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Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is defined by pervasive, difficult to control worry about a number of areas in one’s life. Those struggling with GAD often describe worry about the personal safety and health of themselves and their loved ones, often jumping to the worst case scenario if they cannot reach someone, for example. They also may worry about finances or school/work performance. This worry is often accompanied by symptoms of physical stress such as frequent headaches and muscle tension. CBT will focus on addressing these specific worries, helping individuals learn strategies to manage them, and also teaching relaxation strategies.
Those with health anxiety or “hypochondriasis” describe being constantly worried about specific health concerns or a number of different potential problems. In some cases, the health anxiety is related to very real symptoms, but the worry and associated behaviors often cause those symptoms to worsen. In other cases, individuals are extremely fearful of having or developing a serious medical problem. Therapy is often cognitive behavioral in nature and will focus on understanding these worries, assessing the accuracy of the concerns, and understanding the ways in which worries and behaviors such as constantly researching health problems or seeing many doctors for reassurance, for example, are making them feel worse.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is marked by intrusive, obsessive thoughts accompanied by compulsions, or behaviors people engage in the lessen these thoughts or neutralize them. In many cases, these thoughts can be disturbing to people and seem foreign to them. Therapy is cognitive behavioral in nature and will focus on identifying the obsessions and compulsions someone may be struggling with and then using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), a research supported therapy for OCD.
A panic attack is usually a very scary experience during which someone may feel shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitations, nausea, chills and/or sweating, a fear of dying or a fear of losing control, among other symptoms. Panic Disorder is characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and a fear of experiencing more panic attacks. CBT for Panic Disorder will focus on teaching individuals about panic attacks, their causes, and how to respond to them without perpetuating these symptoms. In more extreme cases, individuals may fear leaving their home or going out in public because they worry they will have a panic attack and not be able to cope with it or will end up trapped.