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7 Habits to Develop to Treat Anxiety Disorders Effectively: Part 1

August 18, 2020

Expert Insights in Advanced Psychopharmacology is an ongoing video series featuring members of the Psych Congress Steering Committee and Faculty. The series, which highlights key psychopharmacology topics, is designed to provide mental health clinicians with practical guidance to maximize the effectiveness of treatments.

(Part 1 of 7)

In this video, Psych Congress Steering Committee member Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH, discusses the first of 7 habits which clinicians can develop to be highly effective at treating anxiety disorders.

Dr. Jain is Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech University School of Medicine, Austin. He will co-present a session on the 7 habits at Psych Congress 2020, being held virtually Sept. 10-13, 2020, with a preconference on Sept. 9, 2020.  

Read the transcript:

Hello, dear colleagues. I'm so looking forward to having a conversation with you about anxiety disorders. I'm going to wrap that into habits, 7 habits we, highly effective anxiety disorder treating clinicians, can and should develop to help our patients.

My name is Rakesh Jain. I'm a proud member of the Steering Committee at Psych Congress.

Can we first examine what that word habit really means? Why don't we do that? To help us, we have a wonderful quote from Stephen Covey where he tells us—I really like this quote—"Habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire."

During this series, I will do my very best to offer you a combination of knowledge enhancement, skill enhancement, and a desire enhancement for us to understand anxiety disorders in our patients even better and, of course, to address their needs.

In this series, I will cover 7 different habits. Today, we focus on habit number one. In future episodes, I promise you, we will cover the other habits, two, three, four, and five, six, and seven. More on those later, but right now let's go to habit number one.

Be troubled. Be aware. Watch out. They, anxiety disorders, lurk everywhere in our clinical practices.

That's a pretty tall statement. Is there data to back it up? Sadly, there is.

We, as human beings, are prone to psychiatric difficulties at very high rates. Look at substance use disorders, mood disorders, impulse control disorders, and, of course, anxiety disorders are the number one cluster.

On top of that, it is highly comorbid. Anxiety disorders love to lurk with other disorders such as mood disorders, impulse control disorders, substance use disorders to name just a few.

Two very important points were made by this exceptional data set. That was in our population. Is that true in our clinical practices?

I'm afraid the answer is yes. In our clinical practices, too, we tend to see anxiety disorders either by themselves or in clusters, comorbid with other conditions at very high rates. They can come in every shape. PTSD, GAD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder. Just remember, they can often occur in clusters of 2 or 3.

As a clinical pearl, I guess I can share 3 with you. Anxiety disorders are common. In fact, they're the most common type of mental health disorder in the US. All types are seen in clinical populations like yours and mine. They're often comorbid.

Third, we do need to remember this particular habit, to be aware, to be watchful as they are the single most common group of mental health afflictions.

Thank you for hearing me out. I will look forward to talking with you more as we continue our conversation about the other habits of a highly effective anxiety disorder treating clinician. Bye for now.

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