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Queer rights organizations have made significant strides in recent decades. Their hard work and sacrifices have made it easier than ever before to come out in the United States. Unfortunately, being easier doesn’t mean it’s easy. True, there now is widespread acceptance of the queer community. Still, several vocal minority groups can make it anywhere from unpleasant to dangerous for those who identify as LGBTQIA. These vocal minorities and maintenance of a cisgender “default” mean it is still challenging to come out as queer. And, what’s more, coming out isn’t just a one-time deal. Now, let’s look at how coming out can be a cycle.

How Coming Out Can Be a Cycle

In many cases, informing immediate family is the main event. These are people who have known you since you were born and should love you unconditionally. For that reason, coming out to the immediate family has the potential to be incredibly fulfilling if the person is met with love and acceptance. Unfortunately, the process can also be high risk for the same reason. What many people don’t realize is that the person in question then has to decide if and when to tell friends, extended family, coworkers, and anyone new that comes into their lives. As long as cisgender people are considered the norm, members of the queer community are going to spend their entire lives coming out over and over again.

The Process of Coming Out

Coming out is a difficult process that can be hard to navigate if you’re a relatively young member of the queer community or an older member who is just becoming comfortable with their real identity. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources to help sexual and gender minorities figure out when and how to come out on their own terms. Although it varies between individuals, the general process can be mapped out to provide guidance to people who are struggling.

Awareness:

If you’re wondering whether you should come out or not, then you’re already in the awareness phase. Most psychologists agree that a person enters this phase every time they consider telling a new group or individual about their identity. This stage is often characterized by stress over the impending decision. Still, the level of stress will be dictated by:

  • The individual’s own anxiety
  • The perceived importance of the new individual or group’s acceptance.

Assessment:

At this stage of the process, the person is carefully weighing the pros and cons of coming out to a new person or group. It’s common to consider whether there is anything to be gained by going through with it, and fear of rejection is a common detractor. The length of the assessment phase will vary dramatically depending on the individual case. For many people, it’s an emotional period where they have to decide how important it is to them to disclose their identity.

Decision:

Making the decision to either come out or to keep your identity to yourself should always be an empowering decision. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the case. Perhaps you find yourself unhappy with your decision and it is having a negative impact on your mental health. Then we recommend seeking professional counseling.

The Risk of Stress

Going through this process repeatedly can be stressful and even traumatizing. In fact, members of the queer community are up to three times more likely to experience a serious mental health concern. So it is vital to seek out counseling at any point where you feel your mental health is in decline. Fortunately, Cognitive Behavior Associates provides cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles. We can help you reaffirm your individual identity and to connect you with additional resources when you need them.

In a world built on the concept of form over substance, it is difficult for literally everyone to remember the real purpose of physical health and fitness. However, this problem takes on new weight when it comes to people who suffer from body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphic disorder is a clinical condition that applies to individuals who focus on their perceived physical flaws. These flaws are either exaggerated or imagined. But the individual remains so bothered by them that it interferes with their daily lives. These same individuals also likely experience depression and anxiety as a result of their condition. Below we collected some tips for helping someone with body dysmorphia.

Helping Someone with Body Dysmorphia

Unfortunately, many people with body dysmorphia are completely unaware that their obsession is actually a clinical condition. That can make it difficult to help them but not impossible. If someone close to you currently deals with body dysmorphia, then you can generally help. The best methods remain simple:

  • Giving them the space to talk freely
  • Providing information on clinical resources (when they feel most receptive to offers of help)

With that being said, we need to clearly understand what body dysmorphia is. And we should look at the resources available before you have that conversation.

Identifying Body Dysmorphia

It cannot be emphasized enough that body dysmorphia is a medical condition. If you have a loved one who clearly engages in self-defeating behaviors as a result of their focus on physical attributes to an extent that it negatively impacts their social or professional life, then they may have a form of body-dysmorphia. The easiest way to tell for sure is to ask yourself two questions.

  • Is the person seemingly overwhelmed by thoughts surrounding these flaws?
  • Are the flaws actually minor or entirely unnoticeable?

If the answer to both questions is “yes,” then body dysmorphia is likely at play. However, if the answer to the first question is “yes” and the answer to the second question is “no,” then your loved one may still require help to treat another clinical condition. Once you’ve realized that this person needs help, it’s vitally important that you talk to them and convince them to receive body dysmorphia treatment.

