Empirically evaluated treatments

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Drug treatments for specific phobia have consistently been shown to be less effective than behavioural treatments. b-Blockers reduce some symptoms of sympathetic arousal during exposure to feared stimuli. However, they fail to decrease subjective fear. (113) While benzodiazepines may facilitate approach to the feared stimuli, they may also reduce the efficacy of behaviour therapies by inhibiting the experience of anxiety during exposure. (H4) Because of the marginal to moderate effects of drug treatments relative to behaviour therapy, little attention has been devoted to the study of drug treatments for specific phobia.

Cognitive-behavioural interventions Systematic desensitization

Systematic desensitization(!l5) has been used successfully in the treatment of specific phobias since the mid-1960s. Combining progressive relaxation and graduated imaginal exposure to the feared stimulus, systematic desensitization has been demonstrated to be superior to psychotherapy in some cases (116,11Zand 118) but not others.(H9) Wolpe(H5) contended that systematic desensitization works by the principle of reciprocal inhibition, which asserts that the sympathetic response associated with anxiety is incompatible with, and thus inhibited by, the parasympathetic response that occurs during deep muscle relaxation. Therefore, pairing parasympathetic activation with the feared stimulus leads to the conditioning of relaxation to the phobic stimulus. More recently, theorists have taken the position that the exposure component is responsible for the efficacy of systematic desensitization, while the decrease in autonomic arousal achieved by relaxation enhances habituation to the feared stimulus.

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Do Not Panic

Do Not Panic

This guide Don't Panic has tips and additional information on what you should do when you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. With so much going on in the world today with taking care of your family, working full time, dealing with office politics and other things, you could experience a serious meltdown. All of these things could at one point cause you to stress out and snap.

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