Anxiety Treating Anxiety Through Talk Therapy of Term Paper

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Treating Anxiety through Talk Therapy

Of the great variety of mental disorders that are recognized by our society today, generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD) is perhaps one of the more common. This type of disorder is characterized by "excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry" (MedicineNet, 1). People with anxiety symptoms thus tend to expect disastrous consequences for any simple life event or decision and cannot stop worrying about issues such as health, family, personal life, etc. Yet this worry is often unrealistic, and is a symptom of the disease, though the individual experiencing it may not fully realize this facet. Though GAD is sometimes mild, at other times it can affect the way in which an individual functions. The paragraphs that follow will analyze anxiety disorders of various kinds, and will also provide some treatment options for them, in order to better understand these problems and how they can be remedied.

The symptoms of GAD can include the following: excessive, ongoing worry and tension, an unrealistic view of problems, restlessness or a feeling of being "edgy," irritability, muscle tension, headaches, sweating, difficulty concentrating, nausea, frequent urination, fatigue, trouble sleeping, trembling, being easily startled (MedicineNet, 1). Because of the mental and physical nature of these symptoms, if the disease becomes severe and impacts a person's life, it must be discussed with a professional, who can help treat it.

What makes matters worse for people with anxiety disorders is the fact that these often occur in combination with other mental disorders, such as depression and drug or alcohol abuse. Because the causes of GAD are not fully known, and also because of the variety of opinions on treatments, especially since there are so many varieties of the disease, psychologists may not necessarily agree that talk therapy is the best way in which to proceed.
Yet in addition to genetics and brain chemistry, environmental factors always affect people with GAD, especially stress. Talk therapy may be the most effective way in which to combat such factors, since some medicine only addresses part of the problem.

The reason why talk therapy must be advocated is because, whereas some people need medicine (OCD patients), others, especially those with less severe forms of anxiety, may find that talk therapy is the only thing that is necessary, as it is often shown to alleviate stress. First, however, one must examine the types of therapy that exist. These are: cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) (Anxiety Disorder Association of America (ADAA), 1).

CBT is known to be a highly effective form of therapy, and this type of therapy focuses on "identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns" (ADAA, 1). CBT results are seen after a number of weeks, ranging from 12-16, and the reason this type is claimed to be so beneficial is because of the fact that the patient is involved in his or her recovery firsthand, as well as has control over the different ways in which he or she can alter thought patterns in order to improve symptoms.

Exposure Therapy is a form of CBT in which a person is gradually exposed to the object he or she fears and leans desensitization over time. This type of therapy is often utilized for OCD patients, or those suffering from various phobias.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) utilizes "strategies of acceptance and mindfulness (living in the moment and experiencing….....

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