There is a permanent cure for the wide range of anxiety conditions, including panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias. According to the National Institute For Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety disorders plague 40 million American adults ages 18 and older. As we mull over significance of that staggering number, let's have a look at the recommended method of treatment, one that's provided recovery for hundreds of thousands of sufferers.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is actually a merging of two distinct therapies, both of which trace their roots back to the 1950s and 1960s-- and their acceptance by the medical establishment to the 1970s and 1980s.
Cognitive therapy was developed during the 1960s by American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. Beck originally applied his approach to matters of depression, then expanded his practice to include anxiety disorders. How it is that people interpret their daily lives and assign meaning is a process called cognition. Beck, disillusioned with traditional psychotherapeutic delving in to the subconscious, concluded that cognition, what his patients perceived, was the key to effective therapy that would lead to reliable recovery.
When developing his therapy, Beck first observed that depressed people adopt a negative perception of the world during formative years-- based on the loss of a loved one, peer rejection, criticism by authority figures, depressed attitudes present in significant others, plus a host of random negative events. Most often, this negative perception is fed and nurtured by a biased, emotional view of the world-- for example, all-or-nothing thinking, over-generalization, and selective perceptions that exclude vital, meaningful information. Cognitive therapy postulates that distortions in a person's perspectives grow into disorders. It is the job of a cognitive therapist to point out these distortions and encourage change in a sufferer's attitude.
Behavior therapy made its debut back in 1953, in the United States, in a research project headed by B.F. Skinner. In South Africa, Joseph Wolpe and his research group is credited with pioneering work. In the United Kingdom, Hans Eysenck contributed to the development of this type of therapy.
Behavior therapy relies primarily on functional analysis. Behavioral therapists has successfully been used as a treatment for intimacy problems, chronic pain, stress, anorexia, chronic distress, substance abuse, clinical depression and anxiety.
Behavior therapy is data-driven and contextual, concentrating on the environment and its context. Primarily, behavior therapy is concerned with the effect or consequence of a behavior, Behavior is viewed as statistically predictable, A person is treated as a whole, without the distractions of a mind versus body approach, but relationships, bidirectional interactions, are well taken into account.
Originally, anxiety conditions were viewed as byproducts of chemical imbalances and/or genetic predispositions. As these notions were abandoned, learned behaviors were credited as the source of most anxiety conditions. Hope for a permanent cure emerged, and, in the 1990s, cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy merged into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The common ground for these two therapies is emphasis on the "here and and now" by focusing on alleviating symptoms and replacing harmful, self-destructive behavior with beneficial beliefs and attitudes.
In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends CBT as preferred treatment for mental health difficulties such as OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder, bulimia, clinical depression, and even for the neurological condition chronic fatigue syndrome. In the United States, in spite of our obsession with pharmaceutical solutions, CBT has received acceptance within the medical establishment. Skilled, results-driven help is available for sufferers who seek it.
There you have it. The cat is out of the bag. Prescription medications? Not needed. A permanent cure for anxiety conditions? Within your grasp!
If you suffer from anxiety in any of its horrific manifestations, truly the best and most qualified person that you know is waiting for you to seek professional assistance by way of a licensed cognitive behavioral therapist. That person, always on your side, always to the rescue when you need it most, is you!