With reference to a specific Anxiety Disorder, Critically evaluate two contrasting approaches?
By: Jade Griffin
HW ID: H00162376
Psychology Semester 2
According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2015), “a generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things”.
One of the most common anxiety disorder known as a panic disorder affects 1 out of 100 adults in the United Kingdom (British Psychological Association, 2015). Stated in the ICD-10 (2000) a ‘panic disorder is characterized by recurrent attacks of severe anxiety, which are not restricted to any particular situation or set of circumstances and are therefore unpredictable’. The etiology of a panic attack may be either psychological or physical or a combination of both. The root cause of panic disorders can be due to family genetics, change in life events, or associations with illnesses such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or an overactive thyroid gland (Patient, 2013). Symptoms of a panic disorder may include feelings of lack of control, intensive worrying and fear, while sweating, dizziness, chills and/or stomach pains are some of the few physical symptoms (DSM- IV- TR, 2000). For an individual to be diagnosed with a panic disorder, thoughts, feelings and emotions must be persistent through the DSM-IV- TR Diagnostic Criteria and depending on the agreed treatment approach, either a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is referred to. By comparing and contrasting approaches for treating a panic disorder, one may be able to determine a preferred method through time, effectiveness, selection, cost and side effects. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach is a psychological treatment that addresses behavioural patterns between how one thinks and feels to reduce distressful thoughts and reaction by introducing situational scenarios that follows a style of intervention (Somers, 2007). The contrasting approach, medication treatment is a physical substance used to modify the disorder course by managing symptoms and treating relapses (Clark et al, 1994).
CBT is a commitment process that is completed in a relatively shorter period of time compared to other ‘talking’ therapies, while prescribed medication treatment is much more convenient and is less time consuming (NHS, 2015). Although the structured nature of CBT may not be suitable for people with learning difficulties or mental health complexities, medication treatment may not mix well with other drugs (NHS, 2015). Either of these approaches come with various selection methods to fit a patient’s needs. The selection of choice between the two approaches leverage quite evenly. Thus, CBT offers programs individually, in groups, through self-help, or computer programs. While, medication treatment comes in a variety of choices whereby a particular line of medication is ineffective, another may be more sufficient (NHS, 2015). The two main types of medication include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Citalopram, Fluoxetine and Sertraline, while Tricyclic Antidepressants (e.g. Imipramine and Clomipramine) are considered to be less addictive (NHS, 2015).
Examining cost in contrast, an average CBT session conducted by the NHS is estimated to be £40- £100, whereby a minimum of six to fifteen sessions are required depending on the severity of the panic attack. Comparatively, medication treatment prescribed by the NHS would cost £104 per annum (NHS, 2015). These quotes may vary depending on the circumstances, for example pregnancy, age, war pensions or NHS Tax Credit Exemption (NHS, 2015).
As with every form of therapy or drug treatment, side effects may occur. CBT may not work for each individual and can involve emotions and confrontation where a patient may experience periods of anxiousness, ultimately worsening the