Body Dysmorphia Treatment

Body dysmorphia exists as a complex issue that can appear in a number of forms. Generally speaking, it comes down to an unhealthy obsession with physical flaws. These flaws may be minor or completely absent. But that does not lessen their impact. As a result, receiving cognitive behavioral therapy in LA is one of the most effective treatment types due to its ability to target the very ideas and triggers that spur on the condition.

Unlike other treatment types, cognitive behavioral therapy does not teach avoidance. Avoidance can intensify the individual’s response when faced with a trigger, such as a mirror or social event. Instead, cognitive behavioral therapy uses a three-pronged approach to help people tackle their body dysmorphic disorder.

Exposure

Rather than encouraging avoidance behavior, clinicians using cognitive behavioral therapy will gradually introduce triggers to patients. A therapist carefully monitors these exposure experiences so that the patient and clinical expert can talk through the patient’s thought process. This can help challenge the patient’s negative thoughts while reducing the anxiety associated with the trigger.

Acceptance

Mindfulness remains a vital tool for treating body dysmorphia. The condition stays resilient against logic. So in some cases it proves best to teach the patient to accept their body as they see it. By learning to accept their body in its current condition, patients can become more aware of the distance between their negative thoughts and the reality of their physical form over time.

Family Inclusion

Close family members often aid with cognitive behavioral therapy. Sadly, our family members’ best intentions can be harmful for people dealing with body dysmorphia. The seemingly empty assurances and comparisons can actively exacerbate the condition, so it is helpful to include family members in the process of learning about negative thought processes and acceptance.

Ultimately, you can encourage your loved one to seek help. Then your local cognitive behavioral therapist will do everything they can to help them become healthier and happier.

Depression is an insidious mental illness that exacerbates every worry and insecurity. When those side effects are coupled with the deeply ingrained social stigmas that surround serious mental illness, many patients who are dealing with depression withdraw into themselves. They may be afraid of censure or simply ashamed of what is happening to them, but this withdrawal is incredibly harmful to their recovery. It becomes vital to stop feeling ashamed of depression.

In order to begin the process of overcoming depression, patients first have to deal with the external factors that are making their symptoms worse.

The Origin of Shame in Depressed People

Every person experiences depression in a different way. They may exhibit different symptom sets based on their own responses to the condition and based on the severity of the condition. However, shame and self-loathing are quite common despite the range of experiences, and practically all people dealing with depression will experience them to some degree. Now, the reason behind this is two-fold.

  • Self-loathing is a by-product of depression itself. There are many factors that can contribute to depression, but extreme fatigue and loss of self-worth tend to come as a result.
  • In many modern societies, especially our own, mental illness is broadly associated with people who are weak in some way. To add an additional layer, many religious groups within the United States emphasize mental illness as a sign of moral laxity. The insinuation is that a person dealing with mental illness is lazy, unintelligent, or immoral. THIS IS FALSE.

Depression can be caused by traumatic life events, complex brain chemistry imbalances, medications, etc. No mental illness can be accurately tied back to a personal flaw. Therefore, the easiest way to start challenging your shame is to reject the assumptions of ignorant people. There are so many people out there who understand what you’re going through, so don’t sell yourself short.

Taking Baby Steps toward Self-Acceptance

It isn’t easy to learn self-love when you’re struggling with everyday life, so it’s best to start small. For anyone with a mental illness, the most important initial step is asking for help. It can be really challenging to discuss your state of mind with friends and family, so professional therapy is a great way to step towards recovery.

Of the many types of therapy available to patients with depression, one viable option is cognitive behavior therapy. If you were to have CBT for depression in LA, you would find it is designed to help us deal with those ultra-negative thoughts. Those ideas that crop up in the backs of our minds without warning. During sessions, your licensed therapist will talk you through some of your most harmful thoughts. At the same time, they teach you a framework for logically challenging them.

How to Stop Feeling Ashamed of Depression

Gaining the ability to challenge your own negativity and learning to recognize your own triggers is just one step on a long path, but it’s a start. The process of CBT is built with that in mind. Everyone at Cognitive Behavior Associates understands that your recovery will not be easy and it will not be linear. You are going to have days where you feel like you’re falling right back down to where you started. The important thing is that you will have a team waiting to help pick you back up.

