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Is There Strong Evidence For The Use Of Psychological Therapy For Treating Anxiety Disorders?

1963 words - 8 pages

Is there strong evidence for the use of psychological therapy for treating anxiety disorders?The following essay will discuss whether or not psychological therapy is effective for treating anxiety disorder. To show strong evidence that it is effective, the efficacy of psychological therapy for children and adolescents, and the comparison between different treatments are being studied.Anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state, which people have when they are in a stressful situation or having fearful and unwanted thoughts. Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in UK, with mixed anxiety and depression. The most recent British Psychiatric Morbidity Survey estimates that 16.4% of the population have a diagnosable anxiety and/or depressive disorder.There are 5 major anxiety disorders including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), specific phobias and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Panic disorders are unpredictable attacks of anxiety where the heart rate increases suddenly, together with feelings such as light-headedness, chest pain due to hyperventilation. OCD is when people have obsessional thinking that causes them to behavior in a certain routine. An example of compulsive behavior would be someone washing hands more than 20 times per day, having the fear of developing an illness. PTSD can be developed after any traumatic events (e.g. sexual assault or childhood abuse). It is characterized by having daydreams or nightmares of "flashbacks" from the traumatic event, symptoms of depression, and also having personality changes. Phobias are diagnosed when people have intense fear or feel threaten by a specific object or situation, such as clowns, heights, or cats. The level of fear usually brings disturbance to their life where they have to avoid common everyday situations. GAD involves excessive worry and tension, which normally has nothing to provoke the anxiety, such as moving house, failed an exam etc.Most of the time, anxiety disorders are treated with psychological therapy. Psychological therapy is where patients have a face-to-face session with a fully qualified therapist; it could be in groups or individual. Depending on how severe the patient is, most therapy sessions are 60-90 minutes weekly, more severe patients normally have long sessions up to 3-5 hours, along with assignments. Several meta-analyses on the effectiveness of various psychological treatments for the anxiety disorders have been performed, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is indicated to be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. CBT focuses identifying the negative thoughts assumed to underlie anxiety as well as helping the patient to understand the connection between these thoughts and their emotional state.Anxiety disorder is the most prevalence disorders in children and adolescent, it was estimated around 10% by the age of 16 years (Anderson et al, 1987 and Costello, Mustillo, Erkanli, Keeler, &...

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