What to know about generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes feelings of intense anxiety, worry, or nervousness about everyday life. People with GAD struggle to control these feelings, and the condition tends to interfere with daily activities and personal relationships.

GAD, a type of anxiety disorder, is very common. It affects 3.1% of the population (or 6.8 million adults) in the United States in any given year. It is more common in women.

Living with anxiety can be challenging. However, like other anxiety disorders, GAD is highly treatable. Some of the most effective treatments include psychotherapy, medication, and making lifestyle changes.

Full story at Medical News Today

Therapy Reduces Risk in Suicidal Youth

Preventing suicide has proven to be a difficult public health challenge. The suicide rate has climbed in recent years across age groups. In adolescents, suicide is the second leading cause of death. For every young person who dies by suicide, many more have suicidal thoughts, attempt suicide, or deliberately injure themselves without intending suicide.

To date, there have not been any research-validated treatments for preventing suicide among youth. And research has found that it’s hard to get adolescents with suicidal thoughts to start and stay with existing treatments.

Researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and collaborators at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA are addressing the treatment void for adolescents. A recent clinical trial of a psychotherapy called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)—which has been shown to be effective in reducing suicide-related behavior in adults—showed that DBT can also reduce suicide attempts and suicidal behavior in adolescents.

Full story at NIMH

PET scans reveal how psychodynamic therapy for depression may change brain function

A study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has identified for the first time changes in the metabolic activity of a key brain region in patients successfully treated for depression with psychodynamic psychotherapy, suggesting a mechanism of action behind one of the most historically important and widely practiced forms of therapy. They also found evidence that pretreatment metabolism in a different brain structure might predict which patients are likely to respond to that form of therapy. Their report will appear in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics and has been issued online.

Considered to be a successor of Freudian analysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy focuses on how a patient’s prior life experiences, particularly important relationships, influence their character and how they relate to others. Through exploration of a patient’s past and current relationships — including the relationship with the therapist — therapy focuses on helping the patient gain insights that can change both mood and behavior.

Full story of psychodynamic therapy for depression at Science Daily