Moving Forward

Once you’ve taken that first big step by asking for professional help, your specialist will help you to re-learn self-acceptance. Over time, your shame becomes more controlled. Then we can help you to expand your support network while introducing you to healthier coping mechanisms. By having a professional in your corner, you’re giving yourself the best chance of recovery.

Disruptions in normal sleep are never fun. Even when you can get back to sleep within a reasonable timeframe it can take your body a long time to achieve restful sleep. Just a few interruptions may result in your waking up feeling groggy and poorly rested. Of course, it’s perfectly normal to occasionally experience inadequate sleep, but it should not be a consistent experience. If you’re waking up during the night several times per week, then you may want to speak with your local insomnia specialist in Los Angeles.

Why Do I Wake Up in the Middle of the Night? Identifying Insomnia

Many people mistakenly believe that insomnia is only used to describe a condition that causes people to struggle with initiating sleep. In truth, there are many different types of insomnia that can affect your ability to fall asleep, your ability to stay asleep, and your ability to consolidate restful sleep.

Acute Insomnia:

In many cases the insomnia is acute. That means that it’s severe but pretty short-lived. People experiencing acute insomnia are usually experiencing high levels of stress as a result of external stimuli. Acute insomnia usually lasts about a month and resolves once the external stressor is no longer an issue for the patient. The date of the stressful event may have passed, or the patient may have adjusted to the changes that were stressing them out.

Transient Insomnia:

Another common form of insomnia is referred to as transient insomnia. This type of insomnia usually last about a week. Rather than being caused by an external stimuli, transient insomnia is more likely to be caused by internal factors. Mental illnesses such as depression are often linked with transient insomnia. However, you may experience the condition simply because you’ve changed your sleeping environment due to travel, moving, etc.

Chronic Insomnia:

Chronic insomnia is the rarest form of the condition. To be considered chronic, you have to have experienced symptoms for at least a month several times per week. For the most part chronic insomnia evolves from one of the lesser forms. The patient may be having trouble adjusting to external stressors, or they may have a mental illness that is interfering with their normal sleep cycle.

Other Reasons You May Wake in the Middle of the Night

Although the stress of our modern world makes acute and transient insomnia relatively common, there are a number of behavioral factors that could also cause you to lose sleep at night. If you’re struggling to achieve restful and consistent sleep, then you may want to do a quick audit of your habits to make sure you aren’t shooting yourself in the foot. Here are just a few habits that could be causing you to lose some shut-eye.

  • Consuming stimulants like caffeine or tobacco less than eight hours before bed
  • Keeping a variable sleep schedule
  • Using electronic devices less than an hour before bed
  • Consuming alcohol before bed
  • Exposing yourself to uncomfortable levels of light, temperature, or sound

If any of these sound familiar, then you’re suffering from what is known as poor sleep hygiene. In order to feel well-rested, you’ll want to establish a routine that provides your body with all the right cues to promote deep sleep.

When Behavioral and Environmental Changes Don’t Help

When nothing you try is working, it may be time to seek professional help. At Cognitive Behavior Associates, trained professionals can help you to unpack the cause(s) or your sleep disturbances. We directly address the cause rather than focusing on medicating the result. So cognitive behavior therapy has shown better results and far less dependency on sleep aids. With a little work and dedication, you’ll be back to sleeping like a baby in no time.

Human beings are incredibly complex creatures. We lead busy lives where we’re expected to be social, professional, and competent all the time. That is a lot for anyone to handle, and the truth is that we all have moments where it’s just too much. Unfortunately, there are real medical factors that can exacerbate those stressors. Often leaving some of us with mental health conditions that make normal life more difficult, if not impossible. But you should never be ashamed to ask for help.

Never Be Ashamed to Ask for Help

Now, there is definitely a stigma surrounding mental illness, but we are beginning to see it break down. People are fighting harder than ever to destroy the assumptions and misconceptions that gave rise to the stigma in the first place. Between social change and improved psychological medicine, there is real, effective help available to the people who need it.

Addressing Your Own Assumptions

As available as help is, it isn’t always easy accepting it. There are still many cultures that prop self-reliance up as a gold standard of human behavior. Help is characterized as negative to the detriment of everyone who feels that way. The truth is that everyone benefits from help. We are a social species by nature. We function in collective societies. Help is literally built into the way we think, work, and live. If we deny ourselves the help offered by others, then we fail to reach our full potential.

