Psychotherapy for anxiety most effective in the mornings, study

Psychotherapy for anxiety most effective in the mornings, study

To suffer from chronic anxiety is an undesirable state that can steadily destroy one’s sense of well-being due to a constant anticipation of harm. As such symptoms like getting worried under a stressful condition, fearing the unknown and being afraid of risky situations are quite common. However, if these symptoms persist and hinder one’s daily life, they cause serious repercussions.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States (U.S.), affecting 40 million adults in the age group18 and above, or 18 percent of the population. In comparison to others, people suffering from anxiety disorder are likely to go to the doctor much more frequently, as well as get hospitalized for psychiatric disorders.

It is important to seek immediate treatment for anxiety disorders to avoid worsening of the condition. Though anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only about one-third of those suffering from such disorders receive treatment. There are several methods to treat anxiety that include medicines or therapies or a combination of both depending on the severity of the disorder. Of late, experts believe psychotherapy to be one of the best treatments to cure anxiety.

Morning sessions ensure faster suppression of fear and remembrance of corrective details

According to a new study, “Timing matters: Endogenous cortisol mediates benefits from early-day psychotherapy,” conducted by the Southern Methodist University (SMU) and published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, patients tend to recover faster if their psychotherapy sessions are scheduled in the morning. Explaining the association, the study states that the faster recovery is a reflection of biochemistry that may influence biorhythms.

The morning session of psychotherapies helped patients with anxiety to overcome their panic and phobias. Elaborating further, the study referred to the past studies that talked about the tendency of the stress hormone cortisol level to remain the highest during the early daytime.

As per the previous studies, the level of the stress hormones decreases gradually over the course of afternoon and evening. When the level of hormone cortisol is high, patients are able to suppress the fear memory caused due to the earlier distressing encounters. Additionally, it encourages one to absorb and remember the new corrective information in a better way.

Exposure therapy underlines biggest gains post morning sessions

In the present study, 24 people diagnosed with panic disorder and fear of public spaces, popularly known as agoraphobia, were given exposure therapy. Exposure therapy, which comes under the umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), improves mental disorder by bringing changes in one’s behavior. This therapy is widely used to cure anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias.

During the therapy, the patients were exposed to situations that can typically induce their panic or fear. This was done with the objective to assist in diminishing any of the disabling fear response through repeated exposure over time. For over three weeks, the patients were given, on an average, 40-minute weekly sessions. During each exposure session, the level of cortisol was measured at various times.

Though significant improvements were reported throughout the therapy, the biggest gains were interestingly recorded after the sessions that started earlier in the day.

Seek structured help to bounce back

Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the U.S. Despite the availability of prescribed medicines such as anti-anxiety drugs, studies have reported exposure therapy to be a successful method to treat the disorder. Through this therapy, people are made to confront their fears so that they can overcome them and lead a better life.

If you or your loved one is grappling with an anxiety disorder, contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to know about various anxiety disorders treatment centers in California. You can call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online with our certified representatives who can help you get in touch with the best anxiety treatment centers in California.

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