Anti-anxiety options are giving me fits
October 5, 2007 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Questions about mindfulness CBT and biofeedback.

Recently my medical professional and I determined that my sustained attention problems may not be adult ADD as originally hypothesized and may more likely be an anxiety disorder manifesting in some atypical ways. I have enrolled in mindfulness + cognitive behavioral therapy. I also have access to (I am a student) relatively inexpensive biofeedback facilities on campus that are aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and increasing focus. Would it be "overkill" to engage in both simultaneously and/or would I get different benefits from both? I know you are not doctors, but I'm curious here.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
No, go for it. There's nothing about either that precludes engaging in the other at the same time. The more strategies you have to apply when you need them, the better.
posted by OmieWise at 7:23 AM on October 5, 2007

Don't know anything about biofeedback but the other two complement each other excellently. Learning to be aware of your thoughts (a major part of mindfulness) can only improve the effectiveness of learning how to change the unproductive ones (a major part of CBT). There's at least one book that makes the link explicit, and I'd recommend the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn on "mindfulness-based stress reduction", too.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 7:37 AM on October 5, 2007

Oh, I'm maybe misunderstanding. You already are thinking of CBT and mindfulness as part of the same thing, and asking whether to combine with biofeedback. Ignore me.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 7:39 AM on October 5, 2007

Biofeedback can be awesome and a great way to learn by immediate feedback. At best, you'll have multiple tools to help you. At worst, you'll experience some confusion about which technique you should use at a particular time. I'd say give it a try and if they seem to conflict you can always drop one.
posted by jasper411 at 8:44 AM on October 5, 2007

Welcome to the club. I don't want to deal with anxiety regarding certain types of work. I avoid the work to avoid the anxiety.

CBT works great.

I don't know how biofeedback is going to help here other than being aware of your own body so that you can see how the anxiety may be physically affecting you.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:07 AM on October 5, 2007

Overkill on mindfulness and stress reduction? I doubt it. I'd go for it. Just don't let the biofeedback stuff itself become a stressor in your life (I've seen it happen when someone had too many expectations of it and 'worked too hard' at it. Just relax about it.). Good luck and please report back on how the biofeedback stuff goes. I'm interested in it, but it's not available to me.
posted by DarkForest at 9:07 AM on October 5, 2007

Uh, what does "CBT" mean in this context?

In my field (hi, I'm IB's wife), it means "cock and ball torture." But I don't think you'd be asking that so matter-of-factly.
posted by InnocentBystander at 2:32 PM on October 5, 2007

what does "CBT" mean in this context?

Cognitive behavioral therapy
posted by DarkForest at 2:35 PM on October 5, 2007

Okay, good. I am so much happier now that I can read this correctly. I worried.
posted by InnocentBystander at 12:21 AM on October 6, 2007

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