advertisement
advertisement

Anxiety Disorder Relapses

online conference transcript

Evelyn GoodmanEvelyn Goodman Psy.D., MFT, our guest speaker, is an anxiety disorder treatment specialist. She has worked with several anxiety treatment programs. The discussion centers around what to do when you experience an anxiety disorder relapse.

David Roberts:HealthyPlace.com David:.

The people in blue are audience members.


David: Good evening everyone. I'm David Roberts. I'm the moderator for tonight's conference. I want to welcome everyone to HealthyPlace.com.

Before we start, I would like to invite everyone to visit our Anxiety Community home page, and sign up for the mail list at the top of the page, so you can keep up with events like this.

Our topic tonight is "Anxiety Disorder Relapses". Our guest is Evelyn Goodman, Ph.D. Dr. Goodman is in private practice in Los Angeles, California and specializes in treating anxiety disorders and panic attacks. She has worked with several anxiety treatment programs. Dr. Goodman has presented workshops on anxiety treatment at conferences given by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Discussion of anxiety disorder relapses, anxiety treatment programs, anti-anxiety medications, panic attacks, anxiety in women. Conference transcriptGood Evening, Dr. Goodman, and welcome to HealthyPlace.com. We appreciate you being our guest tonight. So that everyone knows what we're talking about, can you please define a "relapse" for us?

Dr. Goodman: A relapse is another word for setback. It happens when people work to recover from their anxiety disorders - 2 steps forward and one back.

David: Is there a defined period of time a person must be "recovered" before the return of anxiety symptoms qualifies as a relapse?

Dr. Goodman: No. It can happen anytime, during the recovery process, or even years later.

David: What is it that causes a person to have an anxiety disorder relapse?

Dr. Goodman: There are several possible reasons. It should be understood as a natural process - we don't make progress in a linear fashion. Most people experience a return of anxiety symptoms at some time. For some people, it's because their only coping skill was medication. For others, it's because they are under stress again and not coping with it effectively.

David: So, are you saying that people who have an anxiety disorder should "expect" to have a relapse, or two, or three, along the way... even after they've apparently recovered?

Dr. Goodman: Yes. However it's important to understand why their anxiety symptoms have returned, so they can continue on with their recovery process.

David: What are the most important steps someone should take, in dealing with an anxiety disorder relapse?

Dr. Goodman: The very first step is understanding what is going on, that they are feeling more stressed or anxious again. If the person has had the right kind of treatment, preferably cognitive-behavioral therapy, they can go back to what they've learned in the past and reapply those skills.

David: My guess would be that one of the most troubling aspects for the anxiety patient is dealing with the feeling of hopelessness -- "here we go again" -- type feeling.

Dr. Goodman:Yes. And that can lead to depression. Very often, with anxiety disorders and panic attacks, the person is feeling scared of their anxiety again. It's important to not scare oneself, because that's how the vicious cycle of anxiety/panic work. One might see it as an opportunity to grow, to learn something about themselves, to remember to reapply what they had learned that helped them progress before.

David: One of the most frequent questions we get at these conferences, no matter what the disorder, is: "will this ever finally end". From what you are saying, I gather the answer is "no". That there will be periods of no, or fewer, or lower intensity symptoms, but you have to be prepared for a relapse. Is that true?

Dr. Goodman: Not necessarily. It's important that one accept that they have a sensitive nervous system, one that is highly reactive to different situations and stimuli. But that doesn't mean that a person cannot recover from having an anxiety disorder. It does take time and commitment to the recovery process. Actually, stress management must become a lifestyle. Recovery work takes lots of motivation.

David: We have a lot of audience questions, Dr. Goodman. Let's get to them:

shellmail: Can you give an example of stress management?

Dr. Goodman: Making time for daily relaxation practice, setting limits on your time and commitments, making sure you are expressing your feelings and needs, getting enough rest, to name a few areas.

DottieCom1: When you've had panic disorder for 35 years, you've had lots of time to build up fear of the fear (fear of panic). Does this make it easier to go into setbacks? It seems it takes very little.

Dr. Goodman: I've worked with lots of people who have had this problem for many years. Commitment to changing one's attitude about anxiety and panic is very important.


advertisement

Last Updated: 29 March 2017
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

Support Group

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *

Follow Us

advertisement

Anxiety-Panic Videos

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Mental Health
Newsletter Subscribe Now!

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me
advertisement
X
advertisement
X
advertisement
X
Back To Top