Anxiety and Exposure Therapy

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Red_milk_snake.JPGOn last Fridays lecture, on 11-4-11, about emotion there was an interesting segment on anxiety and how it is treated. What I got out of it was that they are treated by an interesting procedure called Exposure therapy. Exposure therapy involves having a person gradually be exposed to what they are afraid of in small steps. An example might be having a person, that is afraid of snakes, look at pictures of snakes at first then move on to videos of snakes. After that they might get the person to visit snakes inside of containers and lastly they might end up getting the person to hold the snake. The reason for doing all of this would be to inhibit the person's fear by reducing the conditioned fear responses to the snake. I found this article about a drug that helps speed the therapy up. It works by activating the mitochondria in the brain. It targets the mitochondria in the area of the brain that are active while the person is thinking about what they are afraid of. It keeps those areas more active to increase the inhibition of their fears with a lot less effort for the person with the anxieties.

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What do you think about this treatment? Can you make connections to life-- why is this important to understand? You need to go beyond summary and do more analysis.

Do you think that exposure therapy would work for your fears?

Personally, I've used it without even realizing what it was. I figured the easiest way for me to get over my fear of heights was to try hiking up a mountain. Talk about an empowering experience!

The beautiful thing about this method is how it can be applied to all types of fears and phobias. People with social anxiety are especially helped by exposure therapy, if they commit to going through the process.

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This page contains a single entry by holli167 published on November 6, 2011 7:44 PM.

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