Anxiety is a serious issue that can affect a person’s everyday life, as displayed by the case of Shana who currently avoids social interactions. However, prior to treatment, more information about the patient’s condition should be assembled, including details about previous anxiety disorder that she had two years ago. Additionally, general physical health data is required to evaluate the current condition of Shana and ensure that other diseases are not causing the symptoms.
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In case the anxiety disorder diagnosis is confirmed, the one treatment plan that can be applied in this case is the attention bias modification program (ABM). A general approach to treating the condition is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, newer researches on the topic have identified several important aspects that contribute to anxiety, more specifically concentration on personal experiences is the essential aspect.
The mentioned program utilizes the aid of a computer program to retrain a person’s reactions. According to MacLeod and Clarke (2015), it has therapeutic potential for improving one’s condition. The authors note that in some studies the approach has failed to display the necessary anxiety reduction result; however, their research offers alterations that can be applied to reduce such risks. De Voogd et al. (2016) conducted a trial study with children and adolescents aged 11 to 18 to identify the effectiveness of the approach.
The examination found that visual search training as part of the ABM program had positive outcomes in regards to participant’s mental health. According to De Voogd et al. (2016), “symptoms of anxiety and depression reduced, whereas emotional resilience improved” (p. 12). Thus, such programs can be utilized to improve Shana’s mental health and minimize the anxiety symptoms that she is experiencing.
Other studies that compare CBT and ABM should be taken into consideration when choosing an adequate approach. Huppert et al. (2018) analyzed the two to identify which of the methods is more effective. It should be noted that ABM has several advantages as it can be performed through online sessions, which is helpful in cases where patients experience extreme symptoms that obstruct them from leaving their homes.
Thus, it can be argued that in Shana’s case ABM can be applied to reduce current symptoms with a follow up of the CBT to enhance the overall mental health state and minimize negative thinking. Additionally, the dramatic change in behavior can be triggered by a specific factor, which should be identified. It is possible that stress at school or tension in interpersonal communication with peers or family worsened the condition of Shana (Beiter et al., 2015). Thus, addressing the issue that caused anxiety can help improve her state.
Discussion of Peer Responses
Response one provides an excellent point about the assessment of the overall healthcare state of Shana before beginning treatment. It is crucial to ensure that the symptoms are not confused with other medical conditions, based on previous mental health history. Discussion two supports the initial inquiry for more information and adds an important aspect that can be prevalent to both children and adolescents – caffeine intake as a contributing factor to anxiety.
Additionally, as was mentioned the approach of CBT is a valid solution for treating anxiety, and the two responses offer different perspectives that can be taken for the treatment. Thus, the two discussion answers provide a valuable point of a need to adequately diagnose the patient by excluding other possible causes of the case and offer reasonable treatment plans supported by the evidence-based literature.
Beiter, R., Nash, R., McCrady, M., Rhoades, D., Linscomb, M., Clarahan, M., & Sammut, S. (2015). The prevalence and correlates of depression, anxiety, and stress in a sample of college students. Journal of Affective Disorders, 173, 90-96. Web.
De Voogd, E. L., Wiers, R. W., Prins, P. J., de Jong, P. J., Boendermakerac, W. J., Zwitser, R. J., & Salemink, E. (2016). Online attentional bias modification training targeting anxiety and depression in unselected adolescents: Short- and long-term effects of a randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 87, 11-22. Web.
Huppert, J. D., Kivity, Y., Cohen, L., Strauss, A. Y., Elizur, Y., & Weiss, M. (2018). A pilot randomized clinical trial of cognitive behavioral therapy versus attentional bias modification for social anxiety disorder: An examination of outcomes and theory-based mechanisms. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 59, 1-9. Web.
MacLeod, C., & Clarke, P. J. (2015). The attentional bias modification approach to anxiety intervention. Clinical Psychological Science, 3(5), 58-78. Web.