"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

How therapy may help with life-changing events like COVID

April 3, 2024 – As the COVID-19 When the pandemic hit 4 years ago, Jenn Kearney was especially grateful for her years of therapy.

The 34-year-old digital communications manager from Boston said her 11 years of therapy — specifically cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT — before the pandemic gave her skills and “ways of coping and adapting that not only benefited me, but also.” the people around me,” she said.

“I spent a lot of time working with my therapist specifically on managing my anxiety around unexpected events,” she said.

This was particularly useful when her husband became ailing with COVID in late April 2020.

“I was able to use what I knew about my fear to loosen its grip on my thoughts and judgment and prepare myself in the event that I contract it too,” she said, noting that effort Affirmations “It’ll all work out” helped her, especially when she tested positive for the virus a couple of days later.

“I could tell when my thought pattern shifted to what if. I used what I had been working on with my therapist – I made a conscious effort to think about “what I was grateful for,” such as the fact that neither she nor her husband needed hospitalization, no one else in her family was sick, and The couple “had the opportunity to rest and take care of each other.” This attitude kept Kearney's anxiety at bay.

It's no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused emotional turmoil all over the world. A report The World Health Organization found that anxiety and depression increased by a staggering 25% worldwide in the primary yr. But a new study found that folks were diagnosed Fear who received two widely available types of therapy experienced less stress than others throughout the pandemic, even within the hardest days of lockdown.

Researchers at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School followed 764 outpatients with moderate anxiety disorder. These patients had received one among two treatments: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). CBT is A form of talk therapy that emphasizes the power a person's thoughts can have on their feelings. DBT helps patients iIdentify thought patterns that can cause stress.

Patients were divided into 4 groups: those that began treatment before December 31, 2019; those that began treatment between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020; those that began treatment between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020; and those that began treatment from January 1, 2021. (The The WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.)

The researchers hypothesized that the stressors attributable to the height periods throughout the lockdown – particularly from March 2020 to July 2020 – would result in a worsening of those patients' anxiety.

Rather, they found that patients who began CBT or DBT before the pandemic began had fewer anxiety symptoms. The researchers found that CBT and DBT had a protective effect in these patients. This implies that the patients showed fewer anxiety-related symptoms than many individuals who were never anxious in any respect but were feeling the stress of the lockdown.

Additionally, starting CBT or DBT at any time may help many individuals construct the identical resilience in order that major world events or personal upheavals don't result in worsening mental health, the researchers said.

“I was surprised at how robust the intervention was,” said the study’s lead writer David H. Rosemary, PhD, a clinical psychologist at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, and an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge. “But with CBT and DBT we really teach people not to be afraid of fears. Fear won't kill you, even though it feels like death to some patients. We have been conditioned to fear fear, but what we really need to do is increase our tolerance for uncertainty.”

As treatment progressed, patients within the study demonstrated this resilience.

“Patients felt more prepared to endure COVID-related anxiety because they felt more comfortable being less prepared,” he said Henry J. Eff, PsyD, senior psychologist on the Center for Anxiety in Brooklyn, NY, where patients within the study were examined. “Those who had higher levels of anxiety before the pandemic but were taught CBT and DBT skills felt better equipped to deal with and, more importantly, tolerate the uncertainty of COVID.”

Read on to higher understand fears and the way this groundbreaking research may be used preventatively to enhance quality of life in unexpected times of crisis, but in addition in on a regular basis life.

What are the symptoms of hysteria?

Signs of hysteria typically include nervousness, tension, restlessness, rapid heartbeat, and faster respiratory. Sweating, trembling, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, digestive problems and sleep disorders can be symptoms. You can read more about fear Here.

How does CBT help manage anxiety?

In short, CBT may help construct your “toolkit” for while you experience anxiety.

CBT helps Change a patient's mindset that's not helpful. By recognizing that your thoughts influence your actions, you gain a way of control and may make decisions that assist you to higher reply to the stresses in your life that cause you anxiety.

CBT also helps you construct emotional strength because it helps you face and overcome challenges.

“CBT is like going to the gym for your feelings,” Rosmarin said.

How does DBT help manage anxiety?

DBT, however, focuses on acceptance to offer a way of control to those experiencing strong emotions.

“DBT can help us deal with the intense emotions we experience with anxiety,” Eff said. During the pandemic, for instance, “we worked with patients to accept the reality of COVID: isolation, concern for our loved ones, and complete disruption of normal activities. Acceptance of this unfortunate situation allows for better coping and reduces suffering.”

Can fear sometimes be positive?

The energy that fear creates may be used as a robust motivator – a terrific tool to get you to realize what you would like.

“It can feel counterintuitive to overcome fear and feel your own feelings. We think of fear as something we need to get rid of, but fear can be a catalyst for things like change,” Rosmarin said. “Fear can be exploited; it can be used as a tool.”

The secret is to administer the extent of hysteria you are feeling.

“Normally you don’t turn the knob on a stove all the way up, otherwise the food will burn,” explains Eff. “However, if you turn it off completely, your food won’t cook. There are times when the burner – or your fear [in this case] — is higher, and that's okay. Once we can begin to recognize and label our different levels of anxiety, we can better manage them and learn to use them to our advantage.”

Most people feel some level of hysteria, Rosemary said. “We don’t want to ignore it or suppress it.”

Is CBT or DBT Right for You?

If you experience symptoms of hysteria, see your doctor who can assess your overall health. If you might be I was diagnosed with anxietyA psychologist can determine whether CBT or DBT can profit you and prepare you to address unexpected life events.

As for Kearney, the abilities she gained through therapy have helped her in all elements of her life, not only throughout the pandemic.

“I am a better parent, partner, friend, sibling, daughter and colleague,” she said. “I learned invaluable communication and coping skills, as well as a better understanding of my mind, how it works, and how to use my unique ways of thinking to my advantage.”