Today people face various obstacles, deal with stressful situations, communicate with people that get on their nerves, worry about useful and unimportant things etc. The mentioned examples undoubtedly influence person’s mental health. Frequently, constant negative issues do not allow person to lead a normal life and in the result, it causes serious diseases of various types. Cognitive behavioral therapy is such form of psychiatry that treats problems and increases happiness while changing dysfunctional thoughts and feelings. Cognitive behavioral therapy is focused upon decisions and encourages patients to modify disruptive models of behavior.
CBT also is based on a principle that thoughts influence person’s behavior. For example, anxiety sometimes can deform perception of the surrounding world. Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to identify negative thoughts, evaluate them in order to know whether they distinctly depict reality and applies strategies that help to overcome negativism.
Hoge, Ivkovic & Fricchione (2012) define anxiety as a chronic disorder that can hardly be controlled. Interrupted sleep, difficulties with concentration and muscular tension follow the anxiety.
This disorder is closely connected with broken social and professional functioning and with an increased risk of suicide. In spite all the difficulties, anxiety can be treated. The authors of the article analyze the current knowledge about diagnostics and treatment of anxiety, including social therapy and psychiatry in their article. Being diagnosed with anxiety means that a person has several of the following symptoms: insomnia, muscular tension, restlessness, physiological excitement etc. When person worries about some issues does not count as manifestation of anxiety for the reason that anxiety is a serious disease that appears in the form of mentioned symptoms.
Other symptoms may include trembling, nervousness, sweat production, carelessness, and strong palpitation.
Authors’ research shows that anxiety is widespread among people of 45-59 years old. The factors that influence anxiety formation among adults were divorce, unemployment or death of one of the spouses. Children are diagnosed with anxiety as well and predictors include low status, adults’ cruel attitude to the children, childhood problems etc.
Environment and genetic factors influence the formation of anxiety. The ways of treatment include psychological therapy and taking prescribed pills. Psychological therapy includes cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation and behavioral therapy. The prescribed pills may include antidepressants. It is still not clear whether it is better to use both ways of treatment at the same time or implement them as separate strategies.
There are other approaches that can help treat anxiety. For example, teaching relaxation in the form of muscular relaxation. This can be added to the cognitive therapy or be implemented separately. Metacognitive therapy uses similar to cognitive therapy methods; however, it is also deals with self-concern. For example, the patients might think that their concern is uncontrollable ad might lead to negative for them consequences. Thus, metacognitive therapy teaches patients to be calm and directs them in a way that can help to control their concerns.
In order to avoid or treat insomnia, doctors recommend getting up and going to bed at the same time; not drinking alcohol after the six o’clock in the evening and not associating negative with bed in case a person cannot fall asleep. Scientists have proved that physical exercises can help people feel better for the reason that a hormone of happiness is produced during physical activity. Books about self-help can be used as a way of treatment as well.
Anxiety is a chronic disease that can last for decades. However, one should not get frustrated in this case. Everything depends on the chosen treatment and patient’s attitude to his or her disease.
Thompson, Robertson, Curtis & Frick (2013) dwell on the topic of students’ anxiety, its identification and treatment, which would not affect students’ achievements at school. In contrary to Hoge, Ivkovic & Fricchione (2012), this article states that anxiety is frequently diagnosed among children and teenagers. However, both articles agree that one of the signal symptoms of anxiety is a constant feeling of worry. Sources of such feeling are infant’s distress when he or she is taken away from his or her mother; an increased fear of various natural disasters, death of one of the closest people or injury that can be an obstacle for the further goals reach; teenagers are highly concerned with what their peers think of them, school achievement and state of health.
When children and teens are diagnosed with anxiety, the disease influences their academic success, achievements, and social role; children find it hard to concentrate and thus fail in material understanding and task fulfillment. The study by Thompson, Robertson, Curtis & Frick (2013) show that up to 20% of children suffer from anxiety. If no attention is paid to anxiety treatment, it may turn into addiction, depression, desire to commit a suicide etc.
There are more factors that can cause in children and teenagers anxiety. Anxious parents while caring for their children too much do no good in this situation. They try somewhat to predict possible threats in order to save their children; however, everything happens straight conversely. It is necessary to keep in mind that children and teenagers are sensitive during their growing up. Such thing as a home violence plays a significant role on world perception and attitude to other people.
O’Connor and Esterik (2008) explain anorexia in terms of as an activity in their study. O’Connor’s daughter was suffering from anorexia when she was a teenager. After her recovering, Becca said that she could not understand why anorexia attracted her. Becca believes it was her desire to have a perfect body. In order to reach her goal, the girl refused eating enough and started exercising a lot. In addition, Becca did not have any extra kilos and everyone tried to reassure her that she was skinny enough. The girl remained positive, energetic and satisfied with her achievements until she was diagnosed with anorexia.
