The leading behavioral treatment combines prolonged

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Unformatted text preview: r are now being treated by a combination of behavioral, cognitive, and drug therapies. Ac- 12/10/09 11:16:36 AM :// 129 Bella C. Laudauer Collection of Business and Advertising Art, The New York Historical Society Anxiety Disorders cording to research, such combinations often yield higher levels of symptom reduction and bring relief to more clients than do each of the approaches alone—improvements that may continue for years (Kordon et al., 2005; Rufer et al., 2005). Obviously, the treatment picture for obsessive-compulsive disorder has improved greatly over the past 15 years, and indeed, this disorder is now helped by several forms of treatment, often used in combination. In fact, at least two studies suggest that the behavioral, cognitive, and biological approaches may ultimately have the same effect on the brain. In these investigations, both participants who responded to cognitive-behavioral treatments and those who responded to antidepressant drugs showed marked reductions in activity in the caudate nuclei (Stein & Fineberg, 2007; Baxter et al., 2000, 1992). SUMMING UP Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder People with obsessive-compulsive disorder experience obsessions and/or perform compulsions. Compulsions are often a response to a person’s obsessive thoughts. According to the psychodynamic view, obsessive-compulsive disorder arises out of an overt battle between id impulses and ego defense mechanisms. Behaviorists, on the other hand, believe that compulsive behaviors develop through chance associations. The leading behavioral treatment combines prolonged exposure with response prevention. Cognitive theorists believe that obsessive-compulsive disorder grows from a normal human tendency to have unwanted and unpleasant thoughts. The misguided efforts of some people to understand, eliminate, or avoid such thoughts actually lead to obsessions and compulsions. Cognitive therapy for this disorder includes correcting and helping clients change their misinterpretations of their unwanted thoughts. Research suggests that a combined cognitive-behavioral approach often is more effective than either cognitive or behavioral therapy alone. Biological researchers have tied obsessive-compulsive disorder to low serotonin activity and abnormal functioning in the orbitofrontal cortex, the caudate nuclei, or other regions in the obsessive-compulsive brain circuit. Antidepressant drugs that raise serotonin activity are a useful form of treatment. Sprinkle lightly In the early twentieth century, drug companies did not have to prove the safety or value of their products. Brain Salt, a patent medicine for anxiety and related difficulties, promised to cure nervous disability, headaches, indigestion, heart palpitations, and sleep problems. PUTTING IT... together Diathesis-Stress in Action Clinicians and researchers have developed many ideas about generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. At times, however, the sheer quantity of concepts and findings makes it difficult to grasp what is really known about the disorders. Overall, it is fair...
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