The same logic applies to asking for help when you’re struggling with mental illness. No one is saying you can’t handle it yourself. There are plenty of people that find ways of coping, but they aren’t as efficient. You may not initially like the idea of asking for help, but it is what you have to do if you want to make progress. As with any other project, your mental health is better off if you entrust experts that sincerely want to help you.

Asking for Help

Requesting help can take many different forms. Many people with mental illnesses find that a multi-directional approach works best. Self-awareness, social support, medication, and therapy work together to provide the structure and the vocabulary necessary for dealing with mental illness. Cognitive behavior therapy specialists work to help you combine real-world factors with the medicine and psychological counseling that you need to understand your condition and assert yourself.

What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

CBT is almost as complex as the human psyche. It involves asking yourself deep-seated questions directed at the insecurities and fears that form the basis of your condition. Therapists trained in cognitive behavior therapy then help patients to unpack the falsehoods that they tell themselves while teaching them to recognize the triggers that precede their worst symptoms.

To put it simply Cognitive Behavior Therapy treatment explained is a highly trained network of people who want to see you thrive. It’s never easy. Some patients have spent years struggling to achieve something resembling the normalcy they remember, but with the help of the expert staff at Cognitive Behavior Associates mental health patients have a real chance to take their lives back.

Overcoming the Final Hurdle

It’s not easy, and everyone has their own definition of normal. However, CBT is one way people choose to address the mental health issues that impact their lives every day. If you have questions about cognitive behavior therapy, reach out to Cognitive Behavior Associates for more information. If you’re in a crisis situation, get a ride to the nearest hospital or contact the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP.

When in doubt, trust in the people who are close to you. They won’t always understand what you’re going through, but they can show you just how much you matter to them and the people around you.

It isn’t easy being close to someone dealing with a mental illness. The highs and lows can be difficult to manage, putting a serious strain on your relationship and your own mental health. Therefore, it is vitally important that you monitor your mental health and take steps to protect yourself where necessary. As long as you ask for help when needed and set boundaries, there is a lot you can do for supporting someone with bipolar disorder.

At our center for cognitive behavior therapy in LA, we provide a range of services. CBT for bipolar disorder is but one way we strive to bring mental health to every one of our patients.

Supporting Someone with Bipolar Disorder

In the case of someone with a serious bipolar disorder, offering support is no easy task. Like all mental illnesses, bipolar disorder is taxing. Both on the affected individual as well as their immediate friends and family. Fortunately, there are resources available to help you and your loved one work through the worst of it. Here are a few steps you can take to help support them without causing harm to yourself.

Get Your Own Therapist

If you’ve decided to take an active role in supporting someone with bipolar disorder, then the first thing you have to do is find your own therapist. There will be some less than pleasant experiences that occur when your loved one is going through a mood swing, and you will need a professional to help you process them and maintain perspective. In fact, going to therapy yourself may even make it easier for your loved one to feel comfortable with receiving the help they need.

Do Your Research

Learning more about bipolar disorder is essential. It can help you to identify trends and have a better understanding of what is going on. You can start by researching the topic on the internet as long as you are careful to only trust verified sources of information that are backed by peer-reviewed science. You may also look for published works on the topic or choose to speak to a local psychiatrist.

Be an Active Listener

Many patients with mental illness feel that they aren’t adequately heard. If you really want to support them, then you need to be prepared to listen carefully to how they’re feeling. Remember that it is very real for them. You may choose to counter some of their more negative thoughts with your positive perceptions of them, but you have to be careful not to dismiss their feelings. This is an important part of cognitive behavior therapy, but it is always better to leave it to the professionals if you’re uncomfortable toeing that line.

Have a Plan for Serious Episodes

When your loved one is in a relatively balanced state, make a plan for dealing with their most serious symptoms. This helps them to feel a level of control that they may not otherwise feel and demonstrates your willingness to support them. Keep in mind that they will likely be unhappy with the plan during an episode. But you need to stick to it as much as possible to show them that you are dedicated to helping them. If psychosis is a part of their response, consider targeted cognitive behavior therapy.

