Biological Therapy for phobias support

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  • Support for biological therapies
    • Support for the effectiveness of drugs
      • Research studies have shown that beta-blockers can provide an effective means of anxiety control. However some have shown that the benefits may be largely explained in terms of a placebo effect. Turner found no difference between a beta-blocker and placebo group in terms of heart rate and feeling of nervousness etc.
        • There are also found to be very few side effects when this drug is only used in the short term.
      • Anti-depressant - MAOI have been found to be more effective in the reduction of anxiety then placebos when compared to beta-blockers. (Liebowitz)
      • Katzelnick et compared the use of SSRI and placebo treatment. He found that both groups had improved levels of self-rated anxiety.
      • Aouizerate concluded that SSRIs provide relief for social phobics in 50 - 80% of the cases. This is a level fairly similar to BZs, but SSRIs are preferred because they have less negative side effects.
      • Reseach has found that SSRI have been likked to increased suicides and MAOI are associated with insomnia drowsiness and blurred vision.
      • BZs
        • Kahn et al = found BZs more effective then a placebo treatment in reducing anxiety.
        • Hildalgo - found that BZ were more effective than anti-depressants
        • SIDE EFFECTS - increased aggressiveness and long term imparment of memory. Can also cause addiction, should not be taken for more then four weeks.
    • Appropriateness of psycho surgery
      • Szasz = criticized psycho surgery because he argued that the psyche is not something physical and there fore its illogical to suggest that it can be operated on.
      • Rusk - studied 26 patients with non-obsessive anxiety disorders. After a capsulotoy was performed assessments were carried out by independent personnel.
        • The mean pro-operative anxiety score was 22 and the post operative mean score a year later was 4.6.
          • However there were greater negative symptoms then expected 7 patinets attempted suicide post surgery and 2 recorded cases of epileptic seizures.



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