The authors of the article conducted a research and interviewed a lot of anorexics. Their cases were similar to that of Becca. The thing was that anorexia appeared not because of the lack of food and excessive exercises. The data in the article show that these cases of anorexia are not merely because of women’s desire for beauty. Anorexia was diagnosed among men as well. However, they did not refuse eating food intentionally; it happened accidentally. There are several steps that lead to anorexia. However, the last step remains mysterious and no one can exactly say when anorexia comes.
McCartney (2011) in her article talks about children’s anorexia. Statistics mentioned in the article tells that 600 13-year-old children had to remain in hospitals where they were going under the treatment from eating disorders. In addition, 197 children of the age from 5 to 7 were diagnosed with eating disorder. The reason for such statistics can be a new acclaimed trend of being thin. It happens all the time that children watch at their idols and try to do everything in order to look the same as their favorite stars.
Rachel Bryant-Waugh is a psychologist and works in feeding ad eating disorder service. She says that facts about children’s anorexia in the age of 5 years are astonishing and perhaps there was a kind of misunderstanding. It is a normal thing that children of this age group have problems with eating and a low weight, but other reasons cause such behavior. For example, gastrointestinal problems or psychological factors. However, it does not mean that these children have anorexia or bulimia.
There is not enough terminology in medicine to describe this situation. Mark Berelowitz divides eating disorders into two groups. The first group involves EDNOS, anorexia, bulimia and the second involves eating disorders of early childhood. The only possible conclusion in this situation is that mass media receives the information it needs and interprets it in a wrong way.
Agras et al. (1997) conducted an experiment in which 93 women with obesity were going through a treatment by means of cognitive behavioral therapy in a one-year period. Those patients who stopped overeating during the treatment managed to lose up to 4 kilograms. However, another group of women who continued eating in a usual mode gained extra 3.6 kilograms.
Obesity is one of the widespread eating disorders. It is considered a significant problem for the reason that in case of overeating a person gains extra weight, which very often can be dangerous for his or her health. Agras at al. (1997) state that alongside with cognitive behavioral therapy antidepressant medication and interpersonal therapy help to cope with obesity as well. Antidepressant medication is better than placebo; however, it can lead to gaining extra kilos in spite of all positive effects, which can be achieved with the help of CBT.
The research emphasizes that the reduction of the habitual amount of consumed food is an important step to weight loss. Those patients who ceased overeating during the cognitive behavioral therapy treatment managed to lose a certain amount of kilos and maintained their weight until the end of the experiment. The study has some limitations. The participants were well educated and thus there were not any difficulties during the whole process. The experiment lasted one year and the period should be continued now. The results of the study show that stopping overeating leads to small results, which can be increased if cognitive behavioral treatment is involved. This research gives people with binge eating disorder a hope that a correctly chosen treatment can help to recover even in severe cases.
Linardon and Wade (2017) conducted a meta-analysis to identify whether cognitive behavioral therapy is efficacious in eating disorders treatment. They chose randomized trials of cognitive behavioral therapy. The results showed that CBT has positive effects in treating patients with such eating disorders as overeating and bulimia. CBT is a frequently used form of treatment in eating disorders. It shows improvements and makes a positive influence on patients.
This meta-analysis considers a number of significant questions that were ignored in previous studies on this topic. For example, some data shows that there were patients who recovered from eating disorders and it seemed like they did not recur to excessive diets or binge eating; however, they still had some of the cognitive symptoms after treatment. This fact is concerning for the reason that there is a high possibility of suffering a relapse. The second issue is that cognitive behavioral therapy is used only in terms of eating disorders treatment. The next thing is that it is unknown what short and long-term effects of CBT are. The evidence showed that no difference was found after CBT treatment and antidepressant medication at post-treatment. The last point deals with testing all moderators in order to understand clearly, what makes cognitive behavioral therapy effective or ineffective.
The results showed that CBT could be efficacious in eating disorders treatment. This form can be successful when it is performed manually. However, CBT was as well efficacious as other psychotherapies for anorexia nervosa. The research did not show any evidence that stated CBT was better than other forms of treatment. However, it helped to reduce some of the behavioral symptoms.
Monroe and Reid (2009) discuss the issue of depression and life stress. They mention that most people believe that misfortune and stressful situations undoubtedly cause stress and emotional breakdown. The authors of the article investigate the relations between life stress and depression. They state that people who have undergone an emotional outburst, stressful situation or morally difficult day immediately are diagnosed with depression. It is a wrong belief, as frequently stress is not an ‘obligatory’ symptom of depression. Psychologists find it difficult to differentiate between major depression and distress.