Remember Your Limitations

Mental illness is insidious, and it can affect a person in ways you may not even imagine. Therefore, you need to be prepared to call for professional help. Because you cannot deal with every possibility. In case of emergency, keep a list of phone numbers. These should include every professional resource available to your loved one. If the situation becomes unsafe, then you should have a plan for removing yourself safely without putting your loved on at risk.

We are currently living through one of the most challenging years in recent world history. The combination of economic distress, isolation, and the widespread loss of human life has naturally resulted in increased rates of mental illness across the board. However, it would be disingenuous to suggest that this trend is new. The truth is that organizations devoted to addressing mental illness in the United States have noted for several years that the rates of mental illness are continuously increasing. And we want to look at the link between sleep disorders and mental illness.

 

For the best cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in Los Angeles, visit CBA. We provide treatment for a range of disorders, with high rates of success. When you visit our insomnia specialist in Beverly Hills, you can get back to a better quality of life.

Link between Sleep Disorders and Mental Illness

In 2018, Mental Health America found that 19% of American adults experienced mental illness that year. That is a 1.5 million person increase over the previous year. These same trends appear to replicate themselves among youth in the United States. Both are matched by increased rates of suicide ideation. Therefore, it is clear that mental illness is a prevalent and growing issue in the United States, one that we need to tackle to protect the health of the community.

The Chicken and the Egg

Previously, it was widely believed that mental health disorders were largely responsible for the fact that an astounding percentage of mental health patients also suffer from a sleep disorder. Continued research has clarified that perception, leading scientists to see the relationship as far more complex. Essentially, the link between sleep disorders and mental illness is a circular one, much like the proverbial chicken and the egg.

Researchers now realize that mental illness and sleep disorders are inextricably linked and often reinforce one another. This reinforcement may actually explain why mental health disorders can be so difficult to overcome. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to regulate our thoughts and emotions. Then the resulting struggle makes it more difficult to sleep. For many people, this is a serious problem that can make their struggle feel impossible. Fortunately, there are research-driven approaches that can help to relieve this burden.

Getting the Help You Need

Cognitive behavior therapy is a complex approach to treatment that works to help patients recognize harmful thoughts while developing coping mechanisms. This form of therapy can be paired with medication and additional counseling if appropriate. Still, your cognitive behavioral therapist’s primary aim will be to have you examine your own thoughts critically.

Analyzing your own anxieties and fears is a helpful way of undermining their connection to reality. Your therapist will help you isolate the thoughts that trigger your symptoms based on your mental illness’s nature. From there, you can discuss what validity those thoughts have, if any. By learning to recognize the thoughts and feelings that aggravate your mental illness, you can start deconstructing them to build a healthier relationship with yourself.

Applying Cognitive Behavior Therapy to Sleep Disorders

At Cognitive Behavior Associates, the staff understands that mental illness and sleep disorders go hand in hand. Their goal is to treat the whole person and that includes resolving sleep disorders that may make it harder for you to recover from your mental illness. Insomnia is the most common complaint, but there are several sleep disorders that commonly coexist with mental illness.

Working on Thoughts

For the most part, the general approach of cognitive behavior therapy can apply directly to patients suffering from insomnia. The CBA experts recognize that the harmful thoughts you have are often most clear as you lie awake in bed. However, there are some additional forms of treatment that your therapist may suggest in addition to your CBT treatment.

Programmable daylight lamps and blue light filtering lenses are some of the most common. These are useful because they limit the effect of external stimuli and maximize your natural circadian rhythm. Regardless of what approach you choose, CBT will give you everything you need to tackle your insomnia and your mental illness at the same time.

Many people ask themselves: am I socially anxious or introverted? Everyone experiences moments when they don’t want to interact with large groups of people. You just need time to wind down and recharge. However, if you find that you tend to prefer spending your time alone or in small groups, you’ve probably fielded more than a few questions surrounding your approach to socializing. Your family and friends may even worry that you have a form of social anxiety, but it is just as likely that you’re simply more introverted than others.

Am I Socially Anxious or Introverted?

Luckily, there are a few easy ways that you can determine whether or not you do experience social anxiety. If you do, we provide the best anxiety treatment Los Angeles has.

