one also needs to understand its causes and the way our perception influences our thoughts which in turn largely determines our behavior and its consequences. For instance, it is not hard to see how our perception gives rise to physiological factors. If we smell something delicious our body readies itself for food by producing saliva. If we believe that we are not able to deal with a situation at work or at home, we feel stressed and that has an effect on our cortisol levels in the blood. These examples show that there really is no disconnect between our belief and our physiology – between mind and body. This is where psychotherapy can make a real difference.

The Role of Psychotherapy in Anxiety Reduction

Psychotherapy aims to define the causes of the anxiety disorder and proposes techniques of how to deal with the symptoms. One of the most effective types of therapy in dealing with GAD and anxiety disorders generally has been cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  In fact, CBT has been found to be more effective than drug treatment in the treatment of anxiety (Otto, Smits, & Reese, 2004). As the name suggests, CBT involves 2 parts – a person’s cognition, and behavior.

As a therapist trained in CBT I have come to know over the years that people suffering from GAD may have a number of issues that need to be addressed such as for example past traumatic experiences, finding it hard to deal with uncertainty, lack of emotional understanding, interpersonal issues, they may practice cognitive as well as experiential avoidance or lack proper problem solving skills to name only a few. These issues may have to be addressed one by one. As such CBT is designed to challenge the anxiety supporting negative thought patterns a person may have into one that is conducive to a more positive mindset whereas the behavioral part is concerned with changing the way individuals react to anxiety provoking stimuli.

For instance sufferers of anxiety will come to understand the symptoms for what they are and also learn specific techniques such as breathing exercises that will enable them to take control of their fears and develop confidence. These techniques may involve making a person with social anxiety understand that the people they think have judgmental attitudes towards him or her are probably not thinking like this at all or a sufferer of post-traumatic stress might be asked to recall the traumatic disturbance under the guidance of the therapist which in turn will help lessening the negative effects that come from practicing avoidance.

Therapy may also include exposure strategies to the anxiety provoking stimulus so that the client has an opportunity to confront his or her anxieties gradually.  This in turn will not only enable the client to practice the learned techniques but also feel more and more confident in those anxiety-provoking situations.

In essence, the application of CBT for GAD would follow a number of steps and measures. For example the first step is usually psycho-education which basically involves informing the client about the epidemiology of the disorder and how treatment is going to address the various aspects of the condition. This gives the client an overview of how therapy will progress and hopefully enhances motivation to stay the course.

The client will find out that therapy will involve the daily monitoring of the anxiety provoking events and associated levels of anxiety in order to understand the cues that may provoke them. Once identified, the client will learn how to better control the anxiety stimulus with learned techniques such as deferring worrying about the anxiety provoking situation until sometime later where time has been allocated for focusing on problem solving.

Clients will be taught relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises that can be utilized in feared situations to shift attention away from worrying. Progressive muscle relaxation can also be introduced as part of relaxation techniques designed to lower the clients’ stress perception.

CBT also entails the use of desensitization techniques whereby clients are encouraged to imagine themselves vividly being in the anxiety provoking situation and then taking charge of it until the anxiety is reduced to manageable levels. This kind of cognitive restructuring teaches the client self-control and will consequently also increase levels of confidence as they become more adaptive to the anxiety provoking events around them. Clients will come to realize that they have the ability to utilize alternative modes of thinking instead of holding on to patterns that encourages negative thoughts that give rise to anxiety. This change of thought pattern will ultimately not only lead to better thinking styles, but more importantly, better feeling.


In conclusion it is my view that the above research is very relevant to my clinical practice as I am dealing daily with clients seeking to control their anxiety. Further to this in my many years of private practice I find the use of hypnotherapy in combination with CBT as outlined here the best approach as the use of hypnotherapy as a technique facilitates progressive muscle relaxation as well as desensitization and positive future projections all in one.  This strategy therefore represents in my view the superior method.

This holds especially true when this approach is supported by the use of client specific instructional hypnotherapy audio recordings to which my clients can listen to daily in their own time as part of their ‘homework’. This is a cost effective way for clients to take part in therapy as they have the added benefit of ‘doing therapy at home’. The ongoing instructional reminder of what needs to be done has shown remarkable success over the years and many of my clients have attested to the success of this method.  Some will need pharmacological support in the form of medication in addition to this method others don’t. It all depends on the individual and the type and duration of anxiety they are facing.

 


 

References

Abramowitz, J. S., Taylor, S., & McKay, D. Obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Lancet, 374(9688), 491-499.

Allgulander, C., Bandelow, B., Hollander, E., Montgomery, S. A., Nutt, D. J., Okasha, A., et al. (2003). WCA recommendations for the long-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. CNS spectrums, 8(8 Suppl 1), 53-61.

American Psychiatric Association, A. P. A. T. F. o. D. S. M. I. V. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders : DSM-IV-TR. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Baker, D. (2010). Stress-Induced and Fear Circuitry Disorders: Advancing the Research Agenda for DSM-V. Am J Psychiatry, 167(3), 356-.