Person’s mood often depends on the surrounding factors. When a person is uncomfortable with emotions he or she feels, there may occur an erroneous impression that it might be a sign of depression. As a rule, a depressed person feels frustration and sadness for no distinct reason. Now the researchers are concerned with when stress leads to depression and what are the origins of depression overall.
Monroe and Reid (2009) mention that depression is one of the complicated disorders. It happens that depression can turn to be even chronic. The statistics show that 16% of the American population suffers from depression and women are more frequently diagnosed with this disorder than men are. Significant losses, misfortunes, the death of one of the close people are believed to be major sources of depression. The results of the research showed that up to 80% of people primarily have undergone stress before the depression (Monroe & Reid, 2009). In addition, some of the serious life events also can be predictors of depression. On the whole, it became difficult to define whether stress leads to depression for the reason that various life factors make people suffer.
Rodda, Walker, and Carter (2011) state that depression is widely spread among older people than among younger ones. The average age of patients with depression is 65. The sources of depression in older people are the inability to do things faster as previously, the approaching mortality, death of one of the close people, obsessive thought that older people are a burden for their relatives etc. The astonishing fact is that older people who suffer from depression commit suicide more often the young people. Rodda, Walker, and Carter (2011) name the following as risk factors for suicide: age and gender, isolation from a surrounding world, chronic illnesses, abuse of drugs and alcohol and sleep deprivation.
Taking into account what was mentioned, it is highly important to start an immediate treatment. However, it is necessary to bear in mind that the form of treatment in older people differs from that one created for youth. People are diagnosed with depression after an interview with a doctor in the clinic and further watching of patient’s behavior. While observing a patient, the doctor should pay close attention to the patient’s past and the factors that can complicate and maintain the current state.
When dealing with older people, the psychologist should be aware of fact that older people have other symptoms of depression, which do not coincide with standard ones. The effective ways of treatment include cognitive behavioral therapy, problem-solving therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Doctors allow practicing antidepressant medication for six months or in case, there is a risk of relapse.
Klein (2010) in his article differentiates chronic and nonchronic depression. The author names depression that lasts for many years as chronic depression. He says that it is necessary to differentiate these two types of depression in order to reduce the heterogeneity of the disorder. The research shows that people who suffer from chronic depression differ from those who are diagnosed with nonchronic depression.
Previously, doctors and patients believed that depression was a temporary disease. In the last decades of the 20th century, scientists debated the question of whether chronic depression is the same as a mood disorder. Patients who suffer from chronic depression say that such issues as family violence, parental carelessness lead to disorder formation. Chronic depression also requires another treatment rather than nonchronic depression. For example, chronic depression needs a longer period of pharmacotherapy. The combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy can have a positive effect in treatment.
There are various forms of chronic depression. Those are double depression, dysthymia, chronic major depression etc. The studies show that people who suffered from one of the mentioned forms then experienced another form of chronic depression again. The forms are stable and of great importance for the clinic. These forms show that differences between chronic and nonchronic depression do exist.
Reiter and Davis (2014) examine in their article how eating disorder and gender personalities are connected. They took 294 male and 502 female students from the regional university. The received results emphasize that gender does not play a significant role in the occurrence of one disorder or another.
Most people believe that in order to be a beautiful woman, a person has to be slim. Following this stereotype, women sit on excessive diets and exhaust themselves with physical activities. They are highly concerned with the appearance. This can be one of the reasons why eating disorders are widespread among females. Such disorders as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are considered as byproducts of modern values (Reiter & Davis, 2014). One of the sources of women’s high concern with their body and appearance is mass media. Television and advertisements on a regular basis show photos of slim models, actresses, and other stars. So there is not any variant left for others except doing everything in order to fit into the society.
Gender is not a predictor of eating disorders in men and women. It depends only on men and women’s attitude to their body and appearance. The authors argue that meeting the standards can be dangerous for a person’s health. The society should change these standards and avoid emphasis on how women look like. The accepted standards should not be a threat to people’s health. It is highly important to change social values and people’s attitude towards each other.
Concluding everything, it is necessary to admit that cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the leading and efficacious forms of treatment. The chosen for review articles discuss three widespread disorders: anxiety, depression and eating disorders. The authors of the articles discuss the problem, conduct an experiment on various forms of treatment and suggest what else can be done in order to help patients to recover. Various factors cause anxiety, depression and eating disorders. For example, lack of parental attention, violence inside the family, school bullying, significant losses, fears, death of one of the close people, misfortune, aging and other issues that influence people’s mental health or even physical health as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the conventional approaches in disorders treatment. A form of talking helps patients avoid negative thoughts and change their previous way of thinking. It is largely used among patients who suffer from mental disorders. The key point about CBT that it helps patients find something positive and get rid of disturbing problems and worries. Though CBT is concerned with the patient’s current state and does not refer to the past, this form of treatment tries to give the patients everything so they can feel better.