Examining the Underlying Emotion

True introverts without social anxiety take real pleasure in having large chunks of time to themselves. They tend to be relatively comfortable in social settings and reserve the ability to socialize for the moments that suit them. By sharp contrast, a person with social anxiety avoids social engagements out of fear. The truth is that many people with social anxiety are also naturally extroverted. They crave interaction with other people, but they are afraid of being judged, ignored, or unwelcome.

With your therapist in Beverly Hills, you can begin working against these patterns. As you do, you can take control over your life once more.

Nature vs. Nurture

The current theory, as it is understood by prominent psychologists, is that introverts are typically born. From childhood onward, introverts tend to find activities that allow them to enjoy the pleasure of their own company. These periods of isolation are mixed with regular, healthy social interaction that gives them the social skills they need. Therefore, an introvert without social anxiety has no fear of interacting with other people. If they say “no” to a party invitation, then it’s probably because they’d rather be reading a book in front of a nice fire that night.

Social anxiety is a learned behavior pattern. There are literally thousands of minor traumatic experiences that can lead to its manifestation, but it typically starts in childhood. Bullying is a common trigger for later social anxiety, but any repeated exposure to judgmental people or a lack of confidence-building exercises could result in social anxiety. When a person with social anxiety says “no” to a party invitation, they’re more likely to avoid the situation out of fear that they won’t fit in or be invited out of pity.

Determining When You Need Help

If you or someone you care about is a true introvert, then you just need to be left alone. Let your friends know that once you’ve recharged a little bit, you’ll be ready to socialize again. Introverts have their own way of balancing their personal needs, and it’s a perfectly healthy way of coping with the stresses of everyday life. On the other hand, someone with moderate to severe social anxiety might benefit from a little counseling.

Cognitive behavior therapy is a common treatment for people who struggle with social anxiety. It works by helping the patient to identify the thoughts that trigger their negative emotions. From there, they can begin to unpack those emotions. Their therapist walks the patient through those thoughts and emotions in order to help them see that there’s little to no logical basis. Over time, the patient’s belief that they are unwelcome or unwanted is challenged one by one. This helps to slowly re-build the patient’s confidence, allowing them to feel less anxious while interacting with other people. Of course, there are times when people can be judgmental, so cognitive behavior therapy also works to prepare patients for those circumstances while recognizing that they represent a small percentage of all interactions.

The Takeaway

Social anxiety is born of negative interactions and a lack of self-confidence. Cases are often mild to moderate, allowing the people affected to live very normal lives despite their anxiety. Fortunately, even the most severe cases are treatable. It just takes a little help and a lot of patience.

There is nothing quite like waking up refreshed after a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, about 35% of Americans regularly miss out on that opportunity. Through a combination of living in a high-stress society and practicing poor sleep hygiene, millions of Americans lay awake in bed every night hoping sleep will come to them. But treating insomnia without medication is not only possible, but highly effective.

As a result, an entire sub-category of the pharmaceutical industry now, exists to meet the widespread demand for sleep-inducing medications. Some are habit-forming, while others are easier to use without the risk of addiction. These medications are an excellent option for occasional use, perhaps after a particularly stressful day. None of them are intended for daily use over a prolonged period. So it is important to find a long-term solution.

We provide the best cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia Los Angeles has around.

Identifying Insomnia

Everyone has some restless nights, but there are specific parameters that we can use to identify chronic insomnia. Generally speaking, chronic insomnia occurs at least three days a week for at least three consecutive months. If the patient hasn’t had the opportunity to get adequate sleep due to a demanding job or substance abuse is involved, then it is possible that the insomnia is a symptom of lifestyle choices rather than existing as a condition itself. In these cases, the patient will need to address underlying factors first.

Treating Insomnia without Medication: Analyzing Your Sleep Hygiene

For those with stubborn insomnia, it may be beneficial to first examine your daily practices, including sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to the regular practice of habits that promote reliable sleeping patterns. These include going to sleep at a predetermined hour every day of the week and waking up at the same time every day. Good sleep hygiene also includes avoiding electronics one hour before bed and avoiding caffeinated products after noon.

Of course, a fresh change will not have an immediate effect. If you have found holes in your sleep hygiene, you should do whatever you can to address them. It won’t happen overnight, so you should aim to make gradual changes to your routine. Adjusting your habits could take several weeks, and it may take several weeks more to take full effect. At six to eight weeks, if you’ve experienced no change, then you should consider a more targeted approach.

Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Sleep hygiene is highly personal, and it doesn’t work in the same way for everyone. For people with anxiety and depression, it can be exceptionally difficult to overcome insomnia. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a research-driven treatment that strives to help patients analyze their own thoughts and behaviors to better understand the nature of their insomnia.

In many ways cognitive behavior therapy is related to sleep hygiene but does more to target mental health complications that could be contributing to the patient’s sleeping experience. Those who specialize in cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia aim to help patients target the negative cognitions and behaviors that have developed around sleep due to prolonged frustration and sleep deprivation. Overall, this approach to therapy has proven highly effective. A full 100% of patients in multiple studies noted improved sleep, and 75% achieved a normal sleeping schedule, getting at least 7 hours of continuous sleep per night.

Making the Decision to Pursue Treatment

Sleep deprivation can have serious side effects with the potential to impair cognitive function and ability to handle mental or emotional stress. If you are experiencing the symptoms of chronic insomnia, then you should seriously consider receiving professional treatment. At Cognitive Behavior Associates, you may receive treatment in person or through telepsychotherapy. These options allow patients to choose how they would like to approach treatment and move towards their goals.

A panic disorder is characterized by “repeated, unexpected panic attacks” over a period of time. These patients may find themselves apprehensive of another attack. Panic disorders are often connected to traumatic experiences or sudden change. So patients likely to avoid the experiences that tend to trigger their panic attacks. But what risk factors contribute to panic disorders?

Visit the best panic attack specialist Los Angeles has around at Cognitive Behavior Associates.

What Risk Factors Contribute to Panic Disorders?

Not everyone who has experienced a panic attack has a panic disorder. In fact, panic attacks are not uncommon. Studies suggest that between 3 and 5% of the United States population experience at least one panic attack each year. However, that is not to say it isn’t an important indicator of mental health. If you have had even one panic attack, you should seek professional medical attention. Experts can help ensure the problem does not escalate to the point of being a disorder.

What is a Panic Attack?

Panic attacks generally last for 5 to 10 minutes. They remain part of a natural stress response that fits within the realm of the fight or flight instinct. The pulse quickens. The rate of breathing increases, but the person undergoing the panic attack will likely act seemingly irrationally. It is best described as an intense fear of fear. As a result, there is no direct threat to fight or run from, leaving the patient stuck in a state of panic with no immediate way to address their fear.

Given that the body can’t rely on normal responses perceived danger, it proves impossible to predict exactly what symptoms someone may experience during a panic attack. Nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and a lack of control appear commonly. However, the nature of the trigger that set off the panic attack can result in different symptoms. That means that if someone seems in an irrationally panicked state in response to a non-immediate threat, they could be dealing with a panic attack.

Considering Risk Factors

Genetics do play a role in panic disorders in some cases. If your family has a strong history of them, you should consider proactive treatment. This especially applies if you struggle with other aspects of your mental health. Research also shows that women prove about twice as likely to develop panic disorders. However, whether this stems from genetic or socially driven sources remains unclear.

That being said, the most prominent risk factor for panic disorders is a traumatic life experience. Abuse, the loss of a loved one, a near-death experience, or a major life change can negatively affect a person’s sense of control. Although we don’t always think about it, feeling control over the most personal and important aspects of your life is integral to feeling secure and happy. When a person who has experienced trauma or a major life event encounters a trigger, it can awaken that lack of control, prompting an intense fear response.

How to Alleviate the Symptoms of a Panic Disorder

In some cases, medical professionals will suggest medication to help control the immediate symptoms of a severe panic disorder. However, medication never should serve as a full replacement for targeted therapy. Anyone suffering from a panic disorder should have the full benefit of a medical team. And one prepared to use medication and behavioral therapy together to give the patient the best quality of life as quickly as possible. Cognitive behavior therapy exists as an important part of this treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Los Angeles

At Cognitive Behavior Associates, experts work with patients to learn about the nature of their disorder. This baseline understanding always proves an important tool. The staff help patients recognize their triggers and slowly work through breathing techniques to help reduce their response. From there, they can help patients to restructure their thought process by using logic to identify unhelpful thoughts while the patient is not under the influence of the panic attack. Due to this careful, tiered approach, a cognitive behavior expert can eventually help people to stay in control even when faced with a trigger in life.