Monday, May 23, 2005

Controlling Feelings: Implications for OCD, Anxiety, and ADHD

'Talk therapy' has been around for years, but being able to 'see' the benefits on brain imaging is now very motivating to professionals and patients alike. When Jeffrey Schwartz had his breakthrough with OCD and CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy (The Mind and the Brain), it was apparent that many OCD sufferers were relieved to see that their problem resulted from excessive activity in the brain. It helped some visualize their problems so they could more readily ignore the false worries when they arose.

The power of CBT is now proven in a whole range of emotional and mood disorders including ADHD, Anxiety, and OCD, with many labs now trying to 'push the envelope' figuring out why some subjects respond to CBT, while others don't, and deducing most effective strategies.

The figure below shows the change that can be seen when subjects try to reduce their negative feelings upon seeing 'negative' photographs. The green areas 'switch on' in order to keep emotions in check, while the red spots are emotional areas that become regulated.

If a child is going to begin cognitive behavioral therapy, make sure she knows the rationale behind it, and how it can really work. Most kids like understanding how their brains work, and they are interested in seeing how training, therapy, or learning can change the working of their brains.

Brain-computer interfaces of this sort are not available clinically yet - they are research tools - but they are on the horizon.

Here's a diagram of the brain-computer interface at Columbia:

Mindfulness and OCD
Cognitive Control of Feelings
CBT and Meds for Panic-Abstract only
Combined ADHD Treatment Lowers Need for Drugs
Adaptive Brain Computer-Interface

1 comment:

  1. Stress and anxiety can be cured naturally by Deep breathing exercises which are excellent for anxiety and many people report positive results from meditation. Some other natural anxiety remedies to look into are St.John's Wort, SAMe, L-Theanine, and Tryptophan.