Radio 4 Discusses Anxiety Problems

Anxiety therapy

Anxiety, the often debilitating problem suffered by millions of people worldwide, was the topic under discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour this morning.  Highlighting the overwhelmingly distressing nature of the physical and psychological symptoms of this mental health problem the programme talked to Dr David Clarke, a Professor of Psychology and expert in the field of Anxiety and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), currently the most effective treatment available for Anxiety.

Dr Clark highlighted the needed for increased training and awareness amongst GPs about Anxiety and about the effective treatments available.  In particular he explained the need for an improved knowledge of therapies that offer longer term and lasting relief like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) instead of short term solutions like antidepressant medication which frequently has unpleasant side effects, often cannot be taken over longer periods and results in relapse once the therapy is stopped because the underlying cause of the anxiety has not been resolved as it is in therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Access to effective treatments for anxiety like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) on the NHS is limited despite recent government initiatives (e.g. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies {IAPTs}) aimed at improving this; waiting times remain significant and treatments are truncated to ensure as many people are seen as possible.  The result is that anxiety sufferers have to turn to the unregulated private sector for help where clever marketing and baseless promises leave those already vulnerable individuals in a position where the so called ‘solution’ to their problem can actually make things worse.

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