Cohen, S. I. (1995). Alcohol and benzodiazepines generate anxiety, panic and phobias. J R Soc Med, 88(2), 73-77.

Comer, R. J. (2013). Abnormal psychology. New York: Worth Publishers.

Etkin, A., Prater, K. E., Schatzberg, A. F., Menon, V., & Greicius, M. D. (2009). Disrupted amygdalar subregion functional connectivity and evidence of a compensatory network in generalized anxiety disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(12), 1361-1372.

Evans, S., Ferrando, S., Findler, M., Stowell, C., Smart, C., & Haglin, D. (2008). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 22(4), 716-721.

Farach, F. J., Pruitt, L. D., Jun, J. J., Jerud, A. B., Zoellner, L. A., & Roy-Byrne, P. P. (2012). Pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders: Current treatments and future
directions. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 26(8), 833-843.

Fricchione, G. (2004). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 351(7), 675-682.

Hunt, C., Issakidis, C., & Andrews, G. (2002). DSM-IV generalized anxiety disorder in the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being. Psychological Medicine, 32(04), 649-659.

Kendler, K., Neale M. C. Kessler R. C. Heath A. C. Eaves L. J. (1992). Generalized anxiety disorder in women: A population-based twin study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49(4), 267-272.

Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., Merikangas, K. R., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 62(6), 617-627.

Otto, M. W., Smits, J. A., & Reese, H. E. (2004). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 65 Suppl 5, 34-41.

Ozer, E. J., Best, S. R., Lipsey, T. L., & Weiss, D. S. (2008). Predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder and symptoms in adults: A meta-analysis. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, S(1), 3-36.

Pum, M. E., Huston, J. P., & Müller, C. P. (2009). The role of cortical serotonin in anxiety and locomotor activity in Wistar rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 123(2), 449-454.

Rickels, K., & Rynn, M. (2002). Pharmacotherapy of generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 63(Suppl14), 9-16.

Shorter, E., & Tyrer, P. (2003). Separation of anxiety and depressive disorders: blind alley in psychopharmacology and classification of disease. BMJ, 327(7407), 158-160.

Silberg, J. L., Rutter, M., & Eaves, L. (2001). Genetic and environmental influences on the temporal association between earlier anxiety and later depression in girls. Biological Psychiatry, 49(12), 1040-1049.

Silvestri, A., Galetta, P., Cerquetani, E., Marazzi, G., Patrizi, R., Fini, M., et al. (2003). Report of erectile dysfunction after therapy with beta-blockers is related to patient knowledge of side effects and is reversed by placebo. European Heart Journal, 24(21), 1928-1932.

Tammen, S. A., Friso, S., & Choi, S.-W. (2013). Epigenetics: The link between nature and nurture. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 34(4), 753-764.

Westen, D., & Morrison, K. (2001). A multidimensional meta-analysis of treatments for depression, panic, and generalized anxiety disorder: An empirical examination of the status of empirically supported therapies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69(6), 875-899.

 


Anxiety Treatment

Anxietyon March 30th, 2014No Comments

Hypnotherapy PerthBy Barbara Saba (2010) – For Hypnotherapy In Perth
(M.H.C., Grad. Dip. H C., Dip. Ed., Cert. Hyp., QMACA)
Counsellor/Hypnotherapist

Everyone at some point in their life will suffer from anxiety; it is a regular experience for most people. Anxiety can increase alertness and performance in certain situations although it can quickly become an awkward feeling of fear or disaster close at hand, this is a very normal emotional response to danger.

The triggers that make one person feel anxious may not trigger the same response in someone else. However, people who experience ongoing fears or episodes can feel so powerless that it interferes with their normal day-to-day activities.

These people are said to suffer from an anxiety disorder and would benefit from anxiety treatments. It may be triggered by certain situations or there may seem to be no visible trigger at all. Anxiety Disorders affect at least 12 % of Australians at some time in their lives and unfortunately, only a small percentage will seek treatment.

What causes anxiety disorders?

Nobody really knows for certain the cause of anxiety. One explanation explain is that it is a response of the body to a stressful situation. Most of the signs of an anxiety disorder imitate the flight or fright response. This reaction is caused by a biochemical or physiological response the body goes through when open to danger. This process affects the release of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body. This can make the heart pump faster and faster and the person affected will become more alert.

Types of anxiety disorders ;
– Social Anxiety
– Panic Disorder
– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
– Generalized Anxiety Disorder
– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

When an anxiety disorder goes untreated they can cause secondary conditions like depression, drug or alcohol abuse and agro phobia. The good news is that generally anxiety disorders can be effectively treated with Hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy works an a anxiety treatment by amplifying your mind to feel calm and relaxed. By using your subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can relieve anxiety using direct suggestion and by changing your behavioral patterns. Hypnotherapy allows you to better control over how you feel, react and behave.

If you would like to discover how hypnotherapy can help you to manage your anxiety please Contact Us and we will be happy to discuss an anxiety treatment plan specifically for you.