Anxiety attacks are a very common type of mental disorder, and one that has the potential to cause a great deal of distress and disruption in the lives of those affected. Fortunately, they can also be easily treated, once they have been diagnosed. Mindfulness-based behavioral therapies have been very successful in treating anxiety and depression as well as a range of other disorders.
Diagnosing anxiety attacks
It is estimated that a significant portion of the adult population over the age of 18 in the U.S. suffers from anxiety disorders. The total number is around 40 million. Even though anxiety disorders are widespread, they can be difficult to diagnose, and only about a third of sufferers seek medical help and treatment.
The 2007 ADAA survey reveals that more than a third or 36% of those suffering from anxiety disorders will wait ten years before seeking help. Ironically, once diagnosed, anxiety disorders can be treated easily, through mindfulness-based behavioral therapies.
Treating anxiety with cognitive behavioral therapies
Mindfulness-based behavioral therapies are considered the first line of defense in treating disorders like depression and anxiety. They are also used successfully to treat other conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, social problems, sleep problems, behavior disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, substance abuse, trauma, relationship problems, parenting challenges, stress, aging and life transitions.
Evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy is widely used alone or in conjunctions with other types of therapy. Mindfulness-based behavioral therapies are based on empirical research and helps individuals to develop coping strategies to solve immediate problems. Counseling is focused on changing cognitive patterns, behavior and emotions.
What to expect in a typical session
Patients typically meet with therapists once a week for a 45-minute session. Therapists don’t prescribe medications but work in conjunction with other practitioners who may do so. Mindfulness-based behavioral therapies have shown a high rate of success in treating depression, anxiety, smoking and other addictive behaviors, and similar conditions.
Counseling focuses on identifying and transforming problematic cognitive patterns, behaviors and emotions. A collaborative approach to problem solving helps patients to gain control over their lives. The time-bounded process helps patients to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, leading to behavioral changes.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to help people suffering from anxiety, depression, and similar disorders. Seemingly-small changes in cognition can make a big difference overall to an individual’s life and wellness.