Taking Fear Out Of And Managing Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Phobias
There is a difference between generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and phobias.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is excessive worry that often interferes with daily functioning. If someone has GAD, then medical hypnosis alone is not the answer. The best treatment for GAD is cognitive behavioral therapy. Hypnosis can be used as an adjunctive tool, in addition to CBT, for patients with this disorder.
By contrast, phobias may be helped with medical hypnosis. A phobia is characterized by intense, unrealistic, persistent fear and avoidance of an object, activity, or situation. Examples of phobias include:
• public speaking
• fear of flying
• fear of heights
• fear of spiders/animals
• fear of needles.
• performance anxiety is another example, and may include:
• sports performance anxiety (for more on this, visit the section on sports performance enhancement),
• test anxiety,
• musical performance anxiety such as a recital or a dance, etc.
Hypnosis can be quite helpful for patients with phobias. In addition, Dr. Lazarus incorporates CBT techniques for these patients, and typically finds that they have significant improvement after only 2-4 visits.